Innovation is the DNA of our Global Executive MBA

Dear readerOnly recently did we seize the opportunity and talked to the editors of ‚

Dear reader

Only recently did we seize the opportunity and talked to the editors of ‚seminar.inside‘, which is a quarterly magazine with a focus on managerial education.

Frankly, I was not aware that we were made the cover story until I saw the magazine. I think the title puts the essentials of our business school in a nutshell: „Innovation is in our DNA“. Ever since we started in 2009 we wanted to be at the forefront of business education. We reached this hard-to-please goal because we constantly throve for highbrow teaching and last but not least thanks to our extraordinary staff.

Click to read the interview

The interview with our CEO, Philipp Boksberger, reflects both our philosophy and the future of business education. Therefore we will continue to constantly draw attention to our institute of business education with new and progressive programs.

Peter Lorange

“I’m not sure we have really developed all that much in the past several thousand years.”

Interview with Jack D. Wood*) about leadership in a digital world. ---Why is continual higher learni

Interview with Jack D. Wood*) about leadership in a digital world.


Why is continual higher learning like the GEMBA the appropriate way to battle an increasingly complex global economic environment?

I don’t think you want to ‘battle’ the complex global economic environment; I think you want to understand it so you can work within it without fearing it and without losing your humanity.  

Executives and the business press today overestimate the importance of technology.  Companies, and countries, fail not because they don’t have technology or money or because of the perception of complexity, they fail because of failures in leadership.  

The CEIBS GEMBA, like the IMD MBA that ran from 2001 until 2012, was unique in its focus on leadership.  Without first-rate leadership, businesses cannot compete and public sector organizations will flounder.

Usually it’s the other way round….

That is right. Most employees entering businesses have technical skills and technical training.  They end up working in companies for five or ten years, and then it becomes clear that their technical skills and technical training are not enough.  They need leadership skills. 

These managers are trained in a cognitive and rational way, and they look at situations as if organizations with people ran like an engineering system.  But businesses don’t run like automobiles.  They are full of people.

And these people have to be treated differently than you treat circuits on an assembly line.  Military organizations actually work differently: first you become an officer, then you learn how to pilot an airplane or command a ship. Leadership skills come first and technical skills come later.  

You mean that in industry there is a big gap between technical training and leadership training?

In industry you end up with technically trained people who after ten years end up managing people at work and having families at home and none of their technical skills help them to do either.  Leadership and behavioral skills are central. 

So why is there a leadership focus on the GEMBA? If you can get the leadership stuff right, you will be positioned to have much better decision-making in all business areas--whether it’s a question of accounting, finance, operations, whatever. If you don’t get leadership right, you always make a mess of all other organizational decision-making.

However, not everybody is born to be a leader…

There is a widespread misconception about the distinction between ‘leader’ and ‘leadership’—the one is a formal role and the second is a behavioral process.  Conventional thinking mistakenly assumes that the person on top of the organization is ‘the leader’.  But leadership is a process that occurs throughout the organization.

A German HR exec was planning a program for young high potential managers, and she came to see me and asked me what I did.  I gave her my assignments and readings.  A few months later she came back and said that she liked my readings and assignments but could I remove the words ‘leader’ and ‘leadership’ from the material.

I asked why she wanted me to do that. She said that she didn't to want the young managers to come back from my course and think that they would be leaders. I said, “Let's go to the kindergarten and look through the big window.” It was a wall of glass. Behind it were dozens of kids. I asked her if she could see any leadership being exercised among the children in the kindergarten? She said yes.

Some of the kids were organizing the others, initiating games, leading. And so I said to her: Ok, let's talk about what leadership is and what it isn’t.  There is a difference between a ‘leader’ which is a formal role, and ‘leadership’ which is a process that occurs at all levels of an organization—or any group, including one’s family.

Is your personal-development aspect, similar to the one which you established at IMD, which distinguishes the GEMBA from other EMBA programs?

All business schools that ‘teach leadership’ focus on a personal or individual level.  Mostly the focus is in the classroom and sometimes there are a few hours of personal ‘coaching’. The main differences with leadership work I do is that we don’t just focus on the personal, individual level, we work on the group and organizational levels—and we work in depth.

All leadership is exercised in small groups. Even if you are a President or a Prime Minister you still work in a small group.  So, we focus on the small group. Most schools and organizations do individual coaching but in fact you never work with somebody as an individual only. 

If you’re thrown into a group, and you think it’s just a collection of individuals with their own traits, you just don’t understand the unconscious dynamics of how the group works. If you don’t understand why people are subgrouping, why the agenda on the table is not the real agenda but the agenda under the table is, then you’ll never be an effective leader.

But is leadership not mostly about motivating people?

Traditional ‘leadership’ is based on dominance, hierarchy and obedience. But dominance is not leadership.  Dominance—authoritarian behavior—is a kind of archaic or primitive leadership.  It works with baboons but it doesn’t work with humans very well—unless there is a crisis. 

This is why authoritarian leaders create and exacerbate crises, to permit them to behave in an authoritarian manner. This is true in Switzerland, the US, Russia, China, everywhere.  Dominating your subordinates with your formal authority may bring compliance, but it will never bring commitment.  Authoritarian leadership is the same everywhere.  

The collective desire for dominant and authoritarian leadership is more pronounced in times of insecurity and fear. Today is an example.  And it’s dangerous.

What would be a more behavioral approach?

If you understand what drives people’s unconscious behavior, you can exercise leadership in a deeper, more effective way. Nelson Mandela’s name comes up often as a great leader. Mandela spent 27 years in prison.

He went into prison as an angry young man, but after a while he realized that his anger way toxic to himself, so he became curious about why the whites treated the blacks so badly. He started talking to his jailers to understand them.  He learned that the reason whites treated the blacks badly was because they were afraid of the blacks—that’s why whites were persecuting blacks.  And when he got out of prison, his advisors were telling him they could not take revenge on the whites.

But Mandela said no, and he addressed the fears of the whites, not the bitterness of the whites. That’s why he was a remarkable leader, because he could address the unconscious and irrational elements.  Robert Mugabe in former Rhodesia did exactly the opposite, and Zimbabwe is a mess now: same kind of history, same kind of resources, same legacy of white rule, different black leadership, so different results—success in South Africa and failure in Zimbabwe.

Not everyone has what it takes to be Nelson Mandela…

Well actually almost everyone does.  In today’s environment you get a lot of would be leaders playing to fear and exaggerating it, basically manipulating people into supporting them because of fear, so that they can justify behaving in an authoritarian manner.

Hitler and Stalin did that. Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are examples today. It’s an old trick: generate and exacerbate fear among the people, and manipulate them into following your fabricated solutions—it’s narcissistic and pathological.  There are lots of ‘top executives’ who operate this way too.  There is a lot of current research that identifies that the character traits of many CEOs are the same as those of psychopaths.  

If you exercise leadership today, you can’t understand things by only working on yourself—like getting personal coaching—because you’re trapped in a system that you don’t understand.  Of course you have to understand the psychological dynamics that drive you, but you need to understand what drives those around you too.

And how shall we escape the system in which we are trapped?

----> Read the entire interview in a PDF


Click Image for more information
Jack D. Wood, Professor of Management Practice and Organisational Behaviour at the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai, China; Emeritus Professor of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour at the International Management Development Institute (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Visiting Professor at the Moscow School of Management (Skolkovo) in Russia.

Unternehmensführung: es geht um Menschen, nicht Systeme.

von Hüseyin Özdemir Durch meine fast 30-jährige Erfahrung in den Bereichen Führu

von Hüseyin Özdemir

Durch meine fast 30-jährige Erfahrung in den Bereichen Führung, Strategie- und Organisationsentwicklung sowie Coaching, stelle ich als Experte in diesem Bereich immer wieder fest, dass der einzelne Mensch im System zu wenig berücksichtig wird, was fatale Folgen für den Unternehmenserfolg birgt:

Steigende Fluktuation, schlechtere Leistung, Motivationslosigkeit und fehlendes Commitment des einzelnen Mitarbeiters. Oft wird zwar an den Folgen gearbeitet, aber das Hauptproblem wird nicht ausreichend beachtet oder erst, wenn das Kind schon in den Brunnen gefallen ist.

Ich und mein Team, werden genau dann von Firmen engagiert, wenn z.B. aufgrund schlechter Ergebnisse einer Mitarbeiterbefragung oder anderweitiger Probleme, die Herausforderungen für das Unternehmen so gross sind, dass sie es alleine nicht mehr stemmen können.

Die einzelnen Unternehmen haben zuvor schon vielfältige Massnahmen getroffen und Ihren Angestellten unzählige Angebote offeriert; dennoch werden diese entweder nicht angenommen oder es führt nicht zum gewünschten Ziel.

Executive MBA – immer populärer

In fast allen Fällen, kristallisiert sich heraus, dass die Problematik auf die Leadership Ebene zurückzuführen ist. Im BWL Studium werden zukünftigen Führungskräfte kaum oder sehr mangelhaft mit Theorien zu den verschiedenen Führungsmodellen vertraut gemacht, und wie diese umzusetzen und anzuwenden sind, wird gar nicht erst erprobt.

Junge BWL Absolventen werden somit nicht auf Ihre Führungsrolle vorbereit, und dieser Zustand ist im heutigen Zeitalter nicht mehr haltbar. Dies ist mit ein Grund, weshalb Executives MBA`s immer populärer werden.

Es ist ein Irrglaube, dass Führung und Tagesgeschäft einfach so nebeneinander herlaufen können

Erst dort werden die Führungsverantwortlichen mit der Vielschichtigkeit Ihrer Rolle, den gestellten Erwartungen an sie und hilfreichen Instrumenten und praxisnahen Modellen vertraut gemacht, die sie innerhalb dieses Studiums erproben, vertiefen und anwenden können.

Durch eine Feedbackstruktur, Erkennen der eigenen Defizite und das Arbeiten daran, mit Tools und dem Austausch mit weiteren Führungsverantwortlichen aus anderen Unternehmen, werden die angehenden Top Manager in ihrer eigenen Rolle bestärkt.  Dieses neugewonnene Wissen und Können trägt er in sein Unternehmen.

Das ist es, worauf es ankommt: An sich arbeiten und sich weiterentwickeln.

Gute Führung benötigt Zeit und ein klares Rollenverständnis

Die Führung von Menschen ist eine anspruchsvolle Aufgabe. Oft müssen in Unternehmen erst wieder neue Strukturen geschaffen werden, damit die Führungskraft überhaupt, neben dem Alltagsgeschäft, wieder Zeit hat, seine Mitarbeitenden zu führen.

Es ist ein Irrglaube, dass dies nebenherlaufen kann. Nein:  gute Führung benötigt Zeit und ein klares Rollenverständnis. Fehlende Führung oder fehlerhaftes Führungsverhalten wird von den Mitarbeiteten früher oder später, direkt oder indirekt, abgestraft und dies wiederum spiegelt sich langfristig in der ganzen Unternehmenskultur wieder.

Es ist oft ein langer und emotionaler Weg, verlorengegangenes Vertrauen und starre Strukturen, die aufgrund von schlechter Führung über Jahre geprägt worden sind, wieder hin zu einem positiven und offenen Miteinander zu entwickeln.

Um die Executives in Ihrer Rolle und in Ihrer Führung zu unterstützen, haben wir in Kooperation mit dem Lorange Institute of Business Zürich eine aus ähnlichen Angeboten herausragende Ausbildung entwickelt, um die oben genannten Führungsproblematiken anzugehen.

Zielgerichtete und lösungsorientierte Weiterbildung

Die Weiterbildung ist zielgerichtet und lösungsorientiert aufgebaut. Teilnehmer werden befähigt, ihr Führungsverhalten unter vielen Gesichtspunkten zu reflektieren. Dabei versuchen wir, die Existenzberechtigung vieler Wahrheiten zu berücksichtigen und, unter Berücksichtigung des Kontextes, Handlungsoptionen aufzuzeigen.

Organisationen und ihre Kulturen sind komplexe Systeme. Wir begleiten Menschen unter Einbezug der persönlichen, der team- und der organisationalen Ebene. Durch kontinuierliche Selbstentwicklung der Teilnehmer werden deren fachliche und persönliche Fähigkeiten erweitert.

Ich persönlich sehe sowohl diese persönliche Auseinandersetzung mit dem eigenen Führungsverhalten unter Berücksichtigung des organisationalen Kontextes als auch die berufliche und auch persönliche Weiterentwicklung als Erfolgsfaktor für eine gelungene Führungsfunktion.


Systemisches Denken, also unser Selbstverständnis und unsere Haltung, begleitet uns in der Beratungs- und Coachingarbeit. Systemisches Denken und Handeln ist auch der Coaching-Ansatz dieser Weiterbildung: Executive Coaching „Next Level Leadership 2.0“.

Unsere zertifizierten Absolventinnen und Absolventen der Weiterbildung werden befähigt, als interner und externer Coach praxisnah und lösungsorientiert auf Ihre zukünftigen Aufgaben zuzugehen. Durch kontinuierliche Selbstentwicklung der Teilnehmer werden deren fachliche und persönliche Fähigkeiten erweitert.

Innerhalb des Executive Coaching „Next Level Leadership 2.0“ Basics Programm erwerben die Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmer wichtige und grundlegende Kompetenzen für die Arbeit als Leading-Coach.

Aufbauend erstreckt sich dann unser Executive Coaching Advanced Programm. Den Schwerpunkt kann die Teilnehmerin bzw. Teilnehmerselbst wählen. Hauptaugenmerk liegt hierbei auf und den immer grösser werdenden Anforderungen als Führungskraft und ihren Herausforderungen, gerade im Zeitalter der Digitalisierung, der Internationalisierung und der Globalisierung.


Dr. phil. Hüseyin Özdemir, Dipl.Oec., Geschäftsführer oezpa GmbH. Akademie und Consulting.



Programm am Lorange Institute of Business

Unsere Executive Coaching Weiterbildung „Next Level Leadership 2.0“ soll Ihnen bei der Gestaltung dieser Herausforderungen Wegbegleiter sein.

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How much Growth trough trade with China?

Dear reader I wonder if you are aware that the trade between Switzerland and China accounts for 4% o

Dear reader

I wonder if you are aware that the trade between Switzerland and China accounts for 4% of the annual Swiss GDP. And did you know that the Chinese manufacturing labor costs (2014) were higher than those in Romania? Chinese labor costs rose by an annual average of 17% in 12 years. The old rule of thumb that China is [only] a manufacturer and [only] sells in Europe is not true anymore.

China is an economy that increasingly focuses on services and that is one reason why many Chinese companies are suddenly investing in Europe. There are, however, obstacles for Chinese companies when they are trying to enter other overseas markets. They often need to overcome hurdles such as claims of ideological incompatibility, concerns that they are threats to national security and suggestions of unfair competition.

All these questions formed the background for the CEIBS 2nd Europe Forum on May 20 in Zurich (which was the second of four stops: Munich, Zurich, London and Paris). From early in the morning, some 240 people gathered at UBS’s renowned conference center building located a stone’s throw away from the legendary “Paradeplatz,” the heart of Switzerland’s financial center.

The morning was filled with talks and panel discussions; the afternoon was rounded out with excellent presentations such as the one given by Nicolas Musy. He is the co-founder and President of the Board at Swiss Center Shanghai. He drew on the findings of the Center’s latest survey, which included interesting and surprising insights such as the ones I have mentioned in the first paragraph.

You’ll find a longer summary of the morning sessions on the CEIBS website (including the speeches by H.E. Geng Wenbing, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, People’s Republic of China to Switzerland, Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, State Secretary and Director of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and Prof. Ding Yuan, as well as two panel discussions).


In the morning, Prof. Ding Yuan said that the main motives for Chinese companies to go abroad were to obtain resources and skills that they can then use to perform even better in their home market. In the afternoon, the challenges for foreign companies working in China were the subject of four workshops.

The first was on the challenges of working in private and China’s state-owned enterprises. It was presented by John-James Farquharson, Head of Corporate H.R. at Conzzeta AG, Zurich.

He explained how SASAC, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, supervises 117 companies worth 15 trillion USD and highlighted a few specific state-owned enterprise (SOE) characteristics, like the fact that they tend to discuss the numbers and top-down objectives whereas Western companies usually know the numbers and discuss objectives. And the fact that they are caught in the dilemma of being profitable while keeping people employed. If any company starts working with an SOE, they must be able to deal with organization complexity and ambiguity and also be willing to spend time in remote places.

In addition, Angela Qu, Group Vice President for Supply Chain Management, ABB, spoke about supply chain management challenges in the Chinese market, Peter Lennhag, President of Asia Pacific Executive Advisors, unveiled his six winning strategies for companies in China, and Jean-Luc Meier, co-founder of “Strategic Expansion Solutions,” spoke about corporate diplomacy in China.

You’ll find more pictures and a video on our website.

Peter Lorange

Hiring strategies: how to find talents among Generation Y / Millenials

Dear reader A few weeks ago we organized a workshop on millennials called „Generation Y“

Dear reader

A few weeks ago we organized a workshop on millennials called Generation Y with speakers such as book author Steffi Burkhart („The Y-Mindset“) and Generation Y speaker Simon Schnetzer. (there is a picture gallery on our website)