Inspirational sessions 2018-10-31T13:41:00+00:00

Inspirational sessions


Ivo Brughmans holds lectures, inspirational sessions and workshops on paradoxical leadership and its applications. Paradoxical leadership covers a broad area of application and affects all social and business sectors. Previous inspirational sessions dealt with various issues such as:

  • Paradoxes in leadership
  • Paradoxes for public administrators and managers
  • Paradox for healthcare professionals
  • Paradoxes for compliance officers
  • Paradoxes in family businesses
  • Paradoxes and agile ways of working
  • Biodiversity in the city
  • Paradoxes in the public-private partnerships
  • Paradoxes in education
  • Paradoxes in urban planning
  • Paradoxes in mediation and coaching
  • Paradoxes in investment strategies
  • Paradoxes in development cooperation
  • Combining the strengths or direct and representative democracy
  • Paradoxical view on talent development and HR policy
  • Paradoxes for multipotentials
  • Striking the balance between life and work

Client organizations are also very diverse: global corporates, government organizations (at all administrative levels), family businesses, financial services, healthcare institutions, consultancies, political parties, professional associations and networks…. References are available on request.

Lectures, inspirational sessions and workshops are always customized and tailored to the specific context and interests of the target group. For that reason, they are mainly organized in-house or in the context of conferences or seminars. The theme is relevant and recognizable to different target groups and is always translated to their specific challenges and work context: executive and management teams, operational teams, professionals in a specific field or discipline, etc. In terms of size, groups can range from about 10 to a few hundred participants.


The following formulas are frequently used:


The usual time slot is one hour. The basic principles of paradoxical leadership are explained in an interactive lecture, with the paradoxes relevant to the target group/the organization taken as an example and directions and tips are provided for putting it into practice.

Part-day inspirational sessions

These can run from between 2 to 4 hours and as well as having a theoretical component they have a strongly experiential component. Generally, the objectives of these sessions are:

  • To inspire the participants to take an integral ‘both-and’ perspective and to create a common conceptual framework and vocabulary.
  • To become aware of how you as a person and as a professional/leader deal with polarities and dilemmas and what other approaches are possible (looking for solutions beyond both the extremes and a compromise somewhere in between).
  • To start identifying and naming the dominant polarities that are characterizing the organization and that are felt at all levels inside and outside the organization, including your customers.
  • To reflect on how paradoxical leadership can help you in your everyday practice.

Depending on the need and exact duration, a inspirational session of half a day usually consists of the following elements:

  • Conceptual framework: introduction to the principles of Paradoxical Leadership
  • A constellation exercise for the participants to explore their personal polarities. This is a powerful experiential exercise that makes everything very tangible and personal.
  • Mapping the most important polarities you as leader or professional face (in your role, in your team, in the organization). Reflecting on how you usually deal with it, exploring alternative ways and learning from the approaches of colleagues.
  • Discussing a number of cases/dilemmas from a ‘both-and’ perspective.
One-day inspirational workshop

A one-day workshop allows you to dig deeper and link even more strongly with daily practice. In case of an in-company team session, the day is also an excellent way of bringing the shared areas of tension to the surface and opening them up to discussion. In addition to a part-day inspirational session, a typical one-day workshop the following goals: 

  • Exploration of your own style within the team: where do I stand in relation to both poles and how can I broaden my repertoire a little and take a step out of my comfort zone without betraying my own personal style?
  • Learning to recognize and appreciate each other’s different styles and perspectives. What can I learn from others?
  • Learning to switch in perspective: How can you approach the same issue from different perspectives and change your perspective according to the situation?
  • Experimenting with new ways to connect and combine opposite approaches.
  • Finding ways together to open the dialogue with the rest of the organization on the way we deal with polarities. How to include the organization in ‘both-and’-thinking and acting? How to create a common language and to initiate an ongoing professional exchange on common polarities?

Different methods and work forms are used to achieve these objectives, depending on what works best for the target group.

Further development

A lecture, inspiration session or workshop usually creates a lot of enthusiasm and energy through the recognizability and applicability of the approach, which makes people want to get started with it. This can then develop into setting up a community of practice around the theme of Paradoxical leadership or building up a broader in-company learning program. This often also means that a number of corporate processes like strategy formulation, governance, performance management, organizational design, service delivery, innovation, recruitment, talent development and (cultural) change must be revised from a both-and perspective. We can also advise and support the organization with this. Read more about this under advice.

Feel free to contact us for more information.