Resetting managerial mindsets

An international management masters program utilises a unique approach structured around five managerial mindsets (reflective, analytical, worldly, collaborative, action). The program breaks away from the traditional lecture format where the professor is considered the expert in the room, focusing instead on sessions that are designed to involve all participants, enabling them to transfer knowledge with their colleagues – and learning from each other’s insights and suggestions.

Focused on five managerial mindsets rather than functional competencies, the International Masters in Practicing Management (IMPM) is a program that encourages participants to consider their own business ambitions and issues from a variety of perspectives and does not rely on case studies. The mindsets (Reflective, Analytic, Worldly, Collaborative and Action) cultivate a participant’s potential by fostering an on-going critical reflective practice based on their own situation and experiences.

The IMPM is delivered by business schools in five countries: England, Canada, India, China and Brazil. Each School hosts a 10-day module that is based on a different mindset and is designed around the actual experiences and needs of the participating managers and their organizations. Participants are recruited based on significant managerial practise and are expected to share competencies with each other based on their experience within the context of the concepts and frameworks presented by faculty.

Throughout the IMPM, learning takes the form of a constant exchange of ideas and insights, as executives move back and forth between management concepts and their experiences, reflecting upon them individually and together. The IMPM is international and focuses on the world around the manager: from a political, social, legal standpoint – in order that participants can explore different perspectives and gain a true appreciation of other perspectives. It is as Asian as it is European or American, offering participants an authentically cross-cultural experience, and by immersing participants in each culture creating deep insights.

Although each module is separate and distinct, and reflects the culture and business practices of the host country, the program as a whole is linked by the faculty from beginning to end as an integrated experience. Each cycle of IMPM has a director who leads the continuity of learning, and each participant belongs to a tutorial group whose tutor also supports the continuity of learning.

Several elements within the IMPM ground the learning for the participants and also enable them to have an impact within their organization. At each module the Participants spend time reflecting on their learning and journaling this within what is called their “Insight” book. As one past participant termed it, the “best management book she had ever read”.

A second major element is IMpact. After every module each participant undertakes various activities that take the learning back to their colleagues and then also take some action on the learning. Some participants have a team within the organization with which they share the learning or undertake a project with their team. Reflection papers written after each module take into account the concepts learned, how they are applied and then what the learning has been from the actions taken.

Finally, between two of the modules each participant undertakes a management exchange, a process whereby participants are paired up and spend several days at each other’s organization, sharing observations that provide feedback and insights from a fresh perspective.

Filed in: Accompanying leaders in their transformation, Collaboratory, Institutions as role models, Issue-centered learning, Reflective practice and fieldwork
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