Meet Gustaf Nordbäck, CEO at Executive Development Company: Headspring

Tell us about Headspring

Headspring is on a mission to develop leaders and create a more purposeful world of work. We see every client we work with as an opportunity to leave our mark in the world. We work with global organisations to co-create transformative learning experiences that empower their leaders to take responsible decisions, and achieve better outcomes for all stakeholders.

Working with major international clients, Headspring leverages its network of 13 business schools across the globe, and more than 500 educators and journalists to deliver custom development programs at a truly global scale.


What do you think makes this company unique?

As a joint venture between the Financial Times and IE Business, we bring a combination of academic excellence and innovation from a top-ranked business school and real-world insights and expertise from some of the world’s most influential journalists. This combination of evidence based and practitioner-led learning combined with a journalistic approach is something that is unique to Headspring.

Another key difference between Headspring and any of the traditional business schools is that we live and breathe customisation 100% of the time. Most business schools struggle to truly customise their solutions to the needs of their corporate clients – in many cases they repurpose modules from their existing programmes and try to sell them as a custom programme. We don’t believe in that approach. With every new client, we start from a blank canvas and based on a co-creation process we jointly design and bring to life a solution that will work for them.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

Like most businesses across the world, we have been through significant changes in the past few years. As well as having the opportunity to accelerate digital transformation across our business and experimenting with various formats of hybrid learning experiences. Being a client-led business, we need to move at the same pace as our clients, so we just had to experiment and learn from everything we tried, even if it didn’t work as well as we wanted.

We also had a chance to launch our new flagship annual conference Learning Xchange, which is now gaining its own legs and growing beyond the virtual world. Commercially we have branched out and launched new solutions, such as a learning & development consulting service.

What can we hope to see from Headspring in the future?

Every business has the potential to become a learning organisation and make a positive impact on the world. Our objective is to continue working as a trusted strategic partner for our clients. We want to help each client to embed learning as part of their strategy and ensure their teams are fully equipped with a learning mindset and the capabilities they need to navigate the complexities of the world of business in the 21st century.

We also want to continue adapting our services and evolving to become one of the world’s most innovative executive development organisations.