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Seb Anthony

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Exec Team – Leadership Development

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My company is embarking on a leadership development programme for our Exec team. We are very much at the research stage, however we have identified six key areas for development which include: Leadership and Customer/ Markets.
I'm keen to understand what other people/organisations have used to meet these development needs. We're currently looking at Top Leader Journey (Ashridge) and European Health Leadership Programme - insead (we are a healthcare company).
I would very much welcome your ideas/experience. Thanks in advance.
Louise Clark

4 Responses

  1. Don’t make leadership detached from strategic objectives
    I would strongly suggest that they do not attend any leadership programme unless they have all articulated how they think it is going to help them lead the organisation, in tangible, measurable, terms. Evidence based leadership is already making old-fashioned programmes look decidely unfocused

  2. Leadership Development
    Like Paul, I would caution against using executive programmes as a main source of development.

    Your LDP needs to be linked to the business’s strategic goals, and development activities need to be targetted and tailored to individual’s specific needs, who should take personal ownership.

    The work environment is a great place for development activity, and there are lots of things you can do here. You can also build relationships with other organisations (twinning) for learning, benchmarking and other activities.

    Critical, though, is that the Board must own the process, is actively engaged, reviews progress regularly and creates those development opportunities for the people whose development you are addressing.

  3. Henley Management College
    Louise,

    Henley Management College have an extensive executive development programme for all industries, sectors and levels of management. It is constantly canging and up there as a world class institution. My experience was although it is an academic institution all the courses and research are very “real-world”. Have a look at their web site for details or contact me for comments – happy to help.

    Simon

  4. Make the programme contextual and incorporate action learning
    I don’t have any particular knowledge about the Ashridge, Henley or INSEAD programmes that have been mentioned. However I would suggest that you look for something that places great emphasis n learning-in-context. That is, it requires the participants to consider what they are learning in the context of their own organisation and role rather than “in abstract” or via case studies and role plays – which at best are other peoples’ contexts. These may be useful to raise or illustrate some basic issues but I would advocate building a considerable action learning component into the programme. This inevitably means that the latter will take place over several months of elapsed time, rather than a quick few days away from work.
    Indeed have the whole programme could be action learning based. Some people say that you cannot have people from the same team on an action learning programme because the “political and relational issues will get in the way”. Our view is that since it is those very issues that are often the most important factor, that make things “problems” rather than “puzzles”, to use Reg Revans’ original terminology, then it is essential to face up to them, to work with them, rather than avoid them or pretend they aren’t there. So one approach would be to run a relational action learning programme with your senior team.

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