ESMT Post Graduate Diploma



The Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Leadership Management (PGD) prepares companies to tackle the challenges of digitalisation and globalisation in a more and more complex and uncertain working environment.

ESMT focuses on three main topics: leadership, innovation, and analytics. ESMT faculty publishes in top academic journals. Additionally, the business school provides an interdisciplinary platform for discourse between politics, business, and academia.  The business school is based in Berlin, Germany, and has a branch office in Shanghai, China. ESMT is a private business school with the right to grant PhDs and is accredited by the German state, AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS, and FIBAA.  



The Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Leadership Management (PGD) can be earned after having completed at least 16 program days within 12-18 months; participants can choose between two different tracks:

  • 16 days of Masterclasses delivered in Malaysia, including topics such as strategic leadership, counter strategies in global markets, being agile - Design Thinking and Scrum, business model generation, digitalization, change management and business ethics, sales management, negotiations, etc.
  • 10 days of Masterclasses in Malaysia and 6 days Smart Business Leaders Programme in Berlin, including topics such as Industry 4.0, innovation, Hidden Champions, leadership, and benchmarking/ immersion visits in companies and in the Berlin startup ecosystem 
  • In order to obtain the PGD, participants have to pass online tests on each of the programs attended.






SME owners, C-level and General Managers, Directors, senior managers and Heads of Departments of corporations..

Areas covered by this programme include:

Managing Digitalisation and Innovation

  • Business Model Generation
    Objective: This masterclass helps to either turn an idea into a startup or to bring entrepreneurial drive to the enterprise. The exercises are specifically developed to enhance participants’ understanding of building business models in the digital age.
    Duration: 2 days
    Faculty: Christoph Burger & Bianca Schmitz


  • Successful Marketing and Sales Management
    Participants will learn how to steer a winning sales force (e.g. through modern incentive systems) and manage the personal selling process and analse best-practice examples.
    They will take a critical look at their approaches to marketing and sales management and plan specific actions for optimisation.
    Duration: 2 days
    Faculty: Prof. Dr. Johannes Habel


  • Design Thinking and Scrum
    Objective: Participants will experience a practical range of tools and techniques specifically developed to support the innovation, ideation and implementation process in their respective work environments.
    This 2-day masterclass is intended to encourage participants to use ideation techniques to foster a culture of innovation in their business units and organisations. Working in small teams, participants experience each step in the Design Thinking process, in particular conducting real-life interviews, building prototypes, and testing their innovations.
    Implementation and scaling of innovations are the focus of the second part of the masterclass. Based on the innovations they have developed during the Design Thinking exercises, participants will engage in one iteration of a Scrum sprint to experience how easy-to-implement tools and routines can enhance efficiency and effectiveness of small, self-organized teams.
    Duration: 2 days
    Faculty: Dr. Jens Weinmann & Bianca Schmitz


  • Building a Digital Strategy
    Objective: This program will help executives address the key questions of where, when, and how to invest in digital. Participants will gain a thorough understanding of the impact of digital technologies on organisations and the competition. The program will establish a frame of reference for considering digital in a strategic context, provide a language to discuss opportunities and challenges, and present a toolset to aid in crafting a digital strategy.
    Duration: 2 days
    Faculty: Prof. Joe Peppard, PhD


  • The Entrepreneurial Mindset
    Objective: Mastery of key entrepreneurial methods; e.g. lean startup; design thinking; effectuation; bricolage and bootstrapping; pivoting and disruption. Radical personal and leadership growth; development of an opportunity-centered mindset for capitalising on and executing ideas.
    Duration: 2 days
    Faculty: Prof. Dr. Martin Kupp


  • Global Strategies for Global Markets
    Objective: This masterclass will help executives address the key questions of where, when, and how to invest in digital. Participants will gain a thorough understanding of the impact of digital technologies on organizations and the competition
    Duration: 2 days
    Faculty: Prof. Dr. Olaf Plötner



Leadership & Social Responsibility

  • Change Management and Ethics
    Objective: This masterclass equips participants with tools, frameworks and theories that can be helpful for you as an individual or within an organisation when dealing with change and ethical issues in business, especially in the era of Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0.
    Duration: 2 days
    Faculty: Dr. Urs Mueller


  • Women's Leadership Excellence
    Objective: Despite the evidence that businesses improve their performance with more women in leadership positions, many companies are not taking advantage of the positive effects of having more women in decision-making roles. Women's Leadership Excellence (WLE) provides a practical agenda for realizing the advantages of diverse leadership teams and supporting women to maximize their impact.
    Duration: 2 days
    Faculty: Bianca Schmitz & Didi Hopkins


  • Leading People and Teams
    Objective: By exploring the challenges they may face when attempting to create productive work environments, executives will gain a clear sense of the mindset, competences, and behaviors needed to be effective leaders.
    They will learn how to capitalise on and leverage their strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of their employees, peers, and superiors.
    Duration: 2 days
    Faculty: Andreas Bernhardt



Advanced Management Skills

  • Negotiation Strategies
    Objective: Participants will learn the art of negotiation and value creation by using new concepts tailored to different types of deals.
    They will become aware of their particular negotiation styles and discover how to capitalize on their strengths while mitigating their weaknesses.
    Duration: 2 days
    Faculty: Dr. Mark Young

Prof. Dr. Olaf Plötner
Professor of Strategic Management, ESMT Berlin

Prof. Dr. Martin Kupp
Visiting Professor at ESMT Berlin and Associate Professor for Entrepreneurship at ESCP Europe

Prof. Dr. Johannes Habel
Associate Professor and Co-director of the Hidden Champions Institute (HCI), ESMT Berlin

Dr. Jens Weinmann
Programme Director, ESMT Berlin

Prof. Joe Peppard, PhD
Visiting professor at ESMT Berlin and Principal Research Scientist, Center for Information Systems Research at MIT Sloan School of Management

Andreas Bernhardt
Executive Development Advisor and Lead Coach, ESMT Berlin

Christoph Burger
Senior Lecturer at ESMT Berlin

Bianca Schmitz
Programme Director and Co-Director of the Hidden Champions Institute, ESMT Berlin

Dr. Urs Mueller
Lecturer and Program Director, ESMT Berlin

Dr. Mark Young
Visiting Lecturer at ESMT Berlin and Founder and President of Rational Games

Didi Hopkins
Actor, Director, Voice-over artist and Lecturer



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