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Services of the Institute for Management-Innovation

Our consulting, coaching, and training services utilize innovative and proven methods and insights that are applied in the most successful companies (for example, Hidden Champions or Fortune 500 companies). These valuable insights into best practices, enriched with our many years of practical experience and our research, are used to optimize your personnel and leadership development (see references).


  • Coaching of management and leadership skills
  • Consulting
    - Business-related personality test for consultants and HR practitioners (license training)
    - Leadership development systems for small and medium-sized companies (insights from Hidden Champions)
    - Change of leadership behavior to foster productivity
  • Seminars and training
    - General management program (MBA) tailored to company needs
    - Leadership psychology with a focus on leadership development
    - The most effective leadership skills (theory and practice)


Our coaching approach

We see coaching as a results-oriented, consultative dialogue between peers. The first step in the process is to jointly define a set of objectives or expected results, which can range from solutions to everyday problems in your professional or private life to answers to fundamental questions about your personal and career development. Typical topics include career path, special talents, personality traits, expertise (strengths and weaknesses), values and ideals. Drawing on multiple empirical studies based on responses from up to 30,000 managers, we can show you which strategies work best in practice – and which are destined for failure.

Coaching – main areas of focus

 ✔ Management coaching for high potentials: Diagnosis (strengths and weaknesses) and enhancement of management expertise in a specific area of responsibility.

Goals and benefits: The primary goal is to prepare high potentials to take on management and leadership responsibility. Our coaching is designed to empower the target group to shape and master their area of responsibility in a measurable, KPI-based way. The area of responsibility selected for analysis could be a short or long-term project, a cost centre, a department, a profit centre or a company. Whatever the scenario, the target group requires specific expertise in order to successfully fulfil their management duties. 

Test: Focusing on the 20 most important management skills, this online test enables you to self-assess your strengths, weaknesses and potential. The test is free of charge and does not require you to either register or submit your email address.

✔ Leadership coaching for experienced managers: How to act as a role model and develop an authentic leadership style – earning you a level of respect and appreciation that empowers you to exert greater influence over employee performance.

Goals and benefits: Our research has enabled us to determine the key strengths of the most (commercially) successful leaders. To find out which areas you need to focus on, start by identifying your personal strengths and weaknesses by taking our tried-and-trusted online test. Our leadership coaching includes the creation of a concept that defines steps that will ensure your employees are loyal, show a willingness to take on responsibility, develop team spirit, exhibit self-discipline and see change as an opportunity to learn. Here is some free advice that may convince you to sign up right away: Traditional goal-setting, “incentives” and pressure in all its demotivating forms are not the way to achieve sustainable change in the aforementioned behavioural patterns.

✔ Test: Focusing on the 6 most important leadership skills, this online test enables you to self-assess your strengths, weaknesses and potential. The test is free of charge and does not require you to either register or submit your email address (English version can be provided on demand). 

Personal development plan for leaders and high potentials

Maximize the fun and success you experience at work by tailoring your expertise, values and personality traits to the demands of your current role and the prevailing corporate culture.

Perhaps you are looking to steer your career in the direction of general management or one of the seven alternatives to the “management pathway” (see our article on career opportunities for more details)? Whatever your plans, your strengths need to match not only the requirements for the next step on the career ladder, but also the corporate culture within your organization. This may require the systematic development or enhancement of the strengths required and the overcoming or neutralization of weaknesses.

An effective personal development plan contains more than just goals and courses of action, and should also include other attractive opportunities – your Plan  B, C and D, so to speak. We offer our coaching in two tailored packages: Our short-term plans target immediate behavioural improvements, whereas our long-term plans enable you to not only define and realize your vision, but also measure whether you’ve implemented it with the desired level of success.

>> To find out more, please visit our personal development plan page


Our consulting approach

We see consulting as the implementation of tried-and-trusted knowledge and best practices. You might be considering self-managed consulting, and the do-it-yourself approach is certainly an option – in theory. But you would require considerably more time than an experienced specialist.

Consulting services (selected examples)

✔ Licensing of our Business-related Personality Test (BPT), including guidance for coaches, trainers, management consultants and personnel managers 

Skills, knowledge, know-how and technology are relatively easy to purchase or develop. In the case of personality traits, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Hard-wired into us at birth or forged in early childhood, personality traits are deep-rooted characteristics that shape our behaviour over the long term.

As such, personality traits are an ideal basis for the prediction of future behaviour and performance. This applies not only to positive traits such as enthusiasm, ambition, energy, willpower and willingness to learn, but also negative characteristics such as narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathic behaviour.

Personality tests are an established means of assessing personality traits. With specialist personality tests focusing on professional life unfortunately few and far between, the Institute for Management Innovation has developed its own test based on a sample of around 30,000 participants. 

Trainers, consultants, coaches and personnel managers can adopt the test into their management and leadership development activities by completing a consulting programme and purchasing a license to use it with their customers, clients and employees. The license includes the test itself (online and in paper form) as well as all training materials required. The test is dealt with in detail in our book Winning Personalities, which is available separately.  Examples of goals which can be achieved using the test suite include:

  • Gain a better understanding of internal and external character strengths and weaknesses as a basis for enhanced interaction with other people and deeper insights into human nature;
  • Create a platform for self-development and greater self-confidence by gaining a clearer perspective on personal identity, barriers and opportunities;
  • Formulate authentic goals (the implementation of which is determines by character traits);
  • Improve communication skills and powers of persuasion by selecting personality-oriented arguments;
  • Engage in constructive critical analysis of the prevailing professional situation (specific personality traits may (not) be compatible with the prevailing corporate culture);
  • Develop the ability to reliably identify personality disorders such as narcissism, Machiavellianism and passive-aggressive behaviour;
  • Provide career guidance and realistically assess a variety of career opportunities that each require a specific set of personality traits (e.g. entrepreneurial creativity);
  • Gain an enhanced understanding of different types of personality as a basis for more effective communication and conflict resolution skills;
  • Assess candidates’ suitability for specific tasks in a more efficient and reliable way than traditional assessment centres;
  • Effective team-building through matching personalities of team members. 

This list is non-exhaustive and could include almost any other goal throughout the spectrum of personal development and personnel management.

>> To find out more, please visit our Business-related Personality Test page.

✔ Personnel and management development for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

As a general rule, SMEs and start-ups lack the resources required for the implementation of professional, scientifically substantiated personnel and management development. The recruitment of employees solely responsible for the execution of the tasks involved is almost always unviable, even though personnel quality is just as – if not more – important than at large companies. In addition, SMEs are disadvantaged by the fact that they generally lack the appeal of better-known brands. They therefore need to find other ways to attract talent. These companies can learn a lot from Hidden Champions (insights form our empirical research and co-operation with these companies). 

The Institute for Management Innovation is here to help with professional, scientifically substantiated systems that can be tailored to the special requirements of SMEs. Examples of our projects and services include:

  • The analysis and enhancement of employee and customer satisfaction as a basis for profitable growth;
  • The use of enhanced internal leadership, communication and cooperation to boost productivity;
  • The optimization of employee expertise as a means of streamlining processes and reducing frictional loss;
  • The analysis and targeted selection of employees who best fit the prevailing corporate culture;
  • The implementaion of common values that improve the working environment;
  • Motivational performance reviews for employees and managers;
  • The implementation of a transformational and agile leadership style which works particularly well in combination with flat hierarchies;
  • The improvement of employees’ ability to work in a team and develop team spirit (not to be confused with superficially harmonious cooperation!);
  • The fostering of autonomy and self-management among employees.

✔ 360° feedback on the agile adaptation of management culture to a change in circumstances

The management culture at companies (and other organizations) is all too frequently stuck deep in a self-perpetuating rut and difficult or even impossible to change with the aid of material incentives, rational arguments, pressure from “upstairs ” or vision/mission statements yielded by well-meaning but ultimately futile workshops.

One solution is to start by tackling the behavioural patterns observed during day-to-day activities. Once they have been identified and reflected upon, it is vital that specific changes are targeted and the successful implementation thereof reviewed. 360° feedback has proven to be one of the most effective instruments when it comes to adapting behaviour to a change in circumstances or requirements. For detailed information, take a look at our 360° feedback  page. The process includes the following steps:

  • Identification of future requirements (as determined by political, economic and technological factors)
  • Definition of the personality traits, values and expertise managers and employees need to have (target profile)
  • Diagnosis of prevailing values, expertise, personality traits and patterns of behaviour (current profile)
  • Comparison of the strengths of leaders with those of competitors 
  • Planning and selection of most effective development actions
  • Implementation of multiple measures, and in particular personal development plans
  • Review of the results achieved (both tangible results and changes in behaviour)
  • Implementation of corrective measures (if required).

Training (seminars)

General Management programme (German/English)

The Leadership module and Corporate Simulation Game are taken from our General Management programme and delivered as part of the Executive MBA at THM as well as internationally for a variety of firms. The module description (syllabus) for the Leadership module is available as a pdf download via the following link: MBA Effective Leadership Syllabus. The English-language Corporate Simulation Game can be accessed by clicking the following link: Corporate Simulation Game. 

Our General Management programme is a compact, company-specific MBA programme and has proven its worth many times over at a wealth of prestigious firms over the years (see our References page). Each module is delivered as a two to three-day block. Companies can also opt to review the success of the learning process using a specially designed test.

  • Module 1: Entrepreneurial thought and action – the Corporate Simulation Game
    Participants learn how a business works, how to manage it and what key factors enable it to compete successfully with its rivals. The module enables them to continuously enhance their entrepreneurial decision-making and practice optimizing business processes in a turbulent context. To find out more, please visit our Corporate and leadership simulation games page.
  • Module 2: Strategic marketing, business plan
    Using either practical examples from their own organization or specially selected case studies, participants hone their ability to draw up commercially convincing business plans for their area of responsibility – be it a product, project or profit/cost centre.
  • Module 3: Controlling and cost management
    Having focused on increasing sales during the second module (marketing), the participants now shift their attention to decreasing costs. In addition to familiarizing themselves with key budgeting and cost control methods, they also gain insights into process optimization in terms of cost, quality and time.
  • Module 4: Effective leadership, motivation and goal achievement
    This module sees participants go through 360-degree feedback (or another diagnostic process) as a basis for the development and/or enhancement of the management and leadership expertise essential to the achievement of the goals defined for their area of responsibility.
  • Module 5: Colleague-to-colleague coaching (peer coaching). 

The theoretical expertise gained in previous modules is applied to a practical example in a way which contributes to the achievement of more productive and/or profitable results. This involves colleague-to-colleague coaching and consulting as well as a performance review, which should ideally involve feedback from participants’ superiors.

Download: Click the link for a pdf download of the flyer for our General Management programme.

Seminar and training: Personnel and leadership psychology

This seminar will see you learn key methods and concepts in the field of management and personnel psychology. By enhancing your understanding of employee behaviour and reflecting on your own behaviour, you will in turn improve your decision-making in a personnel context. This applies not only to recruitment, selection, development, promotion and loyalty, but also to your ability to lead and motivate your employees effectively. Each module includes practical exercises that can be adopted straight into your day-to-day work. In addition to communication within the context of employee feedback, performance reviews and conflict resolution, areas of focus also include strategies for problem employees and situations. 

  • Module 1: Aptitude testing
    - Overview and key terms
    - Goals and role of personnel psychology
    - Aptitude testing – step-by-step
    - “Quality” within the context of aptitude testing (quality criteria, theory and practice)
  • Module 2: Personnel selection and evaluation
    - Fundamentals of talent management
    - Needs analysis and matching
    - Personnel selection and assessment – step-by-step
    - Criteria for personnel selection processes
  • Module 3: Personnel and leadership development
    - Assessing performance and potential
    - Careers, personal perspectives and “meaning”
    - Methods: Interviews, coaching, role play, case studies, simulation games (among others)
    - Employee reviews, dealing with critical situations
  • Module 4: Leadership, motivation and volition
    - Overview: Leadership, styles, personality, models
    - From motivation to volition
    - Transformational (agile) leadership
    - Emotional intelligence and stress management
  • Module 5: Workshop including the practical application of the content covered in the first four modules