IT Leadership Program

Develop your leadership capabilities to drive your organization forward in the use of IT

> Target audienceKey benefitsKey topicsMeet the staff

Most organizations today are fundamentally de pendent on their IT systems. Few could survive for very long without them. It is ironic, then, that most companies are also dissatisfied with the value and contribution that IT is making to their businesses. Blame is usually laid at the door of the company’s IT leader. ESMT research reveals that many are struggling to develop the kind of leadership necessary to drive their organizations forward in the use of IT.

The IT Leadership Program (ITL) provides the know ledge, skills, and tools needed to be a successful and dynamic IT leader. The underpinning philosophy of this pro gram is that chief information officers (CIOs) and IT directors are first and foremost business leaders, albeit with special respon sibilities for IT. By the end of the program, participants will have developed leadership capabilities that will help them to shape a strategic direction, drive innovation, and optimize value from digital investment. They will also have the confidence to operate effectively in the C­suite.

Scholarship Opportunities

To increase the number of female executives in IT, ESMT awards 1 partial scholarship and one ESMT/30% Club partial scholarship (value €4,450) for women in IT leadership positions. Exceptionally qualified and talented candidates might be eligible for the scholarships. Please get in contact with Verena Ackels.


Target audience

  • Executives with responsibility for IT
  • IT managers with leadership ambitions
  • Chief information officers
  • IT executives seeking an extra edge


Key benefits

  • expand knowledge and enhance personal performance as effective IT leaders
  • develop leadership capabilities, learn new essential skills and competencies
  • shape strategic direction, drive innovation, and optimize the value that organizations derive from IT
  • build a lifelong learning network


Key topics

  • Being a business­focused IT leader
  • Taking charge as an IT leader
  • Navigating the organization’s political landscape
  • Influencing and communicating with key stakeholders: building consensus
  • Thinking strategically and having strategic conversations
  • Growing great performers and building a leadership team
  • Developing and aligning information, systems, and IT strategies with business drivers
  • Building a digital strategy
  • Designing a workable IT governance structure
  • Defining business operating­models and enterprise architecture
  • Setting up and running projects that deliver real business benefits
  • Driving innovation with digital technologies
  • Building and managing an IT investment portfolio
  • Tackling the leadership challenges of being a CIO
  • Leading digital transformation


"This course was fantastic. I really appreciated the examples and explanations. I started using the handouts right away – absolutely helpful for senior management discussion."

Jens Riegel, Director IT and Process Management, Lohmann SE
"Mittelstand CIO of the Year, 2016"


Meet the teaching staff

Joe Peppard (Program Director)

is a visiting professor at ESMT Berlin and Principal Research Scientist, Center for Information Systems Research at MIT Sloan School of Management. Additionally, he is an adjunct professor at the University of South Australia.

With his reference discipline in information systems, Joe researches, teaches, and consults in the domains of IT leadership, digital strategy and innovation, the execution of digital transformation programs, and in the role, structure, and capabilities of the IT unit in contemporary organ izations. In an industry powered by fear, uncertainty, and doubt, and where hype is all too common place, he seeks to help business and IT leaders make sense of it all and navigate an appropriate route through what is an increasingly complex landscape. His research focuses on con temporary issues and challenges that mangers face in an environment of accelerating technological change.

Findings from his studies have been published in leading journals such as the European Journal of Information Systems, MIS Quarterly Executive, MIT Sloan Management Review, and Harvard Business Review. He is associate editor of the International Journal on IT/Business Alignment and Governance, and an editorial board member of the European Management Journal, the Journal of Strategic Information Systems, and MIS Quarterly Executive.

In his consulting, Joe has worked closely with senior executives and board members of large, complex organizations in both the public and private sectors, advising them on IT and strategyrelated matters, leveraging informa tion, and on how to unlock business value from their IT investments. He also works with a number of technology companies by helping them with their strategies, market positioning, and growth.

More information on IT Leadership

Video: Meet Joe Peppard
How CIOs can overcome tendencies towards introversion to become successful leaders
Leadership Mindsets for IT Success
Why chief information officers can struggle in a leadership role
Building CEO - CIO Partnerships
An overview of the IT investment portfolio
Why CIOs fail
Turning IT Managers into Business Leaders