Modern, theories of leadership demonstrate that leadership is not just about specific qualities, characteristics and strengths and more about identity, relationships and group dynamics. Consequently psychology, behavioural and neuroscience need to form the basis of effective leadership development. Based on the science of inclusion our leadership training takes a comprehensive, inclusive and systemic approach to Leadership development. We advise on both the hard and soft components of inclusive organisations tailored to fit your organisations unique context and designed to ensure you can measure the impact of your intervention.
Inclusive leadership development
Greater inclusion can de designed into organisations. Drawing on relevant behavioural science and international expertise our inclusive leadership training enables leaders to understand what the people they lead need to experience psychologically as well as practically if they are to feel included. We provide focused training for organisational majorities and minorities so that in a safe space everyone can explore the relevant issues form their perspective, before joining together to work collectively on co-created inclusive leadership for the organisation.
Leaders will learn what –at all levels of their influence – organisation- team – individual they need to put in place to create inclusive spaces. Drawing on international research leaders will explore the challenges to inclusion and what they can do to meet these challenges.
Participants will be introduced to an inclusive leadership competency model and carry out a self -audit of their inclusive leader competencies and to identify areas for development. If leaders are undertaking the training in partnership with their staff from underrepresented groups a ‘360’ type process in which they receive feedback on their inclusive leadership style can also be incorporated as part of the programme.
Sponsorship and Minority Talent Development
Many originations can struggle to increase the proportion of women and people of colour in leadership positions in their organisations. Many will have addressed structural barriers through initiatives such making promotion policies and practices more transparent and fairer and delivered unconscious bias and inclusive leadership training. However, they may still find that women and people of colour are not gaining promotion in the proportion that they are represented in the organisation and want to understand what lies behind this.
Our cutting edge sponsorship programme is for the career advocates and line managers responsible for increasing their organisation’s top minority talent, working jointly with a minority partner (sponsee) on a joint development programme designed to catalyse the relationship between them, increase inclusive leadership and accelerate talent development.
The programme takes participants through a series of carefully designed, evidence-based experiences and learning that helps them transition to a place of positive and mutual support and regard, resulting in actual career development for the racially minoritised employee and inclusive leadership in practice for the sponsor. Key also is the understanding that this is not just a training intervention but is part of an organisational development approach so having the right organisational partners is vital. This includes the senior leadership team and relevant board members, HR, OD and any relevant staff networks are engaged with and involved in the development of the programme.
Leadership for Race Equity
Leadership theory increasingly recognises that the quality of management a staff member experiences has a lot to do with the quality of the relationship between them. As soon as relationships come into the equation then all the things that impact relationships such as unconscious bias and stereotyping can affect the relationship despite the best intentions of the manger. Research demonstrates, however, that bias is not the only factor that impacts relationships across difference and any training that wants to improve these interactions will need to address this as well. We have a lot of success working with participants to help them understand how ‘protective hesitation’ arising from the fear of doing or saying the wrong thing or adopting colour blind strategies can disrupt relationships across diversity ’fault lines’. Added to thin managers need to understand how systemic bias built in to the orgnisations formal and informal structures and processes can sustain inequity despite their firm intentions to the opposite.
Our leadership for race equity training consists of two workshop allowing a period of reflection and deepening insight in between. The first workshop focuses on race awareness from the perspective of the individual and the second from the structural perspective. Participants w go on a journey from personal development as inclusive leader to considering how they promote race equity in their structural context.
We draw of our reviews and knowledge of the research evidence on how to make to ensure we have content elements of real importance for achieving attitudinal and behavioural change:
- Including headcount and recruitment data that is relevant for the group attending the workshop. This helps to create ownership of the issues addressed in the training.
- Covering structural race inequity in addition to unconscious race inequity as both interact to reinforce and sustain inequity.
- Having a focus on how privilege and advantage and positive bias underpin race inequity in organisations.
- Including what to do – consciously inclusive behaviours and micro- interventions, rather than just focusing on what not to do.
The impact of our programme can be strengthened by having those that work together train together. Where organisational ‘ecosystems’ undergo the process together, a third action planning and change workshop can be added in which particpants jointly agree the changes and new initiatives they want to develop to embed sustainable race equity within their part or whole of the organisation.
Leadership training for underrepresented groups
These courses are run in tandem with the inclusive leadership programme to provide an opportunity for individuals from those groups to explore the challenges they have faced from their ‘side of the equation’.
Our leadership training for underrepresented aspiring leaders enables individuals from these groups to understand what underpins the career barriers they face and what can be done about them. Armed with this knowledge participants will be in a better position to navigate the challenges they face in a conscious and strategic manner. Participants will recall the character and leadership qualities they will have developed by meeting the challenges they have already overcome to achieve their success so far and will learn how to harness their ‘cultural capital to achieve and exceed their career goals.