Robert Wolfe是THNK创新领导力学校的领导力导师，他当初是作为THNK的领导力导师、故事叙述教练和创新引导者加入THNK团队的。 在此之前，他曾是一名管理培训师，在很多国家担任私人教练，即兴表演演员，他还是一名为年轻人创作科幻小说的作家。他长期研究体验式学习和内心对话，在演讲技巧方面有着多年的教学经验。Robert于荷兰奈尔洛德商学院获得工商管理学士学位。
THNK’s mission is twofold: we accelerate the development of creative leaders at the intersection of corporate, private and social sector, and help create innovative solutions to the world’s societal challenges. To achieve this, we focus on creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and collective initiative. Through our activities, we combine social impact with business model innovation. We bring together social entrepreneurs, commercial business entrepreneurs and corporate innovation managers from across sectors and from all over the world.
With the objective to create a top-notch school for creativity and innovation, THNK was founded as a joint initiative by the business and creative sector, the Dutch Prime Minister and the Dutch Innovation Platform. In 2010, THNK was officially established in the mayor’s residence, receiving more than €6 million of initial capital from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, the city Amsterdam, and the Province of North-Holland. On top of that, THNK received significant support from its launching partners, which include McKinsey & Company, Droog Design, Vodafone, Stanford d.school and Philips Design.
THNK is located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and embodies the DNA of the city: international orientation, entrepreneurship, creativity and active citizenship. It’s staff, faculty, and community of participants are truly international with impact in over 40 countries.
THNK launched its first program in March 2012. Currently, 200 participants are partaking in our Creative Leadership program, while thousands of others have joined our in-company and online programs. At the end of 2014, we will open our first international locations in Vancouver and Lisbon. We are exploring a location in Shanghai and in the Middle East. Each location will be committed to those innovation topics and leadership programs that are most relevant to its city and region.
THNK is a privately funded school, non-dependent on subsidies. We are a social enterprise that reinvests its profits into its mission. THNK constitutes a new category – a Creative School (‘C-School’). We do not focus on management (‘B-School’) but on innovation leadership; and we do not focusing on product design (‘D-School’) but on new (social) business design. Dubbed by Stanford University as “the future of higher education”, THNK leads the way in experimentation and innovation in solving societal challenges.
THNK has a number of core activities, which include: (1) the Creative Leadership Program, (2) our Challenges, (3) the In-company programs, (4) Research programs, and (5) support to the community of THNK leaders. Each is described below.
1. creative leadership program
Our Creative Leadership program is an 18-month part-time executive program for creative leaders who want to realize their full potential and accelerate the growth of their enterprise. The program starts twice a year, in March and September, with a group of 35 participants. Our participants are a mix of corporate innovators, entrepreneurs and social change agents from all over the world. They are invited on the basis of their leadership skills and the quality of their growth plans. They are typically around the age of 40 and have a minimum of 8 years of work experience. Each class consists of around 20 different nationalities. The ratio between men and women is 50-50.
The program consists of four modules of 8 to 10 days spread out over the first half year, followed by a year of intensive mentoring and coaching while the participant is full time back “on the job”. THNK coaches participants in their leadership development and offers tools and concepts for the development of innovative enterprise. We combine business design thinking with innovation strategy, and leadership development with the nurturing of entrepreneurial mindsets.
The program is fully focused on learning-by-doing. Instead of having lectures and case studies, our participants learn by working together on innovative business concepts and open innovation projects.
Our Challenges are innovation projects. These constitute an important part of the Creative Leadership program. For these Challenges we choose large scale societal issues that are complex, have a technology dimension and lend themselves to innovative enterprise solutions and collective initiative. Past Challenge topics included the future of education, smart energy, mobility in large cities, the Internet of food and healthy Living.
Over the course of half a year, the participants participate in a Challenge project. They work together with large corporates and NGOs that are invited by THNK as Challenge Partners. We involved companies like Cisco, Shell, Tesco, and Philips; creative firms such as OMA, UNStudio and Marcel Wanders Studio; NGO’s such as DOEN Foundation and Carbon War Room; and educational institutions such as Stanford d.School and the University of Amsterdam.
The Challenges are guided by a senior group of ‘Master Practitioners’ which include Ben van Berkel (founder of UNStudio and one of the top 10 architects of the world), Stefano Marzano (former CEO of Philips Design and board member of Electrolux), Sharon Chang (THNK partner and top creative involved in American Idol and SYTYCD), Menno van Dijk (co-founder of THNK, and former McKinsey Director) and Bas Verhart (co-founder of THNK, and former CEO of MediaRepublic). Bas selects the Challenge topics in collaboration with our partner organizations and the city of Amsterdam.
We commit to incubate the enterprise concepts resulting from THNK Challenges, with leadership roles for our participants.
3. in-company programs
We offer in-company programs for international organizations with a passion for innovation. Our clients include leading organizations such as Vodafone, Cisco, Shell, Kempinski Hotels and Booking.com. Our in-company programs come in three forms: (1) “front line innovation” - skill building to create a continuous flow of product and service innovations that collectively create a growth engine, (2) “game changer”- product, service or business model innovations that result in truly new enterprises, and (3) “innovation DNA” a holistic, multi-year transformation program to embed an innovation culture in the organization. An essential part of all programs is to increase social relevance, i.e. to encourage the client to deliver products and services that make the world a better place. Rajiv Ball (former McKinsey partner), leads the in-company programs. THNK also provides an IT application called ‘PULSE’, which supports in-company innovation by providing online tools, bringing teams together, and keeping track of the progress made.
4. research program
THNK’s Research focuses on ‘Scaling’, i.e. understanding the conditions and factors that enlarge the chances of rapidly scaling an innovative, and social relevant business concept. THNK has published several articles and a book around this topic, as well as developed a range of tools, some of which are available online. Currently, THNK and Deloitte are further researching the topic, using Deloitte’s rich database of tens of millions of starting, fast growing companies around the globe to validate THNK’s concepts and define impact- and valuation measures.
THNK wants to publish all of its content on everything related to innovation and creative leadership online for free open access, to the full benefit of innovation practitioners around the world. We are building an open access knowledge platform for this purpose.
5. support to community of THNKers
The THNK executive leadership program creates a closely-knit community. We are committed to support this worldwide community of ambitious change agents and leaders on an ongoing basis. After all, our mission of supporting creative leaders is best achieved by fostering collaboration and co-creation within likeminded individuals, corporations and organizations.
Collaboration can take many different shapes and forms, from knowledge development and executing Challenges to working together on in-company programs, developing new business concepts or supporting each other on our individual enterprise growth plans. We do so by facilitating inter-class interaction, offering community support through THNK LNK – an intranet platform that facilitates mutual collaboration and engagement between all our ‘THNKers’. The THNK community is also in the lead in selecting and presenting participants for new classes. THNKers are heavily involved with the in-company programs, research program and opening new THNK locations.