The practical impact of the IEC programs relies on two aspects above all: Our understanding of how executives can be developed further, and our access to methods that match this concept of executive development.
The widespread approach of talking about academic concepts and models without questioning the common practice does little to change everyday working practice. The same is true for so-called outdoor exercises or similar methods, which only have an interpretative connection to concrete leadership questions and are intended to influence the feelings and thinking of the participants: They lack sustainable translation into work practice. On the other hand, developing employees and managers purely “on-the-job” does not create enough detachment to question their thinking and practices and, if necessary, initiate a revision of outdated standards. This is especially true in times of dynamic change.
In order to avoid these gaps of reflection, mediation, and transfer, the IEC uses well-orchestrated methods that offer participants the opportunity to develop their thinking, feeling and acting in the most important areas of leadership. The focus is always on their individual practice.
As an example, multimedia simulations are used to reproduce basic work and leadership processes (e.g. decision-making or process and change management) in realistic settings. These simulations are complemented by feedback processes and inside loops to provide feedback on the observed behavior as well as offering an opportunity to question one’s own thinking and behavior. Another core element of methods used by the IEC is the so-called “real cases”. Here, real work and leadership problems of the participants are summarized in a structured way and worked on a professional level.