Program Design

IMPM co-founder Henry Mintzberg describes management as a complex and challenging practice where art, science and craft meet, built on understanding from on-the-job experience. Mintzberg's vision created a reflective, practical and hands-on approach to management development, including ways for individuals to learn how to learn from one another's experience.

Unique Masters Degree Design – Beyond the MBA

In conjunction with the nine-day, five-stop transcontinental nature of IMPM, the program is an alternative to an MBA, integrating five modules that focus on one of five managerial mindsets. Each module is delivered in a different part of the world,providing working managers and leaders direct experience with different cultural contexts. This experience is taken back to their work places and changes are made to their own management practice.

Explore the Five Mindsets


Lancaster, UK

The Reflective Mindset module focuses on the first of the five mindsets; it also is the introduction to the IMPM program, establishing a reflective approach to the entire experience. Set in a relaxed, low-key atmosphere, participants meet across cultures, nations, functions, industries and lives, and quickly embark on engaged explorations of ideas and experiences, including:

  • Discussions about managerial work, personal styles, learning organizations, systems, ethics, the meaning of work and the nature of self
  • Field studies and cultural audits to put the theory into practice. Participants use the cultural web framework to understand the global companies they visit. Then, as executives, they apply the web to their own organizations
  • Self reflection and understanding the individual leadership attributes that each participant brings into the organization

The outcome of this module is quite extraordinary in terms of new experiences, the participants' reactions to others, and the evolution of self-knowledge, which is the prerequisite for leading others and organizations.


Montreal, Canada

In the second module, participants break from the silos of conventional analysis and focus on using all available information for decision-making.

Presentations come from many different perspectives, allowing participants to see the nature and practice of analysis as how it can be applied in organizations. Participants explore how different forms of inquiry can clarify and simplify problems, as well as paralysis, where managers over-analyze a problem rather than moving forward to action. In addition, the challenges brought by “big data” and managing information are explored.

Sessions on complexity within different organizational structures help participants gain perspective when analyzing their own business models. In addition, site visits to companies and organizations provide an opportunity to challenge perspectives and examine analytical and decision-making processes in real time.

Between Modules One and Two, participants improve their financial literacy.


Bangalore, India

The core of this module focuses on the political, social and economic dimensions of developing as well as developed countries. It is built on the assumption that being exposed to other people’s worlds brings insight into one’s own, and this helps make us worldly, wiser and better leaders.

The experience comes alive through visits to different locations that illustrate India’s diversity, from a food market to a software campus, separated by just a few kilometers yet appearing to be centuries apart.

In this East-meets-West context, there is a deep examination of culture and the developing economy, with particular attention on the cultural clash that occurs when multinationals operate in developing countries, shedding light on the challenges participants will face as worldly managers.


Beijing, China

The module in China explores the collaboration and cooperation of individuals and their teams, as well as within and between organizations and governments.

Participants explore a uniquely Chinese perspective on collaboration in the world of business and management, drawing on the traditional process of Guanxi to understand the importance of Harmony and Balance. The module examines the diversity of modern China and ancient China, the rural China and the urban China. Such heterogeneity within the module is helpful to explore managerial collaboration mindsets.

Field trips contrast cutting-edge international companies with World Heritage historical sites, with participants experiencing ideas that force them to reflect on their own and their company’s approach to collaboration.

Some key topics discussed during this module include: Guanxi and management practice in China; a strategic rationale for collaboration; the role of trust in joint ventures and alliances; collaboration among global companies; networks and collaboration; collaboration between companies; and the government role in doing business in China.


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The fifth module, which looks at managing continuity and change, is held at Brazil's top business school, Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration (FGV/EBAPE) in Rio de Janeiro. Managers develop a richer understanding of what is truly change, what is continuity, and what constitutes good action by enacting the interdependence of change and continuity.

Presentations on culture and power, trust and values, and social and government initiatives are delivered through the lens of the “why not” and action mindset. The managers spend time defining what is knowledge in action, particularly in situations of engagement where knowledge, models and mindsets are reframed. In Brazil, participants develop user guides based on the entire IMPM program, then put these guides into action by applying them to an organization that they visit and engage. Feedback is then exchanged and discussed with senior executives in the organization. The impact of this is immediate both for the organization that receives the report and for the managers who apply their learning in another context.

The final part of the module is dedicated to IMPACT presentations—the results of all of the actions, changes and learnings that participants and their organizations have been engaged in. As the IMPACT projects are shared, guidelines for the future are discussed with fellow participants.

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