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Cambridge Advanced Leadership Programme

Back to Leadership

The world is changing in fundamental ways compared to what it used to be. There is a multitude of different and interdependent trends out there, social trends, climate level trends, trends in technologies, digitisation, which leads to automation, but also political changes. And while we can understand the individual trends, they produce interactions. And so all of a sudden, we see unexpected events, which develop into crises, which throw us into turmoil.

Standard assumptions that leaders used to operate under are no longer viable. The ten-year strategic plans of the past are gone. The only answer to this is being responsive and adaptive in order to track a world that is running in cycles around you.

The Cambridge Advanced Leadership Programme is really a programme that will help delegates find the answers to their challenges as opposed to supply the answers to their challenges.

This is as far as it could get from a cookie cutter style programme. This is about crafting, producing the right solution, which means taking a step back, thinking through all the information that’s being supplied, but internalising the information, assimilating it, and then turning it into something that makes sense for their context.

The lineup consists of, obviously, some of the best faculty in business school. But also at the same time, outside experts that we bring in to enrich the understanding of the participants. And they can open up a completely different way of what leadership means in different contexts.

Taking them away from the classroom helps spark different ways by which they will learn about specific topics. If we want to be discussing how do you manage high performance teams, holding the discussion in an environment where every year a new high performance team is created and winning a cup, like the Cambridge Bowl.

When participants join the Cambridge ALP they will be in a group of no more than 25 people. They get to know each other extremely well. They have a personal relationship with the faculty members who are working with them. And we believe that in this small group, their learning is deeper and more intense.

It’s a city that inspires you. It’s really conducive to wanting to open your mind to curiosity and to asking yourself some life questions.

We’re looking into a place that has shaped in many ways the current world that we’re living in. Through the innovations that have emerged, through the fact that they have been tackling systematically big questions, big problems in very efficient ways. That’s what characterises Cambridge as a university and as an academic spirit. So that transcends into the programme.

The delegates walk away with the self-confidence to have identified their individual personal leadership style, a thoughtful leadership style that will enable them to take their organisation forward in the right direction in such a volatile world.


We will test you, challenge you, encourage you and inspire you.

This three-week general management and leadership programme (the ALP) gives seasoned senior executives the opportunity to step back and focus time on themselves in a learning environment second to none. Aside from refreshing their thinking and fine-tuning their leadership agenda, participants will grow from discussions with top faculty members from Cambridge Judge Business School and the wider University of Cambridge.

You WILL be different when you leave. Are you ready?

Why Cambridge?

Cambridge Judge Business School offers a distinctive approach born out of the University of Cambridge way.

Leading-edge research

With cutting edge academic research, delegates draw upon the latest thinking; as one would expect from one of the foremost universities in the world.

More than that, this programme draws upon the unrivalled resources of the wider University, giving participants a depth of insight and experience which is second to none.

Smaller class sizes

The University of Cambridge has always emphasised smaller class sizes for maximum interaction and focused effort between world-class faculty and world-class participants. The Business School is no exception. This makes your experience here one of unrivalled quality, relevance, intensity and challenge.

Intensity and focus

Smaller class sizes and leading-edge faculty mean focus and intensity. Your programme will may be shorter than elsewhere, but you will likely be stretched as you have never known.

Isn’t that the point?

The power of peer learning in Executive Education

Part of the strength of the Cambridge Judge Business School learning experience is the opportunity to exchange ideas and solutions with your peers – a process which three of our most recent Advanced Leadership Programme cohort found particularly useful… 

Find out more …

Programme structure

Three major themes span the programme, weaving discussion and debate into a coherent fabric on which participants can chart their next moves.

Making sense of turbulent times

The “straight-line” projections on which so many plans are still based have never looked so inadequate. The reverberations of the worst financial crisis since 1929 continue to re-shape economies around the world; when Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs coined the “BRICs” in 2003 he seemed radical, but by 2011 China’s GDP grew to twice the size he predicted to become the world’s second largest economy.

How will you lead your company in this new environment?

Rather than assuming “more of the same”, we need new ways of thinking. A powerful starting point is to look at the fundamental drivers that underlie this new world you need to master. We propose three:

  • increasingly rapid economic and technological change
  • globalisation, which has increased inter-dependency and sharpened the divide between those that are world-class competitors and those that are not
  • an increasingly complex and inter-linked global financial system that has rendered prevailing ideas about risk largely obsolete

Because the same skills and techniques are unlikely to be effective in dealing with these forces of change, the Cambridge ALP is designed to help you make sense of these turbulent times and develop strategies that recognise the new realities.

Building organisational and personal capabilities

The relentless march of globalisation and liberalisation in world markets means increasing competition in more and more industries. Only the fittest will survive.

This environment demands leadership – it’s not enough to manage an agenda set by competitors. But this kind of leadership is not only measured by market share. The value of incumbency is declining in the face of innovative new players. Today’s industry leaders need to re-shape the competitive game and set rules.

Companies may not be able to do this alone. Instead they may need to catalyse the growth of an “ecosystem” of partners around them, bound together by self-interest, complementary investment and shared learning.

Being a global competitor, meanwhile, no longer just means projecting your home-country formula abroad. Global leaders must now understand specific local needs and know how to successfully confront local opponents.

The rapid pace of change is also increasing technological and market obsolescence. In order to grab new opportunities for business development, innovation is key.

But innovation is about more than new technology. Innovation starts inside – it begins with the collective mindset, people ready to tackle and take on new opportunities. Opportunities do not just exist, they need to be created. They are events which you can see before others, or that you make sense of better than others.

Leading into the future

There are many styles of leadership – some leaders are charismatic, others not; some foster decentralisation, others are more in control. There is no doubt that Steve Jobs was a great leader, as was Jack Welch or Nelson Mandela. When deciding how to change the organisation you lead, you first have to consider the practical steps to take to change yourself.

The Cambridge ALP will encourage you to examine your personal management style. Is it still suited to the organisation and the changing environment? How might it need to change?

Over the three-week period these themes are explored through a number of core sessions that address specific issues related to them. These sessions include – but will not always be limited to:

  • Ecosystem advantage
  • India – innovation and technology
  • Managing the unforeseen
  • Managing the media
  • The global economic environment
  • Management of people
  • International finance
  • Globalisation of service businesses
  • China, including business and government relations
  • Global supply chain
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Fostering and guiding innovation
  • Global leadership
  • Globalisation
  • Innovation – the Cambridge way
  • Corporate governance
  • Leading growth through M&A
  • Network and power dynamics
  • High performance teams
  • Leadership, hierarchies and teams
  • Sustainability
  • A day and a half of group and individual coaching

Occasional additional sessions may be added.

The ALP took me away from the day-to-day business to consider the much bigger picture. The bond that you build with other senior professionals through the three weeks is something I’ll never forget. The quality of the lectures and discussions far exceeded my expectations and previous learning experiences.
Kevin Banthorpe, Senior Development Manager, Sepura


For you: We will test you, challenge you, encourage you and inspire you.

  • A refreshed leadership mindset – the red line throughout the three weeks IS leadership and cuts through the challenges and opportunities of today’s senior executives
  • ‘Time out’ – it is not often that you have space just for yourself, without the demands of the office and family. The Cambridge ALP helps you step back and take stock of your professional and personal life.
  • Immersion in cutting edge thinking with leading thinkers, combined with magisterial experience from seasoned leaders from diverse backgrounds. The programme benefits enormously from a multidisciplinary approach to learning.
  • Networking – with other senior executives individually selected for admission. The time spent together is long enough (yet shorter than many other advanced management programmes) to help you make friends and colleagues for life, a group who can call on each other long after the programme. On completing the Cambridge Advanced Leadership Programme you will be eligible to become an associate member of Cambridge Judge Business School’s global network of graduates and business-focused University of Cambridge alumni, faculty and staff.
  • An international perspective – participants and faculty come from all over the world. In the last session of the ALP, 14 nationalities were represented in the class.

For your organisation:

  • They will see you come back ready and able to make a difference; an agent of change within the organisation who can cascade your learning to your team and colleagues
  • They will see you more self-confident, fit to assume greater leadership responsibility
  • You will be better-networked for enhanced business opportunities internationally.

On completing the Cambridge Advanced Leadership Programme you will be eligible to become an associate member of Cambridge Judge Business School’s global network of graduates and business-focused University of Cambridge alumni, faculty and staff.

Thank you very much for providing me a wonderful experience in the last three weeks – it feels like we have been together for three months – and I really can say I hardly ever have witnessed an atmosphere of trust and learning that was as intense as we had together as a team and a group. I can say I have grown as a human and as a leader and it was possible only because of the Cambridge ALP.
Thomas Schmidt, Senior Vice President, ABB

Who should attend

An ALP is only as good as the quality of its own participants. Selection for the Cambridge ALP is therefore taken very seriously, and a stringent process ensures the group of people selected is homogeneous in their objectives and experience. Each prospective candidate should complete an application form available on these webpages. A phone meeting will be set up between the Director of the ALP and each applicant. A decision on each application will be made within one week. Typical participants will be:

  • Managing directors and heads of business units. With at least two years’ experience in this position and P&L responsibility, they will make up the majority of the group. They can be working within small, medium and large organisations in the public or private sector. We welcome executives from the non-profit sector.
  • Heads of corporate functions – contributors to the strategy of the organisation.
  • Individuals who have made a difference – they may be entrepreneurs, academics or individual contributors. They should be outstanding in their area and bring a different viewpoint to the group.

These figures were taken from two ALP classes from 2017.

My primary motivation to attend the ALP was to take time to understand and appreciate the choices ahead of me during the next ten years of my career. Being able to refresh my leadership skills in the context of the very large and diverse organisations that I work for secured my desire to attend. Two years on since I finished the ALP, I would describe my experience as life and career changing.
Ilyas Khan, Chairman of Leonard Cheshire Disability
The ALP gave me insight into how businesses need to constantly challenge the status quo to remain successful. Since completing the programme, I have moved on to Virgin Atlantic which is finding my ability to challenge respectfully an asset for which the ALP played a large role.
Nan Gibson, Head of Employee Relations & Human Resources, Virgin Atlantic

Faculty & speakers

This list represents some key contributors to the ALP; however, it is not exhaustive. Senior practitioners from business are also invited as guest speakers.

Stylianos (Stelios) Kavadias

Margaret Thatcher Professor of Enterprise Studies in Innovation & Growth


Christoph H Loch

Professor of Management Studies

PhD (Stanford Graduate School of Business)

Fabrizio Castellucci

Professor of Operations & Human Resources Management, SDA Bocconi School of Management

PhD (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University)

Dame Sandra Dawson DBE

Fellow (Organisational Theory & Information Systems)

MA (University of Cambridge)

Mark de Rond

Professor of Organisational Ethnography

DPhil (University of Oxford)

Sir Richard Dearlove KCMG OBE

Former Master, Pembroke College

Former Head, MI6

MA (University of Cambridge)

Lord Eatwell

Professor Emeritus in Financial Policy

PhD (Harvard University)

Jonathan Haslam CBE

Former Director of Communications, Prime Minister’s Office at 10 Downing Street

Hermann Hauser CBE

Serial Entrepreneur and Co-Founder, Amadeus Capital Partners

PhD (University of Cambridge)

Dame Patricia Hodgson DBE

Former Chairman, Ofcom

MA (University of Cambridge)

Jaideep Prabhu

Professor of Marketing

PhD (University of Southern California)

Simon Taylor

Faculty (Professor level) in Management Practice (Finance)

PhD (University of London)

Lord Wilson of Dinton

Former Master, Emmanuel College

LLM (University of Cambridge)

David Yates

Warden, Robinson College

MA (University of Cambridge)

Coaching faculty

A team of highly experienced executive coaches will work with participants individually and in a group context.

Dates & fees



Fees *

5-24 June 2022 (Opening session on Sun eve)

3 weeks**

£20,000 + VAT

6-25 November 2022 (opening session on Sun eve)

3 weeks**

£20,000 + VAT

VAT is charged at the prevailing rate – where applicable – which is currently 20%; e.g. £20,000 + 20% = £24,000

* Fees include all programme materials, daytime refreshments and some evening meals, accommodation in the centre of Cambridge, some Cambridge-based activities and a gala dinner in a historic Cambridge College. Participants are expected to attend the full programme. Please note prices pre-registration are subject to change.

** 19 nights’ accommodation.

Preferential rates may be available for groups, University of Cambridge alumni and members of the School’s Alumni Association.

Benefit from our early payment discount

If full payment is received at least 90 days before the programme start date, there will be a 10% discount on the tuition fee, subject to the applicant being accepted on the programme.

For information regarding payment terms, cancellation rights, transfer policies and fees, please see our terms & conditions documents:

Terms & Conditions for Self-funded Applicants (pdf, 277KB) (updated 25 August 2021)
Terms & Conditions for Organisation-funded Applicants (pdf, 295KB) (updated 25 August 2021)

Registration closes at midday two working days before the programme start date.

Participants are expected to attend the full programme.

Please ensure that you have read our Frequently Asked Questions, which provide important additional information about our face-to-face and Live Online programmes, in particular during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I must say I personally gained ?new insight and enhanced spatial concepts over the period spent on the ALP. This no doubt has translated to improved client negotiations and staff management for my company, and personal success (being appointed General Manager Rig Operations in a new company structure).
GM Rig Operations, ?Oando Energy Services, Nigeria

I chose the ALP because Cambridge is the heart of learning. To not go to Cambridge is a crime. To not choose Cambridge Judge Business School for its flagship programme is missing out three intense field weeks of sensing, responding, and leading.

My objectives before coming to the programme– I wanted to learn more about myself. Over the years, I’ve seen my leadership style evolve to what it is today. And I was willing to go there to be pummelled and reshaped to be a better leader. After all, I believe a leader who doesn’t believe in personal and professional growth is a leader who is committing the cardinal sin of leadership– hubris. In my role, I’ve progressed to be a changemaker for current and aspiring marketers by building and leading a few executive education programmes for two well-known universities in Singapore.

The networks I have formed on the ALP definitely benefited me. I found the friends I’ve made at the LP enriching, not for my professional life, but for my personal life. If you strive to have only business connections, then you aren’t building meaningful relationships.

The immersive three weeks in residence, the learning journey, opened my eyes to my inadequacies as a person and a leader. I daresay I’m a better person and leader today, but I always believe we are constantly evolving.

The appeal of the programme– although I would use the word learning, it is more a journey of self-discovery, where the professors of Cambridge Judge Business School and the notable guest lecturers will guide us through a multitude of issues pertinent for leaders of today. I cannot say any more because the best parts of the ALP need to be discovered.

Charting the right leadership course

Paul Thomson, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of RNZ, shares his experiences of the Cambridge Advanced Leadership Programme, where he spent three weeks honing his leadership skills, recharging and reflecting.

Read more

CEO of maritime museum: cultural organisations need to adapt to stay relevant

Kevin Sumption, Director of the Australian National Maritime Museum, shares his thoughts about the cultural sector, main challenges and importance of life-long learning.

Read more

The power of peer learning in Executive Education

Part of the strength of the Cambridge Judge Business School learning experience is the opportunity to exchange ideas and solutions with your peers – a process which our 2018 Advanced Leadership Programme cohort found particularly useful…

Read more

Three weeks in Cambridge

Cambridge alumnus Constantine Goulimis says three weeks on the Cambridge Advanced Leadership programme changed his life.

Read more

Developing your personal leadership style

The concept of Individualised Personal Development, often referred to as ‘coaching’, now forms a critical focus at the end of week two of the Cambridge Advanced Leadership Programme. Four of the delegates of the November cohort of the ALP got together to discuss their experiences of both the coaching component and the programme in general.

Read more

Gain a fresh perspective

The Cambridge Advanced Leadership Programme gave Australian entrepreneur Wynde Mason the opportunity to step back and explore the bigger picture.

Read more

Looking at leadership through a fresh lens

Film producer Jennifer Jonas attended the Cambridge Advanced Leadership Programme, which gave her the insights to develop and lead her business.

Read more

It’s never too late to go to business school

When board-level execs go to business school the results are spectacular. CFO Simon Hoenderop explains.

Read more

Want a fresh perspective on leadership?

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Fox went to business school and came away with a new frame of reference.

Read more

Reserve a place

Our programmes are very popular and tend to fill quickly. We cap the group size at 25. It is therefore advisable to reserve a place on specific sessions. This will simply keep your place until you are able to send in the application form, and we will remain in touch with you to inform you when the programme is almost full.

Reserve a place

Find out more

For further information and an in-depth discussion about the programme please contact Allison Wheeler-Héau, Director of the Cambridge ALP. She would be delighted to speak to you, and help you decide whether this programme is the right choice for you and your professional development.

You may also wish to request the Cambridge Advanced Leadership Programme brochure via our online form.

If you have any questions or would like to have a chat about this programme and how it could benefit you or your organisation, please get in touch with the programme advisor:

Allison Wheeler-Heau

Director of Open Programmes
Tel: +44 (0)1223 765855
Mob: +44 (0)7901 622646

Schedule a call with Allison

[email protected]

Follow Allison on Twitter

Connect with Allison on LinkedIn

Access Allison's profile

Allison Wheeler-Héau

Our exclusive ALP reunion event comprises several sessions exploring new ideas on the ‘big issues’ leaders are facing, as well as the opportunity to explore in small groups how your business has changed. 

The reunion offers plenty of time for you to meet people from other ALP cohorts and reunite with your own group.

The dates of the next ALP reunion will be confirmed in due course. 

For more information, please contact Allison Wheeler-Heau for details.

Version 10 (23 February 2021)




3 weeks


5-24 June 2022
6-25 November 2022


Download a brochure

This programme is supported by our Virtual Learning Environment and requires a minimum of either Google Chrome 30, Mozilla Firefox 25, Apple Safari 5 or Microsoft Internet Explorer 9. Other browsers are compatible but prior testing must be undertaken.

Contact us to find out more about the Cambridge Advanced Leadership Programme.

Contact us

If you would like to submit your CV for review, our Admissions Director Allison Wheeler-Heau will be able to give you advice on whether the Advanced Leadership Programme is the right fit for you at this point in your career.

Submit your CV

To find out more about our range of open enrolment programmes, download our brochure.

Download the brochure

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