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contexts, involving diverse, outside and inside interests, confl icting factions, and multiple stakeholders and cultures we must actively work with every elephant in the room. Cross-cultural, confl icting


views must be leveraged, not just acknowledged. History, religion and even trauma are often present, so exercises and sharing need to be innovative and meaningful – not trivial. We must work to engage leading


experts to contextualise everything and collaborate on content and experiences with participants, not for them, so this can be transferred to their respective and often complex realities. T is lays the foundation


for personal transformation in an accelerated and stimulating fashion. Moreover, leaders can’t just design-and-implement; they must also test-and-adjust throughout the event, and learn to do this with their teams.


Developing leaders in turbulence


Turbulence challenges our existing mindsets, and the skillsets and toolsets we have learnt to apply, requires new ‘-sets’ that are more advanced and which require practice ‘under fi re’ to acquire. T is is quite diff erent from leading in stability where change has a start and end date, with space to breathe in between and time to develop leaders sequentially and systematically. In turbulence, a higher level of developmental agility is needed. At the GCSP-CCL Leadership


Alliance, a dynamic, combined view of leading private and non-private organisations, sectors and society is emerging. T is combination is resulting in a metamorphosis of concepts and aspects of leadership development


itself. Here is what is emerging:  First, we recognise that speaking of ‘leadership’ can at times be more confusing than enlightening if done without taking the time to elicit individual perspectives and beliefs about the concept, especially when you bridge cultures, sectors and social institutions. T e word ‘leadership’ itself does not translate well into French (just one example).


 Second,’ teaching leadership’ is an improper framing of what actually is needed. It is more about ‘leadership for what?’


www.trainingjournal.com


 T ird, a dogged focus on granular ‘leadership competency’ often detracts from mobilising key talent, resources and interests.


 Fourth, eff ectively leading is both an individual and a collective endeavour: however mobilising is always collective.


CCL and GCSP have embarked on a challenging and so far hugely rewarding experiment to leverage our combined talent, cutting-edge knowledge and aligned missions and values to better understand and address the advancement of eff ective leadership practices in multi-lateral contexts and for individuals and organisations that are active in advancing peace and security around the world. Traditional (business school)


approaches to ‘leadership development’ fare poorly in these kinds of contexts, and we are witnessing also they fare poorly in the face of turbulence. Since September 2015, the


Leadership Alliance has been piloting and equipping members from our stakeholders (more than 450 senior and mid-level leaders in the peace and security space from 86 countries) with unique learning experiences.


The results


As Alliance co-director Peter Cunningham notes, “When you have senior leaders from such diverse locations as Iraq, Switzerland, North Korea, Germany, the US, Sweden, Afghanistan, India, Uzbekistan, Canada, the Czech Republic, Russia, Indonesia, France, Belgium, the DRC, Nigeria and so on, coming from organisations as varied as Care International, Military Commands, Foreign Aff airs Ministries, the UN, private banking, airlines, the Interna- tional Organisation for Migration – all of whom are there to learn about ‘leading collaborations in international contexts’ – you never really know what will emerge, except that it is a powerful and valuable experience for everyone.” When talking about leadership, you


run into so much culturally-grounded diversity it can only be used to inform everyone, and a leader’s role is to open up, rather than close down, around such diversity of perspective, yet facilitate the team’s ability to process and navigate this divergence. T is


is a collective enterprise, involving ways of mobilising the multitude of interests and intelligence in the room to ensure that ‘relevant and understood’ judgments are made and, at times, frequently questioned. Recently, we recorded a 50 per


cent shift in self-reported capacity development of a cohort, immediately following one of the Leadership Alliance programmes. T ose are strong





Leaders can’t just design-and-implement; they must also test-and-adjust


and potentially robust results. T e proof will be in the fi eld. Testimonials from the fi eld so far are extremely encouraging after less than one year.


What’s next?


We believe that our test-and-adjust approach suits our turbulent world, where most everything is a learning event evolving through iterations, rather than becoming standardisations. Our future is about mobilising


networks in turbulence. Our most challenging goal is to adapt these processes to engage and bridge networks of senior leaders in inter- national organisations with emerging leaders (for example, in the Young African Leadership Initiative, the Middle East Leadership Academy, ASEAN young leaders and others in Europe and the Americas), and engage them in applying their leadership capabilities to substance-focused areas like innovation, peace-building, sports and development, and anti-corruption. T is vision brings a whole new


inclusiveness and interconnection to ‘global leading’. And the opportunity to lead better is infi nite.


Dr Patrick Sweet is co-director of the GCSP-CCL Leadership Alliance and can be contacted at sweetp@ccl.org


Reference 1 Gus O’Donnell, the former Civil Service chief, BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, 26 August 2016


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