Caring & daring

Secure base leaders

Leaders should provide bonding, a sense of protection and comfort. While simultaneously inspiring you to explore, motivate you to take risks and seek challenges. This captures the essence of secure base leadership, a philosophy we have fully adopted at IG&H. We believe this leadership style enables employees to reach their full potential and is the foundation for high performing teams.

If employees feel that you trust and protect them, they continue to grow — and they’ll grow a lot faster.

Robin van Wankum - Director, Organisation Transformation


Robin van Wankum

Director, Organisation Transformation

How are you involved in the Care to Dare program?

We designed our unique Care to Dare Program — in close collaboration with IMD’s Susan Goldsworthy — to make sure the Secure Base Leadership philosophy is accessible to all employees. Susan trained a group of partners and directors at IG&H to be coaches in the program. I was asked to be one of these coaches. This was a new approach, as IMD usually works with independent coaches from all over the world. 

  • How did the Covid-19 pandemic affect the program?

    This year, we designed a remote version of the course. The philosophy is fundamental to our way of working, so we wanted to share it with all our new co-workers — despite the Covid-19 circumstances. In addition to providing a common language and shaping our collaboration, the program is impactful and personal. It is all about interaction. So, an e-learning version simply wouldn’t have sufficed.

  • What does the program look like now?

    We’ve completely renewed it. For starters, we have added more sessions, which are a lot shorter than those in the original program — it can be quite intense for people to look at a screen for many hours. In the program, we combine plenary group sessions, ‘home group sessions,’ and e-learning. A ‘home group’ is a small group of employees that act as a point of reference to participants throughout the program. The coaches, in turn, provide them with guidance. This way, we make sure everyone feels safe and comfortable, creating room for them to be vulnerable. Nevertheless, some parts of the program, such as the ‘lifeline’ or ‘grief cycle,’ still require a face-to-face setting for everyone to feel comfortable. That is why we end the program with a face-to-face session, which we can hopefully hold next year.

  • Why is this program valuable to IG&H?

    I believe this training program is a very important asset that every professional services firm should have. To do challenging things, we need partners and directors to trust and protect us. This type of leadership positively affects employee satisfaction and increases the Net Promotor Score, as happy employees lead to happy customers. If employees feel that you trust and protect them, they continue to grow — and they’ll grow a lot faster. It also benefits employee well-being and retention. Briefly put, this program is one of the reasons why IG&H is a great place to work.

Training leaders

For nearly ten years, IG&H has closely collaborated with the IMD Business School on Secure Base Leadership. All members of IG&H’s leadership team complete IMD’s High Performance Leadership Program. To make the philosophy accessible to everyone, we have developed a unique training program, Care to Dare, under the guidance of IMD professor Susan Goldsworthy. This three-day course, which is taught to all employees, specifically tailors the Secure Base Leadership theory and method to IG&H’s way of working.
On top of that, we are proud to be part of IMD’s leadership curriculum: since we aim to constantly develop Secure Base Leadership, IMD asked us to be featured in its case series.

Susan Goldsworthy about IG&H

IG&H is that rare company that truly believes in people development and sees their growth as inextricably linked with the company's growth. It is a privilege and a pleasure to work with an organization that is willing to push its own boundaries, to challenge itself to step out of its comfort zone across all levels in pursuit of a secure base climate to stimulate a culture of caring excellence.