At CIMBA, closing the gap between what is taught as leadership in the traditional business school and how it must be developed for the effective practice of management provides strong motivation for innovation in the learning environment. In this ongoing effort, CIMBA begin looking into neuroscience, specifically neuroscience research as it relates to leadership development, more than five years ago. The neuroscience of leadership is at the frontier of investigation into the brain and the mind, looking at how leaders perceive and interact with the external world. In particular, it investigates how human experience and human biology influence each other. With beneficial insights now flowing almost continuously from ongoing research in this developing field, the neuroscience of leadership is putting “science” into those “soft” skills necessary for the effective practice of management.
Research from the neuroscience of leadership has significantly enhanced the CIMBA learning environment by affecting instructional strategies, improving student managerial communication abilities through the use of express rational thinking processes, and providing our leadership development coaches with more effective tools and techniques for assisting students in developing leadership skills. Importantly, leadership development at CIMBA has moved away from the “textbook” where emphasis is placed on what leadership “looks” like to the “real-world laboratory” where emphasis is placed on how leadership skills are actually developed.
The use of leadership development coaches trained in the neuroscience of leadership as the primary drivers for leadership skills development is unique to CIMBA. In addition to the leadership coaches, professors and process facilitators also have an understanding of the neuroscience of leadership and how it affects the practice of management. The learning environment at CIMBA is thereby focused not only on the "what" in leadership development, but more importantly on the "why" and the "how." In large measure, and particularly over the past year, CIMBA has benefited from an active Leadership Development Board of Advisors led by David Rock, Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, Dr. Barbara Kerr, and Mr. John Case.