Critical Leadership: How we learn to be better leaders

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Better Leadership: Cracking the Code

October 2018
The Leadership Roadshow at the University of South Wales drew together an eclectic and interested group of over 50 practitioners and academics. Providing a stimulating and interactive space for delegates to hold meaningful debate on the notion of leadership.

This month in partnership with the University of South Wales and The Institute of Leadership and Management we were delighted to play a key role in the Leadership Roadshow entitled “Better Leadership: Cracking the Code.” The event explored ideas of what leadership looks like in our modern complex society and allowed us to present our Leadership framework entitled “Critical Leadership”.

Built on our academic study and practical application, through our work with both public and private organisations, the concept ‘critical leadership’ has been at the core of our leadership development programmes. Considering what leadership abilities and qualities are required at all levels in organisations, not just at the top and developing these through a reflective process, we believe, allows individuals to become more self-aware and enhances the ability to adapt and change.

The core sessions of the Leadership Roadshow encouraged delegates to ‘zoom out’ that is look at the big picture and then ‘zoom in’ understand the detail of effective leadership. Delegates were invited to engage in workshop activities to explore these concepts and then to take part in an open debate session to consider leadership within their own world of work.

Phil James, Chief Executive Officer of The Institute of Leadership and Management discussed the evolution of leadership ideas which led to a thought provoking presentation on the preliminary results of some important ILM research around ideas of what makes an Ethical Leader.

Leadership and Coaching programmes embraced by Powys Council and Powys Health Board

The Professional Development Centre (PDC) specialises in organisational change and leadership development. Our focus is on delivering leadership in innovative ways that break down preconceived ideas and create real behavioural change. PDC’s programmes are practical, experiential and enjoyable. Return on Investment and evaluation are key considerations in all learning activities.

PDC have been working with Powys Council for the last five years, during this time we have delivered the ILM Level 5 Leadership programme to over 200 delegates and the ILM Level 5 Coaching programme to over 30 delegates. These programmes have been developed by PDC and delivered in partnership with the University of South Wales to help Powys Council achieve its Organisational Change Agenda.

We are continuing to work with Powys Council and are now working with Powys Health Board as they pursue their Integration Policy.  The programme that we are delivering has been built on the ILM Impact research and although the focus is on the key skills of Leadership; Coaching and Action Learning are key components which help sustain the learning beyond the life cycle of the workshops.

Feedback that we have received from delegates ‘A thought provoking and practical learning experience’, ‘Challenging and enjoyable’ and ‘Extremely useful. Pam Heneberry from PDC said “It has been a real privilege to work with such a forward thinking council who remain true to their values and strive to become a high performing organisation”

PDC Leads Arriva Trains’ Talent  Programme for USW

The Professional Development Centre (PDC) have been working with Arriva Trains delivering a Talent Programme and have successfully delivered three cohorts and a fourth cohort will commence next Summer.  Arriva Trains, a subsidiary of the German train company Deutsche Bahn operates a wide range of train services across the UK, through its own subsidiaries.

Like many train operating companies, many of its senior staff started working with British Rail and their average age meant that they needed to ensure that there were younger managers who were prepared for succession planning. The company also wanted to encourage a more innovative culture that was open to change. To support this strategy the company identified a group of managers with the potential to move up to more senior leadership roles and engaged PDC to design a Leadership Development programme that would support these managers and prepare them for emerging promotion opportunities.

The objectives of the programme were not just to develop Leadership and Management capability, but to encourage the participants to build networks across the different operating companies, to learn from each other and to identify opportunities (and a willingness to initiate) innovation and change in their businesses.  The candidates also get an opportunity to take an ILM Leadership and Management Level 5 Award. Participants from Cohort 3 have said they have continued to meet, in order to practice the skills learnt on Lead and explore the themes/areas of thought further. By doing so and on reflection they have come to realise that through Lead3 and afterwards in their post-course work they have achieved all of the following:

  • Raised our self-awareness and become more aware of our impact on others
  • Learned to channel our influence and have more impact
  • Come to better understand our motivations and values
  • Built faith in our strengths and abilities
  • Seen wider opportunities in our current world of work and expanded our horizons
  • Built stronger partnerships
  • Better understood what lights us up and turns us off
  • Challenged our view of the world and the barriers we see
  • Clarified our understanding of what we want and need
  • Developed resilience during uncertainty
  • Become braver, bolder and generally showing up more as ourselves
  • Learned less is quite often more
  • Discovered new ways of networking
  • Become better able to discern the things we can change/influence and more confident to walk away from the things we can’t
  • Become better able to manage our energy and emotions, utilising the tools learnt on Lead in order to do so; reflection, changing space, pace and place etc
  • Formed friendships that inspire and support.

One delegate said ‘We really have taken so much from Lead and I know for certain that 3 or 4 of the others would say the same, if not all of them. Your approach to learning and Leadership really did change my life, both at work and at home.

DS Smith – New Year Development Programmes with PDC

The Professional Development Centre (PDC) are pleased to announce that they have been asked to plan and deliver four programmes which will commence in the New Year for DS Smith who are ‘a leading provider of corrugated & plastics packaging, supported by paper & recycling operations.’ Two programmes will be delivered to the Senior Leadership Team, mentoring and senior coaching.

The Mentoring programme will commence with matching mentor and mentee and then focus on practical skills of how to mentor and practical sessions with the mentee.  The Senior Coaching programme will focus on how to deal with silence, different and appropriate methods of coaching as well as different styles dependant on management techniques. The aim for DS Smith’s Key Developers Programme is ‘to provide their key entry level talent with a strong grounding in essential development areas.’ Commencing with a group task on Mental Toughness and Emotional Intelligence, the programme will also cover Communication, Cultural Awareness, Problem Solving, Leadership and a project.

Each session of the Future Leaders programme will be based on a current critical business situation in line with DS Smith’s aim of ‘stretching and broadening their Future Leaders in business critical issues.’ The programme will commence with a Teambuilding event followed by sessions covering Cultural Awareness, Problem-Solving skills, Commercial/Finance, Marketing and Sales basics and Leadership.

“Pam Heneberry and I are delighted to be working with the managers and leaders of DS Smith’s Paper and Recycling divisions in order to support the development of existing skills within the workforce. We know that we will be able to bring cutting-edge learning to the staff of the company and heighten the learning and development activities within the company to positive effect.”
Arthur Turner, Creative Director, PDC

“I am confident that by working collaboratively with the Professional Development Centre, we can support the development of key talents throughout our business. We are looking forward to being able to create programmes that, not only link to our strong people focused culture, but also that are sustainable for years to come” Charlotte Littlewood, HR Specialist – Talent, DS Smith

PDC delivering USW’s Women in Academia Development Programme

The Professional Development Centre (PDC) is pleased to announce that are delivering the University of South Wales (USW) Women in Academia Development Programme.  PDC has been working with USW for the last 6 years delivering ILM accredited and non accredited programmes.

These have ranged from Leading Change, ILM Levels 5 and 7 Leadership qualifications as well as ILM Level 5 Coaching programmes to USW’s clients – Powys Council, Arriva Trains and Welsh Government. The USW Women in Academia Development Programme has been designed in response to the views and experience of their ‘Women in Academia Network’ aimed at raising awareness of the encounters facing women in academia. 20 participants have been chosen to take part in a series of events over the coming year.  The events have been designed to develop ‘practical leadership’ and ‘enhanced personal skills.’

Pam Heneberry, Managing Director of PDC will be leading the programme and says ‘Working in partnership with USW has allowed PDC to expand our range of qualifications and customer base.  Working together we have crafted courses which are practical and help organisations and individuals deal with change.’