The Executive Boot camp is a five-day program designed to provide high potential delegates in the organization with thinking skills, processes and frameworks for developing business strategy, solving problems, making decisions, leveraging creative thinking, improving communication and team effectiveness. Research shows that these skills are key to differentiating the successful from the unsuccessful business leaders around the world.
The course introduces a common language and a client-driven approach to achieve the objectives of the program. Due to the intensive and demanding nature of the program, it is conducted either as a residential (or onsite) course or virtually in a series of modules with inter-module “homework” conducted in teams. The Executive Boot Camp is not for everybody – but for those who qualify, the experience is demanding, highly rewarding and career-enhancing.
A high-level framework provides connections among the business environment, the mission of the organization, client-driven critical success factors and the organization’s value proposition. The tools that are introduced integrate well with project management techniques and with process improvement methodologies (Six Sigma, CMM, BPR, Design Thinking, etc.).
Emphasis is placed on training in and the application of the Business Management Discipline (BMD) and creative thinking techniques (Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats and Lateral Thinking methods) to improve skills and performance in the areas of:
- Strategic thinking and strategy development,
- Problem analysis, prioritization, problem-solving and decision-making capabilities,
- Creative thinking skills to drive innovation,
- Group Dynamics – improving team member engagement and inclusion, the efficiency and effectiveness of communication and decision-making processes, and working across multi-functional and multi-dimensions,
- Leadership skills.
Course Process and Flow
The Executive Boot Camp opens with an introduction designed to build a strong network across the group; this is ultimately one of the key benefits of the program over the long term. Peter Drucker’s Theory of the Business model is leveraged to provide additional context. Other models used to formulate business strategy and a client-focused value proposition are introduced, as well.
Outputs from the application of these models are then applied as part of a process designed to increase clarity of the mission and objectives of the business area(s) sponsoring the program. Pre and post course scores have shown dramatic improvement in the clarity of the organization’s mission and objectives as a result of the program. The BMD is then introduced and personal styles are examined as part of the process utilizing an assessment instrument (e.g. HBDI, DiSC, Social Styles – based on the preferences of the client organization).
The course mixes theory with industry and client-specific case study applications and the use of “action learning” – application of what is learned to real issues as part of the course design. Having first developed skills in the use of the primary tools of the program (BMD, Six Thinking Hats, Lateral Thinking, etc.), delegates then apply the techniques to a realistic, complex problem and present their recommendations to senior management as part of the final stage of the program. This creates real pressure to perform, a unique exposure opportunity and frequently leads to recommendations that have real business value as they are implemented post-program.
The real problem statement is designed to reflect current organization challenges, priorities, themes and initiatives (performance improvement, merger integration, dealing with change, outsourcing, off-shoring, etc.). Management’s commitment to follow through on participants’ recommendations ensures reinforcement of the learning process, as well as the benefits of real business value associated with the implementation of ideas to improve performance developed by course delegates. This debriefing experience can be highly motivational for high-potential performers, leading to higher retention rates across the delegate population.
The pace of the program is extremely rapid, reflecting the pace of the current business environment; the design can be tailored to meet the needs of various client groups. The current format calls for an intensive five-day approach with a group of up to 18 participants to maximize the value of the program and the learning process. Modular designs are available.
Senior Managers and former delegates have commented:
- “…this program will be transformative to you in your career…it will change the way you think, making you a real leader…”
- “The techniques we applied from the Boot Camp took our business to the next level…”
- “It changed my life…”