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IMD to Implement Curriculum Changes that Integrate Real-World Learning and Leadership

Switzerland’s International Institute for Management Development (IMD) is planning several innovations in its 2012 MBA program designed to provide students with more opportunities to integrate what they are learning in the classroom with real-world experiences and leadership opportunities, the school announced this week.

The new IMD MBA program was developed with input from recruiters, alumni and academic research. It will incorporate what IMD is calling a continuous “action learning cycle approach,” which involves integrating classes with live business cases and projects that will allow students to put what they learn in the classroom directly into action.

Specific innovations to the curriculum include the introduction of new program content linked to live cases and projects with start-up companies, SMEs and multinationals, personalized learning and individual coaching, including a personal learning plan and individual projects for each student, and pre-program preparation for incoming students – through online learning, reading or a pre-program immersion course – that ensures that all students have an equal understanding of accounting, finance and statistics before the program starts.

Tomorrow’s leaders will need three linked skill sets, according to IMD MBA Program Director and Professor Martha Maznevski. “They must be able to operate an organization based on classic business fundamentals, to lead themselves and their organizations and to navigate through the uncertain and complex waters of today’s global environment,” she said in a statement.

“Developing the intuition and judgment to act with impact requires an approach where participants can learn, test and reflect in rapid, real world learning cycles,” she continued.

IMD’s new curriculum was developed to provide students with exactly these opportunities, Maznevski added. “It will in essence mean ‘guided on the job leadership training,’” she said, noting that the approach is possible thanks to IMD’s small class size (90 students) and deep connections with business.

The enhanced focus on real-world experiences will dovetail with IMD’s existing comprehensive leadership stream, which includes intense outdoor exercises and group work, peer reviews of personal strengths and weaknesses and a personal development elective.

For more on IMD’s planned curriculum innovations, click here.

Posted in: MBA News

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