Garcia-Weibel, Xavier MSc., CPCC, PCC | École des Ponts Business School

Xavier Garcia-Weibel

MSc., CPCC, PCC, Switzerland

Professor, École des Ponts Business School

  • Module(s): Innovation Management & Design thinking, Coaching and Leadership programme
  • Founder, Soultricity
  • Co-founder, Human Centric Leaders

What are your primary fields of interest and research?

I am particularly interested in the intersection of design thinking, change management and Leadership. I call it “Human-Centric Leadership” which happens to be also the name of the association I have co-founded. I find very remarkable the behavior and mindset that entrepreneurs and creative thinkers exhibit during all the stages of the development of an idea. I’m fascinated by the BEING and the DOING of being a leader and how ideas come to life and impact many lives around us in a selfless manner. I’m also very keen on publishing in the future some handbooks about how human resistance to innovation may block the best ideas and how politics get in the way of purpose-driven leaders. It’s a topic that lacks literature and available ready-to-use methodologies which I’d love to further crystallize and develop.

Where did you develop the skills and knowledge that nurture your work today?

I like to claim my empirical knowledge as the strongest feat I bring to an academic environment. I’ve spent 25 years working in large IT-Telcom organizations in 3 different countries – including a 2-year hiatus to build and launch my own start-up – and I learned everything by first-hand experience. I celebrate my failures as much as my successes! I acquire knowledge through reflecting on conversations and situations either in the moment or with a retrospective look to deepen my experience and learning. I stand for thinking that all human beings around us all hold the knowledge we need to acquire in a lifetime, including the books they suggest us to read…

What do you enjoy most about working with our participants?

So many things! I love the fact that most of them are at a turning point in their lives and careers and it’s a total honor to be of support with the critical decisions they are taking for their future. The participants are the leaders of the 21st Century: they think in networks, in more agile and digital ways of working and in business organizations that take a more organic shape aligned a strong sense of mission and purpose. I love to get to know the way they think and feel: it’s enlightening! I find very enjoyable to raise their awareness and enable them to become change agents. I also love the mix of cultures, background, and languages of each cohort: some years, every single one of them comes from a different country!  It’s always a learning experience for me to understand what unites human beings beyond what we perceive as differences.

Oh, they like to party hard and are FUN: on that too, you may always count me in!

As a professor what do you hope to transmit to your students?

I love this question! First, I hope to transmit my passion for the growth of other human beings and a sense of fulfillment into everything one does. I also hope to bring a way to apply knowledge through the combination of 3 intelligences: analytical, emotional and spiritual so that anyone can choose which intelligence to apply in every situation. Last, I hope that my participants see themselves as transformation/change agents after the workshops: our ability as leaders in these times to see change as a process to be embraced rather than feared is paramount to me. I believe in Frederic Laloux’s vision for soul-driven organizations and I imagine each of my students changing the world! And it’s FUN!

How does your course(s) help participants develop themselves personally and professionally?

This is core to my workshops and classes: personal and team development. Through the classes, I imagine each participant able to connect to their essence and awaken their humanity. It is possible to thrive in business while living your values: it is very much a leader’s choice. There is nothing that touches me more than the personal and team transformation which I am blessed to witness with every cohort: how can human to human we can go beyond the blame and the resentment that we hold for one another (what I call the “kindergarten interactions”) to connection with other people in true integrity. It takes resolution, courage, and vulnerability to do so. While the theory and tools are definitely important – for example with design thinking – it’s this newfound behavior that I believe will unlock many situations for leaders in any context they will be in. This vision is what makes me wake up every day.

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