Inner Development Goals for a better leadership world
Many companies invest in training and programs to prepare their leaders for the challenges of business. But in addition to traditional goals such as increasing sales and optimizing efficiency, Inner Development Goals (IDGs) are also gaining importance.
But what exactly are IDGs and why should they matter in leadership development?
Better philosophy, a better leader
Inner Development Goals refer to the personal development and growth of leaders at a deeper level. They focus not only on improving skills and competencies but also on a leader’s inner state and awareness.
IDGs aim to help you as a leader develop your emotional intelligence, self-reflection, values, and leadership philosophy.
Organizations align their leadership development efforts with organizational goals and strategy. Traditionally, leadership development programs have focused primarily on building skills and competencies that are important to the success of the organization.
Sustainability Goals 2030
More and more companies are recognizing that financial success is not the only thing that matters; they also want to contribute to a resource-efficient circular economy to enable a livable future.
With its vision of a Sustainable World in 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations has created a global framework that can serve as a guide for companies.
Unfortunately, since the world is nowhere near on track to achieving the Sustainability Development Goals, the Inner Development Goals were created. These start with the capabilities and attitudes of individuals.
Analyze your values
To align your organization’s leadership culture with the IDGs and thus with sustainability, it makes sense to start by analyzing your existing organizational values, leadership competencies, leadership rules of engagement, and leadership development activities. It is important to assess your current leadership skills and competencies and understand how well they align with your desired IDGs.
A measurable comparison of the existing competency set with the IDGs allows us to determine the degree of overlap. Where are there already strengths and where are there still areas for development? Based on your analysis, a clear goal for the development of the IDGs can be defined.
A Roadmap for Reflection
Once the degree of overlap and the goal is defined, a roadmap for the changed leadership development architecture can be created. This roadmap includes specific training and coaching activities aimed at nurturing and developing IDGs.
For example, programs can be implemented to promote self-reflection, strengthen emotional intelligence or develop a sustainability-oriented leadership personality.
A content example of leadership development geared toward IDGs might be a program to promote mindfulness and stress management. By training leaders in mindfulness techniques, you can learn to be more aware of your inner state, reduce stress, and make more conscious decisions.
This enhances your personal development and helps you stay calm and collected in challenging situations.
Who works with IDG?
Examples of companies working with IDGs include IKEA, Google, and Novartis. The IDG movement started in 2020, so it’s still quite young. But it is spreading rapidly. There are now 350 IDG hubs worldwide and a few new ones are added every week.
Not only the quantitative growth is impressive, but also the depth of content. This is supported by the fact that renowned authors such as Amy Edmonson, Otto Scharma, and Peter Senge are among the supporters, as well as academic partners from Harvard, Stockholm, or Erasmus University.
Integrating IDGs into leadership development can encounter several challenges. For one, it requires a shift in your organizational culture to recognize the value and importance of your internal development. It also requires time and resources to implement appropriate training and programs.
To overcome these challenges, it’s important to raise your awareness of the importance of IDGs and make clear the benefits to individual and corporate development.
Companies can conduct internal communication and awareness campaigns to inform employees about the benefits of IDGs in leadership development.
Promote your learning culture
It can also be helpful to foster a culture of learning and personal development within the company. You can do this by creating learning opportunities, such as mentoring programs, coaching, or internal training.
By allowing your company to provide you as a leader with opportunities to continuously develop and pursue your IDGs, you can create a positive and supportive environment.
So far, no official certification system has been created that can objectively provide transparency on the success of IDG initiatives. But some initiatives are already underway toward measuring the impact of IDGs.
IDGs for a more sustainable planet
Integrating Inner Development Goals (IDGs) into leadership development offers companies the opportunity to develop you as a leader on a deeper level and promote sustainable and authentic leadership.
By clarifying your inner goals and values as a leader and aligning them with your actions, you can contribute not only to the financial success of the company but also to a resource-efficient circular economy and a sustainable future.
By integrating IDGs into their leadership development efforts, companies can create a new generation of leaders who are not only technically competent but also possess inner strength and awareness. This ultimately leads to an attractive corporate culture, long-term success, and a contribution to the creation of a sustainable world.
Mag. Gunther Fürstberger
CEO | MDI Management Development International
Gunther Fürstberger is a management trainer, author and CEO of Metaforum and MDI – a global consulting company providing solutions for leadership development. His main interest is to make the world a better place through excellent leadership. He has worked for clients including ABB, Abbvie, Boehringer Ingelheim, DHL, Hornbach, PWC and Swarovski. His core competence is leadership in digital transformation. He gained his own leadership experience as HR Manager of McDonald’s Central Europe/Central Asia. At the age of 20 he already started working as a trainer.