Leadership Framework

Our SHIFTSHAPE Leadership Framework is based on over eight years of real-world research and didactic experimentation in our SHIFTSCHOOL Academy. Firstly, we have matched the latest research in innovation and leadership. Secondly, we have also included findings from the fields of psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and philosophy. In addition, practical and artistic insights from mindfulness, health, nutrition and performance art complete our approach.

All boiled down to an actionable step-by-step approach that you can use to find your unique role as a 21st century leader. It is designed to face the collective challenges ahead. It will help you to learn to future proof yourself, making you anti-fragile and becoming stronger as things get more complex.

Our leadership framework consists of two parts:


A self-leadership procedure dedicated to the five attitudes for personal transformation


A collective-leadership approach designed to lead organizational transformation


Framework 1: Self-leadership with the SHIFT attitudes

Develop the right mental positions towards change with the SHIFT framework


to take initiative and become courageous and resourceful


to imagine complete systems beyond current constraints


to consider new suggestions and to develop ideas constantly


to deal with complexity and to encompass change


to show up as a complete and harmonious being

Framework 2: Collective leadership with the SHAPE pattern

turning role-modelling attitudes into guiding principles to shape cultural shift in an organization:


the autonomous leadership by positive example by stepping out into unknown territory first


the expansion of perception and  possibility by formulating a compelling narrative of a future that might be attained


the strong desire to achieve the best possible outcome through open experimentation


the ability to adapt to changing conditions while simultaneously withstanding forces of inertia


the representation of concrete and perceptible qualities to create openness and trust

How we work with the leadership framework

All leadership programs focus on creating an inspiring atmosphere. It is our goal to make learning unconventional, intensive, creative, and fun. Learning at SHIFTSCHOOL is always about Mindset, Skills, Network & Balance. We build for immersive experiences in the program and for applicable tasks to work on-the-job. The goal is to apply learnings from day one and drive further discovery.

Our proven innovative workshop design and the human-centered instructional experience from more than 1000 workshops and five digital transformation classes create a best-in-class live cohort learning experience in our SHIFT and SHAPE programs.

Hybrid Learning:
A new paradigm for the future of learning

The hybrid SHIFTSCHOOL combines the best of both worlds: Immersive face-to-face learning experiences, remote deep dives and structured coaching sessions. Our approch connects psychological safety and hands-on learning with an easy-to-access online environment. We aspire to create a powerful learning experience that actually transforms people.

Above all, we regard self reflection as a core process. While the cognitive perspective in our thinking might be relatively easy to change, established attitudes and underlying emotions are much more difficult to alter. Our conscious and subconscious emotions are the most important drivers for our behavior and much more difficult to deal with.

In conclusion, the SHIFTSHAPE approach embodies this fact and helps our members to reflect on their hidden emotional agendas and deconstructing complex challenges in workable action steps.


/ʃɪft ˈȯ ˈpʌzl/

A playful self-coaching method developed by SHIFTSCHOOL for systemic analysis and personal reflection made by cutting the shift key arrow into two large triangles, two rhomboids, and four small triangles which are capable of being recombined in many different figures and letters consisting of a font developed specifically for this purpose.

Always remember: The key is not what you learn. rather it is how you think, dream and act.


Traditional approaches to leadership and team development no longer meet the needs of neither organizations nor potential change makers. This is the key learning from our work with a vast number of companies and leaders. Change initiatives are often bound to fail. The SHIFTSHAPE Framework is our answer to the challenges this century poses on us. It is our goal to develop people instead of job profiles by designing customized learning experiences. We think school differently. For us, school is not a building but a community of like minded people who need a framework to develop themselves autonomously.

We do not rely on rigid curricula, but on a flexible framework of five core dimensions, which respond to your individual needs. We put together content like a curator in an exhibition. The focus is no longer on the mere transfer of information, but on the active teaching of skills and methods that allow you to keep pace with the dynamics of change. In addition, individual coaching enables you to develop further according to your own potential. We combine the teaching formats that make the most sense from a didactic point of view, thus combining the advantages of face-to-face workshops with the flexibility of live remote sessions and interactive simulations. This is what we call CURATED LEARNING.

We don’t teach theory, but knowledge that you can apply immediately. From day one, you learn through innovative simulations, apply proven methods, and transfer them to concrete challenges in your life. We are convinced that learning only becomes valuable through experience. Only when things are thought through, tried out and applied, does lasting knowledge emerge. All our programs offer the opportunity to work on what matters most to you: Your personal development plan or a Transformation Case for your organization. Create your own strategy, and experiment, create, and test your ideas in your job environment. This is what we call JOB READY LEARNING.

Classical training systems usually provide far too little feedback. Adults who want to develop their skills also deserve more respect than they get from multiple-choice tests. Strategic competencies, creative leadership and applied innovation cannot be poured into an assessment trimmed for efficiency. In SHIFTSCHOOL, the goal is not to simply pass a course, but to ensure that you have truly understood concepts and can apply them in a meaningful way. Continuous feedback and peer coaching sessions ensure that you can also expand your knowledge in a targeted manner and use it for the challenges in your job.

The SHIFT and SHAPE programs are designed for the busy, full-time professional. Introduction and team-building are gathered in a compact and intensive retreat at the beginning. All following remote sessions and workshops are scheduled as a CLUBNITE on a workday evening – at the same time each week. This makes it easy to plan and allocate time. The project work is particularly designed for self-paced, asynchronous learning – at the time that suits you best. An additional 2-3 hours per week for your personal project is a rule of thumb. 

More than 60% of SHIFTSCHOOL Alumni received full or partly reimbursement from their employer. We have put together some good arguments to make this process streamlined.

Our programs are designed to be as real-time and immediately relevant as possible. We encourage our participants to share our methods with your teammates and to apply them directly in your work environment. Your organization will directly profit on how you’ll learn strategies and state-of-the-art skills that can help you grow as a 21st century proof leader making an immediate impact.

You are not just joining a learning program but a selected network. You’ll learn with and from professionals at companies like Adidas, Siemens, Merck, Allianz along with transformation managers from SMEs and digital experts from startups or creative agencies. You are working within a community of highly motivated individuals ready to change their organization for good. This experience allows you to expand your network with a diverse set of people who are all striving to challenge the status quo for the better.

Each program culminates in a personal project that is designed for direct implementation on the job. Each participant can choose to focus on a transformational leadership project which can directly benefit the organization you are with.

To make life easier for you we have prepared a reimbursement template along with the key facts of this program. Adapt it according to your needs and send it to stakeholders and decision makers in your company. HERE

All participants who work through a program and submit their completed assignments are eligible for a SHIFTSCHOOL certificate which details the methods and frameworks learned and applied. However, a formal certificate is just a piece of paper that, in our opinion, does not really say what someone can do or has learned. Just as grades ultimately say little about whether content and methods have really been understood and can be applied in practice. Therefore, we additionally help each member to outline their core strengths, position themselves in their professional arena, and to develop their own personal brand over time.

To start the application process, please fill in the application form. Once submitted, you will receive an email containing a link to schedule an interview. The goal of the interview is to find out what motivates you to join the SHIFTSHAPE community. We will let you know within a week after your interview if you are accepted.

We believe in quality, in-depth learning. Science and our experiences from teaching thousands of workshops tell us that people learn best in a safe, social, and interactive learning environment. Massive open online courses might provide great specific content but are not suited to build 21st century leadership skills. Change begins at the end of your comfort zone and our cohort-based approach provides both the safety of a smaller group and the accountability of live sessions to make real transformation happen. This setting helps our members to focus on what’s important and getting learning done in a clearly structured framework.

Our maxim is a school where the content is a means to an end – teaching people to learn how to learn. The best way for an advanced learner to build up new knowledge is then not to have it served up by a teacher, but rather to discover it organically. Our role is serving as facilitators of discovery. In a fast-changing world, teaching facts is neither sustainable nor effective. Our main instructional duty is therefore to inspire you to develop a new attitude towards change, push you to experience transformation, and encourage you to apply new strategies to shape the world around us.