Our programmes are designed to help deepen people’s understanding of what influences and drives the choices that they make – consciously and unconsciously – in order to help them to recognise and work with their behavioural strengths and weaknesses and have better relationships with others.
With support, challenge and some agitation, we can help people to know themselves better, feel more comfortable with who they are and make the positive choices that allow them to be brilliant leaders and live happier, more productive lives – both in and out of work.
Our philosophy underpins all of the programmes that we design – whether that’s a two-day unconscious bias workshop, a week-long leadership experience in Morocco, or a 12 month cultural change programme. It is comprised of three core elements – Consciousness, Reflective Experience and Place.
We know that senior development programmes need to focus on raising leaders’ conscious awareness of who they are, how they behave, how they communicate with and relate to others and what their personal impact is.
With greater consciousness comes greater choice and behavioural flexibility. And with this more informed perspective, leaders will have the tools to be creative and innovative, to lead change and to approach complex problems with clarity and openness. In short – they will have the insights that allow them to deliver the results that the business needs.
As well as creating experiences that allow leaders to notice what they do, through self-observation and feedback, it is also important that they understand why they do it. In order to give senior leaders that depth of understanding we therefore help them to explore personality, values and emotions. For many leaders this can be a challenging space to explore, as it requires them to take a deep look into their own psychology with the aid of appropriate psychometrics and structured feedback. The other areas of our philosophy therefore help leaders to be more open, curious and vulnerable so that they can go on this journey in an honest and compassionate way.
To enable genuine engagement with ‘consciousness’, and to create the depth of self-awareness that leads to lasting change, we give significant emphasis to the style in which we deliver. The development framework is a critical part of this, recognising and paying as much attention to how people learn as what they learn.
In addition, by creating the right development framework that balances different learning styles and draws upon the latest research from neuroscience, psychology and education, our development programmes are able to catalyse change in a way that more conventional programmes don’t achieve. Our programme design carefully blends these elements through experiential learning and reflective practice.
The skill of delivering a programme in this style is in the facilitation. Our facilitators and coaches are able to engender an environment of openness and inquiry, through stretching people’s comfort zones physically, cognitively and emotionally. Provoking, agitating and challenging are an essential part of the process. We ask leaders to take an appreciative inquiry approach to themselves (me), their relationships (us) and the organisation or systems that they are part of (them).
We know that where people learn has an enormous, and largely untapped, potential impact on how they learn. There is a wealth of research to support the highly influential role that place has on the quality of people’s learning experiences and the developmental journey they go on.
To ensure the learning environment supports development, rather than hampers it, we pay attention to the physical environment, the psychological environment and how we help people to anchor their learning.
Creating a ‘safe’ psychological space helps to ensure that people are not operating in ‘threat’ brain where they may feel anxious or stressed, and are therefore willing to be more open, curious and vulnerable.
Finding environments that are inspirational (both indoors and outdoors) allows people to temporarily disconnect from distraction and be fully immersed in the developmental experience. The suspension of action that comes from being away from the office and in an intriguing or challenging environment, creates an opportunity for people to reflect and inquire more deeply.