Pre Conference Day Programme (June 6)

Join us for a workshop about teaching and developing leadership in business schools. We will discuss the big questions of how to best teach and develop leadership (both current methods and ideas for the future) and what our impact on leadership instruction and curricula can – or ought – to be.


The goal of this specific day on leadership development is to create a community of scholars and practitioners dedicated to leadership development. Specifically, that community would serve three goals:

(1) sharing best practices in evidence-based leadership development

(2) addressing some of the bigger issues/questions in leadership development

(3) influencing policy and practice with insights, within but also beyond business school

Fundamental Questions

These questions on leadership development were raised at prior NDLR conferences but never fully addressed.

(1) Definition: Is leadership development distinct from other, more general development efforts? If different, how and how do these definitional distinctions impact research and teaching?

(2) Accreditation: How do we make sure that not just anyone can be a leadership developer? Are we satisfied with the idea that leadership development is flooded with practitioners with little accreditation? What are the necessary competencies and certifications that individuals need to develop leaders?

(3) Burning Issues: What are burning issues and questions that we as a field have yet to tackle? What is hindering the field of leadership development to move forward in a systematic way?

(4) Assessment: What steps need to be taken to make sure that we are able to assess whether our efforts in terms of leadership development work?  


June 6

8.30 - 9.00: Coffee & Registration

9.00 - 9.15: Introduction & Kick-off

9.15 - 9.45: Round 1a: Discussions in small groups

9.45 - 10.30: Round 1b: Plenary discussion

10.30 - 10.45: Break

10.45 - 11.15: Round 2a: Discussions in small groups

11.15 - 12.00: Round 2b: Plenary discussion 

12.00 - 12.30: Concluding thoughts by Bruce Avolio (Foster School of Business)

12.30 - 14.00: Lunch

14.00 - 15.30: Round 3a: Discussion in small groups

15.30 - 15.45: Break

15.45 - 17.00: Round 3b: Plenary Discussion

17.00 - 17.15: Concluding thoughts by Mike Beer (Harvard Business School & True Point

17.15 – 18.00: Reception

18.30 - 20.00: Dinner in Rotterdam

Sharing your best practice

To make this day maximally interesting and useful, we wanted to ask you to participate in an activity to help prepare for this conference. Specifically, we are hoping you will join us in writing a document of maximum 2 pages that showcases a leadership development tool/activity/assignment/approach/philosophy/program (you can make it as broad or a specific as you want) that shows the potential to make a significant impact in terms of developing leaders by May 20. Please send this to Pisitta Vongswasdi ( You can download an example of the written document here.  

Essentially, this may include the (1) learning objectives, (2) what it is (description of the exercise itself, including practicalities), (3) why it works, (4) when it works (what evidence to suggest that it works). The goal of this is to encourage you to think more critically about what you teach, but more importantly, to build collective knowledge in our community. We will collect the different best practices that you send us and print a small booklet that summarizes these exercises, which you can take home after the program, and will also be used as a basis of small groups discussion in the afternoon session of this pre-day conference.