Leadership Development: The challenge

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, every organization is in a race to innovate. You probably have experienced the challenge that this race brings with it in your organization: Diverse development programs are initiated, all aimed at harnessing the potential leaders, teams or talents across the company. While the content of these initiatives and corporate leadership programs may vary, their core mission remains consistent: to instill a culture that is agile, creative, and primed for enduring change.

Yet, a recurring pattern emerges:

  • Traditional leadership cultures often stifle open dialogue and hinder growth.
  • Generic training methods fall short of addressing unique company challenges.
  • Fleeting initiatives lead to disillusionment rather than genuine, lasting transformation.
  • HR’s focus often leans towards defining roles rather than fostering individual development.

This situation can be compared to a space mission with an ill-prepared crew. The goal is clear: explore, experiment, and bring back innovative solutions. However, the chosen “corporate astronauts” are often launched with only a cursory understanding of their mission and a rudimentary training in innovation techniques and mastering transformation. Without the right preparation and mindset, they struggle against the harsh realities of the transformation frontier. Their endeavors, no matter how well-intentioned, are frequently thwarted by the gravitational pull of entrenched corporate norms.

It’s evident that conventional corporate leadership development programs are often ill-equipped to address the multifaceted challenges of the 21st century and therefore fail most of the time. A fresh, forward-thinking approach to leadership learning is not just beneficial — it is imperative.

Leadership Development: The solution

Our TRAILBLAZER® is an advanced modular system for crafting 21st century corporate leadership development journeys. Drawing inspiration from the principles of the SHIFTSHAPE® Leadership Framework, our TRAILBLAZER® ensures that every leadership journey is not just about acquiring knowledge and making experiences but also about integrating it seamlessly into the very fabric of your organization.

In the space analogy, our TRAILBLAZER® functions as the carrier rocket for leadership development. It transforms a bunch of individual astronauts from your organization into a well-functioning crew, equipped with the right tools and mindset to cope with all the challenges in the 21st century universe and ready to master the art of transformation.

After their learning journey, the crew is able to stay in orbit despite the gravity pull of the mother planet. From a safe distance, the crew can effectively become trailblazers and lead for broader cultural change and sustainable innovation on the ground.

TRAILBLAZER® - Leadership Development program for organizations - Launch System


Anchored in the TRAIL principles, the TRAILBLAZER® launch system enables us to design state-of-the-art curricula ensuring a program tailored to your organization’s unique needs.

The TRAIL analogy defined:



Every organization has its unique trajectory. Your leadership development journey is powered by our core leadership framework. It can be customized in a modular fashion to ensure that your journey aligns with your organization’s vision and strategic goals.



In an era dominated by transformation, our programs are designed to be agile, adaptive and foreward thinking. We ensure that learning is not just about consuming content but about responding to the ever-evolving challenges in the transformation age.



Motivation is the fuel for any learning journey. Our programs are designed to inspire, guiding leaders, teams and talents not just towards organizational goals but also towards their personal aspirations, ensuring a motivated and driven leadership crew.



A leadership program should resonate with the company’s core values and strategies. Our approach ensures that the learning is integrated seamlessly with your organization’s heartbeat, ensuring alignment and coherence.



Our emphasis on an immersive learning experience and real-world application is based on scientific proof and our extensive experience in the field. We believe that live, interactive sessions and practical application are the most effective way to prepare leaders, teams & talents for the challenges ahead.

The Leadership Development core program: Journey into orbit

TRAILBLAZER® - Leadership Development program for organizations - Journey

Let your leaders, your team and your talents embark on an interstellar leadership journey where they navigate the essentials of transformative leadership in the transformation age, harness tools for vision development, and master agile strategies in the New Work era!

Our TRAILBLAZER® system offers a unique blend of curated content, interactive workshops, and real-world application, propelling your organization towards mastering the art of transformation and leadership excellence in the 21st century.

TRAILBLAZER® Leadership Development IN A NUTSHELL


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 TRAILBLAZER® program is the answer to this problem. During the flight to orbit, we build a strong team that develops the skills, mindset, and network to shape the transformation of their company for good.


We 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 likeminded people who need a framework to develop themselves autonomously.


The TRAILBLAZER® program is a mix of remote workshops, peer reviews, job-ready challenges and team building methods. We integrate state of the art methods into the proven didactic framework of SHIFTSCHOOL. Our goal is to make each TRAILBLAZER® team future-proof. Not by teaching them one method after another but by showing them how to apply their methods and transfer their learnings into their daily work.


Our program is for leaders, teams and talents of all professional backgrounds – regardless of industry, job title and business area. The only two things we demand is the motivation to learn and reflect and the willingness to truly change things. Members of the TRAILBLAZER® program are a community of practice that can ignite the whole company with their spirit. They act as trailblazers who are first to try out new things, discover new territory and share their experiences with everyone at work. They don’t take anything for granted and develop the capability to move the system forward – transforming themselves and their organization – even against resistance.

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If you are interested in launching the TRAILBLAZER® in your organization or need further information, please feel free to

What companies say about SHIFTSCHOOL

The collaboration with SHIFTSCHOOL has been really great right from the start. SHIFTSCHOOL is a reliable partner who always supports me with new insights and constructive critical thinking. Companies that want to make a difference should first send selected employees to SHIFTSCHOOL. Especially large corporates should work with SHIFTSCHOOL, because their programs really breathe new life into established systems. This is necessary, today and in the future!

Kristina Muth
Kristina Muth
Head of Innovator Academy
Merck Innovation Center, Merck KGaA Darmstadt

What I really appreciate about working with SHIFTSCHOOL is the fact that I get so much inspiration and Best Practice that I can incorporate directly into my daily work. The large network of SHIFTSCHOOL is the big advantage. They collaborate with so many different companies and startups and, therefore, can offer a wide range of insights from many different industries.

Dr. Jürgen Zeiner
Dr. Jürgen Zeiner
Vice President Technical Functions
Robert Bosch GmbH

What distinguishes the SHIFTSCHOOL is that it truly encourages people to (re-) discover their creativity. Faber-Castell’s vision is to unleash the creative potential of our customers as well as our employees. Within our global network, we see the SHIFTSCHOOL as an important innovation coach. Faber-Castell’s Corporate Development team appreciates the comprehensive innovation methods and is grateful for the trusting relationship it has developed with the SHIFTSCHOOL team.

Countess Katharina von Faber-Castell
Countess Katharina von Faber-Castell
Head of Corporate Business Development
Faber-Castell AG

We design transformative learning experiences for century 21.

SHIFTSCHOOL is a pioneer for immersive learning experiences in a rapidly changing digital world. We develop learning formats for people who want to sustainably change themselves and their teams. In order to positively shape the Transformation age.

We believe technologies shouldn’t decide how we live and work in the future. That will still be our job. That’s why we only work with those who really, really want change and equip them with the mindset, tools and network to successfully shape their transformation journey into the future.

People who work with us

There are two types of leaders: Those who think the world around them must change. And those who understand that they have to change themselves. We only work with the latter.  Transformation is not about implementing new technologies but primarily about an open attitude towards change. Have a look at the companies who work with us:

Here are some examples of our work:

We worked with the Schwan Cosmetics management team around digitalization and how to perform as leaders in a changing business environment.

When a factory from the Bosch network recognized the need for digital transformation, they called us to work with their research & development teams to create an innovation-driven culture.

We created and delivered a hybrid innovation curriculum for senior leaders from Merck to develop entrepreneurial momentum and a growth oriented mindset.

Financial sector

SHIFTSCHOOL also partnered with many banks within the cooperative financial world to engage and inspire their leadership teams via a series of digitization workshops

Arrow shiftschool

If you are interested in launching the TRAILBLAZER® in your organization or need further information, please feel free to