Inclusive leadership for a global insurance client
The client was looking for an innovative approach to leadership development, with a focus on developing inspirational leadership by growing middle and senior level leaders’ capability in working collaboratively across cultures, building skill at being “inclusive leaders” by developing emotional intelligence (EQ) and engaging more effectively with colleagues and team members.
Schneider~Ross put together a proposal and ran a taster programme for the 10 or so recommenders and decision makers in Zurich.
We worked with over 150 leaders on this global programme in the US, UK, Switzerland, Slovakia and India.
The programme was designed in partnership with the client contact, using some novel design ideas and ways of working for example:
- Designing a series of “real play” leadership scenarios based on the day-to-day challenges facing leaders, where delegates took part in “real time” project teams to resolve leadership challenges. This technique drew on Rachael Ross’ advanced training in “systemic practice” and was customised for each working location
- Designing a series of “real play” leadership scenarios based on the day-to-day challenges facing leaders, where delegates took part in “real time” project teams to resolve leadership challenges. This technique drew on Rachael Ross’ advanced training in “systemic practice”, and was customized for each working location
- Peer to peer coaching in pairs on a personal leadership learning task
- Working with a “timeline” of cultural preferences drawing on the work of Fons Trompenaars (cross culture), Deborah Tannen (cross gender) and Myers Briggs (decision making and communication styles), which spread out across the room, allowing for dynamic and “in the moment” discussion and break through learning
- Action planning both personally and as a group, with 121 coaching support took place to apply all of the learning to a work related challenge.
Preparation & follow up
Prior to the workshop a pre-workshop questionnaire was designed and customised for the location, which drew together a series of questions around decision making, cultural preferences regarding hierarchy, and communication styles preferences.
The outputs from the workshop (including personal action plans) were circulated speedily after each workshop, and an in depth questionnaire re feedback on the outcomes and overall performance evaluation was designed and circulated by the client.
The benefits flowing from the programme included:
- An increased ability to engage with employees, especially those very different from oneself
- A raised awareness of the company’s commitment to developing a more inclusive culture, and what part senior leaders need to play in promoting that culture further
- An understanding that others have different preferences around hierarchy, communication styles, leadership approaches
- An improved ability to collaborate with other parts of the organisation and see them as part of “one team”
- An increased ability to engage with customers and to empathise with their agenda and cultural approach