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This article was published 29-05-2017

A rapidly changing world demands new leadership

It is a given fact that digitalization, innovation and globalization put new demands on organizations. It is important that leaders develop new qualities accordingly.

Many organizations recognize these challenges and are willing to work on this. However they seem to tackle future challenges by using old and familiar ways of working, methods and instruments such as Incompany Leadership Development Programs that focus mainly on individual development and growth of leaders.

Schouten Global beliefs this way of thinking will not be sufficient for organizations and leaders to be successful in the future. Therefor they started to design a new leadership program that combines business challenges and leadership development. Unique about this program is that it brings together 4-5 international organizations. They all select 3-4 senior leaders that will share knowledge and expertise throughout this program on given business challenges. Schouten Global adds theoretical frameworks and disruptive ways of working to the mix, which results in an inspiring Intercompany Business Boost Program that will surely make leaders ready to overcome future challenges successfully.

Learn more about the Intercompany Boost program. Leave your details if you would like us to contact you or call Nicole Heupers on +31 6 535 32 113. You can also send an email.

Working closely with other companies will help leaders to overcome future challenges

“It’s inspiring to look beyond the boundaries of your company. The experiences and knowledge of leaders from other industries provide interesting insights. And if such an exchange is organized in an innovative and disruptive Business Development Program, leaders as well as their organization will significantly benefit – short term and also on the long run,” according to Susanna Schmid-Elsaesser, Senior Consultant at OSRAM GmbH who is co-creating this program together with Schouten Global. “At OSRAM we want to widen the view of executives by letting them meet, exchange ideas and co-operate with colleagues from other companies. In this way we create an outside-in view relevant for strategic challenges but also daily business.  In the VUCA-world (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) it is important to hear other visions, to explore new partnerships and to discover how to be an entrepreneur. This program could be the perfect platform.”

Like a Business School, but more unique and daring

The program is partially similar to a Business School Program in ways of content and working on projects, but in other ways it is very different. It uses more disruptive ways of working, it is more pragmatic and the program is set up in an emergent way which means participants get to be involved in designing the final program, which creates a high level of involvement and ownership amongst the participants.

The Intercompany Business Boost Program has a clear purpose. It prepares leaders for future business challenges, such as how to lead innovation, how to become more agile, how to deal with big data, how to lead complex change, etc. It will help leaders to become more effective in the way they lead (working from a creative and pro-active mindset instead of a reactive mindset) and not unimportant: they build and create new and relevant networks with interesting international partners.

Co-initiator and Program Developer Nicole Heupers knows that this way of development is effective and incredibly inspiring: "In my previous job as Change Manager at an international energy provider, we have worked extensively with external business partners to learn from each other on the topic of Change. It was a great learning experience to see how others cope with similar problems. Finding out how they dealt with certain issues helped us to overcome certain problems and it brought change forward at a much faster pace. ”

Goodbye comfort zone

We work in a disruptive way. For example, in the first thematic high impact session on innovation, participants will start a practical assignment, called ‘the 5 euro exercise’ which is based on Harvard studies. Participants will be asked to make as much money as possible within the hour and they can use 5 euro as investment money. With this exercise we get participants out of their comfort zone and into an innovative mindset immediately.

Besides thematic high impact sessions of 2 – 2,5 days in which participants will meet in person, the program includes virtual peer group sessions in which participants meet in smaller groups to exchange topics/issues that are of special interest to them. We also have regular virtual inspiration boost sessions in which we invite interesting guest speakers on certain relevant topics and we organize go- see and learn- visits for participants to visit other “Best Practice” companies/locations. For instance on the topic of innovation we could set up a visit in Berlin to visit the innovation hub over there.

As mentioned we work throughout this program in an emergent way: nothing is fixed, no blue prints and participants will be involved in the co-creation of the final program. The selection of topics for the high impact sessions will be part of this, but since most business challenges are similar, topics such as agile, lean, innovation, change, big data, etc. are very likely to end up as part of this program.


The first Intercompany Business Boost Program will take place in the fall of 2017. From each participating organization 3-4 senior leaders (>10 years’ business experience) will attend the program. The program will last between 12 to 18 months.

More information

Call Program Developer Nicole Heupers at +31 6 53532113 or email to nicole.heupers@schoutenglobal.com

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