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Headspring Executive Development

FT and IE Business School launch ‘Headspring’ to strengthen their position in the executive development sector


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Faced with multiple disruptive market shifts, digitization, AI, and changing attitudes to the role of business in society the business leader’s role is complex and demanding. Today, more than ever the business world needs strong and capable leaders, confident to take on the challenges of the future and more than ever exemplary executive and organizational development provision is a global priority.

The innovative collaboration between the Financial Times and IE Business School, launched in 2015, as the Corporate Learning Alliance, has been a major success in delivering high-quality sophisticated executive development. This month, as a result of rapid expansion and success of their collaboration the Financial Times and IE Business School has relaunched and rebranded this initiative as Headspring.

The rebrand is a result of a new approach towards greater client centricity and value creation in the leadership development sector.

“HR and L&D communities are being under-served by traditional executive education providers,” says Gustaf Nordbäck, CEO of Headspring, and by “a self-centred method in program design and delivery. Headspring, as an executive development provider, aims to tackle these issues by offering a unique and fully customised approach: co-creating journeys that will empower people and ultimately create value for businesses."

Headspring leverages the expertise of its joint venture partners. The business acumen, academic rigour and innovative approach of IE Business School is combined with the global viewpoints and skills of influential Financial Times journalists, who bring a fresh and new perspective into executive education.

John Ridding, CEO of the Financial Times, says: “Since we launched the partnership with IE Business School in 2015 we have seen our approach—deep engagement with customers, a focus on outcomes, and effective deployment of the skills, the knowledge, and sector and global expertise of our journalists—really gain the confidence of clients. With the rapid changes in business, driven by digital technology, AI and other fast-rising capabilities, business leaders need flexible, current and relevant expertise and education. Headspring is uniquely positioned to deliver.”

Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, President of IE University, says: “IE Business School has always taken an entrepreneurial and future-focused approach to executive education. Its network of educators and innovative methodologies have a strong business-related character, which complements the assets the FT brings to our customised executive programs.”

“In creating our alliance, we introduced a worldwide network of leading and like-minded partner institutions into the mix, together with a global educator network which ties us to no single academic institution or faculty. Headspring builds on this with an even stronger commitment to delivering programs that are centred around the individual needs of every client.”

Since its original launch as the Corporate Learning Alliance, Headspring has brought in clients attracted by the innovative and value-creation approach and the ability to introduce new perspectives into executive learning.

"Too often educational providers fail to listen to what businesses need from their executive development," says Nordbäck. "They prefer to teach what they’ve been teaching for years, offering training on skills development for its own sake, with insufficient understanding of the future business landscape. The speed of change, digital transformation and innovation are having a huge impact. We believe our unique style and brand have a crucial role to play in helping companies cope and succeed in a rapidly changing world."


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