Next Generation Leader Program at IBM iX

Authors: Katrin Johl, Julia Krauß

Collage of Next Generation Leader Participants 2022

The Next Generation Leader program at IBM iX is designed for employees who show potential and interest in growing into a leadership role. Over the course of one year, the program helps participants to find out what kind of potential future leader they want to be and what skills they need to get there.

We want to enable our aspiring leaders to become the best leaders they can be. That’s why we created the Next Generation Leader (NGL) program for employees who show interest in growing into a leadership role and launched this at our Studio in Berlin in March 2018. After starting as a pilot in 2018, the NGL program has been constantly developed and redesigned into a valuable and targeted initiative for talented young employees. As a result of the overwhelmingly positive feedback from all the participants in Berlin, it has also been rolled out at other IBM iX locations in the DACH region and Croatia.

One career – more than one path

We are aware that every employee has individual needs and ideas when it comes to their career. That’s why employees at IBM iX have the opportunity to choose between two leadership paths. Depending on their personal preferences, skills portfolio, and business needs, they can either opt for our expert leadership or our people leadership path. As expert leaders, employees manage subject areas in particular depth and with increasing complexity as they progress in their careers. This path also lets them pass on their expertise by consulting on client projects and supporting colleagues’ further development. On the people leadership path, employees lead and manage teams in a disciplinary manner and are responsible for the (further) development of their professional community.

“Know and Design Yourself”

The NGL program serves as an important career accelerator at IBM iX. During one year, participants undertake different modules to learn who they want to be as potential leaders and identify their personal fields of development. “Know & Design Yourself” is the motto of our Next Generation Leader program. Besides multiple leadership development-related activities, the program puts an emphasis on networking with other aspiring leaders. Completing this program equips all the participants with practical, helpful (coaching) tools and allows each of them to make contacts who will be of immense assistance with their career development.

Personal motivation and fair processes

We make sure that the application process considers every applicant’s personal motivation and potential. Every employee is welcome to apply once they have found a sponsor (a colleague with higher seniority) to support them with a recommendation. Participants from IBM iX are selected through an application process that involves all applications being carefully reviewed. We also take diversity & inclusion aspects into account to make certain that applicants are being treated equally and that a multi-faceted cohort is selected. In turn, this ensures that various perspectives are represented within the program.

We are extremely proud of the graduates of our recent NGL program in 2022! Click here, if you want to know what our graduates say about the program and check out our LinkedIn page.

What else drives us