Teaching of self-awareness to young future business leaders – simple yet visionary idea

philippe_naert_276x160Teaching of self-awareness to young future business leaders – simple yet visionairy idea from Professor Naert (Dean of AMS)

At a recent Procter & Gamble Alumni event Professor Naert shared his vision on how to develop young talent. Professor Naert has been called a serial Dean with amongst other, being the Dean of INSEAD for 4 year. He has developed a unique business driven vision on what future leadership should aspire to and more importantly how it can be installed in young promising talent.

Professor Naert is now Dean of the Antwerp Management School (AMS). He shared the Mission (here below) of the full time executive management program that has been developed three years ago .


What stroke me right away are the three central key pillars of the Mission statement that are focussed on “soft” skills :  self awareness, global perspective and social consciousness.

In particular, seeing Self awareness I found very encouraging. Today I still meet quite some leaders that consider the importance given in my teams to personal and team dynamic awareness trainings disproportionate.  Over the years I have become however convinced that these skills have huge returns on investments.

School Association – a challenging but rewarding collaborative environment

Starting many years ago, as president of the primary school parent  association I have come to realize that you can have massive impact with helping school management creating an efficient collaborative platform and energize both parents and teachers to work togethers using traditional management tools. Brainstorming, basic business Planning and documenting key processes have made  a huge difference in building a much more sustainable parent organization.

But in an environment of schools and lots of volunteers I have found that my biggest contribution has always been to address the emotional conflicts to secure the right engagement of the volunteers to deliver our projects despite the many obstacles. At the time however I did not have any easy management tools to help the school and parent volunteers to improve their self-awareness and to help avoid major internal personality clashes which were often driven by just major differences in personal profiles.

Insights training, a game changer in building stronger teams

Over my professional career I have worked with many personal and team assessment tools (MBTI/TEAM ASSESSMENT) but non really stuck for very long.  Three years ago, I introduced at Mobistar as CMO a new tool called Insights (4 color system). Since then I have found this tool to be the cornerstone management tool to enable personal and team self awareness. I started with at that time the 150 marketeer but today over 800 people followed it at Mobistar. The program, to be impact full cannot be reduced to a short program: it actually is quite a big commitment consists of a 3 day self and team awareness program .

I found over the years that this is a unique tool for people to discover themselves and accelerate a team dynamic.  On an individual level it lays a fertile ground for coaching and on a team level it lays a great layer of Trust which is key to be able to build strong engaged teams. More recently, we have developed leadership modules for the managers that are based on Insights as well and are helping managers in new ways to better connect with their team and create better collaboration

Know yourself ! 

However, the biggest surprise from this program was to discover how little people really know about themselves and how little skills they had accumulated over their careers on how to read other people they interacted with and how to use the different energies in their teams in a synergistic way. Even more surprisingly is the amount of people that came to my office to tell me in confidence that the biggest impact of acquiring these skills was at home with their partner and with their kids…

So thank you Mr Naert for this inspiring evening and helping build BMqIzogCYAA2Ou8these great future leaders !

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