Last autumn Alison Turnbull and I joined a learning programme called Leadership Unleashed.
Leadership Unleashed is delivered on behalf of the Cultural Leadership Programme (CLP), which provides government support for excellence in leadership across the UK creative and cultural sectors.
The programme is designed and run by People Create Limited, a company based in Yorkshire which describes itself as ‘a creative learning design business that works with clients on aspects of leadership, communication, creativity and culture’.
We were first attracted to the programme by the name. ‘Unleashed’ suggested something creative, challenging, un-constrained, designed to provide new opportunities. So far it is proving to be all these things. But most importantly, it is a personal learning journey for both of us.
When we applied, an aspect that particularly appealed was that the programme brings together people from both cultural and commercial enterprises. This too, is proving to add enormous value to what is on offer. At the opening event (which attracted almost all 78 participants) we met new people from all kinds of backgrounds and at a range of stages in their careers, some emerging leaders, others further on. It was very striking how much we all shared and how much we could learn from one another’s differences.
More than that, the 4 facilitated sessions in the programme – Curiosity, Courage, Passion and Insight – had a real attraction. These are not words we use a lot in the workplace. We felt this was certainly going to approach the subject from an interesting angle, as is proving to be the case. The sessions explore the qualities of leadership and are immensely thought-provoking.
One thing we both learned from the outset is that for programmes of this kind it is all about commitment. You take out in proportion to what you put in, so it matters that it is the right approach for you. The programme offers opportunities for networking, encourages you to set up networking events within it and to stay as a learning cohort longer term. Leadership Unleashed does seem to suit us but it might not fit everyone.
Leadership Unleashed will run again next year. There is no information available just yet, but check CLP’s website for a call for applications for 2010: www.culturalleadership.org.uk
To find out more about People Create: www.people-create.co.uk.