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Stephan Balzer: New Perspectives for Managers

Learning journey instead of seminar: Stephan Balzer has made it his business to design the advanced training of managers for the future. His company, Boma Global, already offers solutions that are likely to set the trend for the entire industry.

“I've always been enthusiastic about conveying content in a new way, that's why I brought the TEDx conference from the USA to Germany in 2009.” says Stephan Balzer.

The abbreviation TED stands for technology, entertainment and design and describes one Type of event in which the speakers highlight a topic selectively in short, entertaining and personal contributions. The result: the attention curve remains consistently high, the viewer is motivated and enthusiastic. Boredom? Nothing. Is this what the future of learning looks like?

The future of learning

If you ask Stephan Balzer, the answer is a resounding yes. Together with TEDx founder Lara Stein and two other co-founders, Balzer launched Boma Global two years ago. We want to create a new offer for the further training of executives", says the CEO, "this is not only about new learning formats, but also about new content." Managers are facing completely different challenges today than they were just a few years ago the education market has hardly reacted to this so far.

"Schools also have this innovation problem. Our children have the same subjects as they did a hundred years ago. We should ask ourselves: When the world changes, what do our children need? Globalization, digitization, climate - these are the new big topics!"

A passionate digital pioneer and entrepreneur

Stephan Balzer is one of the digital pioneers in Germany; Born in West Berlin, he began his career at Pixelpark in Hamburg in 1991 after studying business administration and information science. Five years later he founded his first company there - the Lava agency. After selling them, Balzer started the communication agency red onion in Berlin in 1999, which he still manages today. With red onion, Stephan Balzer becomes the first licensee of the US TEDx conferences in 2009 and is consistently expanding the range of TEDx formats. And now Boma.

Classic formats put to the test

“We have learned in recent years that companies either rely on traditional further education or on a 'corporate university'," says the Boma founder, "but we have also seen that corporate learning has disappointed many companies. 360 billion dollars are invested in further training worldwide every year, but the form of mediation does not fit." Balzer describes the situation as 90 percent of CEOs are dissatisfied with the results of the training.

“The responsibility for further training measures lies with the HR department. They are happy when as many employees as possible get through the process quickly. But what about the success?"

How does tomorrow work

The general dissatisfaction with further training for executives motivated him and his co-founders, says Stephan Balzer:

“The dissatisfaction shows yes - there is a market. And then the content. They are not up to date. We have to make it current. We have to develop a sensor, ask ourselves 'How will tomorrow work?'. And: learning has to be fun. The requirements for managers have fundamentally changed. It's no longer just about the IQ and the top-down model no longer works because the knowledge is distributed across the entire organization. Ultimately, it is also a generation conflict that becomes visible here. 60 percent of today's managers do not understand the basis of today's technology, but the future of companies depends on it."

Boma: positive change in companies

The times in which companies had the sole task of making profit are finally over.

“Offers like Boma can help change companies in a positive way. They are a lever and have a signalling effect. We want to support companies in working on the big issues. We ask: where is the problem? And then we send the managers on a learning journey with joint training sessions, events, and coaching. This process is always individually tailored to the respective company, there are no 'off-the-peg solutions'".

All the more new perspectives for managers.

Article originally published on in German.


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