Developing FarSighted Leadership

Do you wish for leaders who:

  • Have breadth and depth of vision, and are unafraid of new and complex situations?
  • Are quick to spot opportunities, and to axe failing projects?
  • Have a well-developed sense of timing?
  • Can make their case clearly, in a wide variety of settings and audiences?
  • Are honest, trustworthy, and eager for accountability?
  • Inspire other people to exceed expectations?

Dr Valerie Stewart, our lead consultant for delivering these promises, is an internationally renowned industrial psychologist and author. For more than forty years she has worked with organisations in the UK and overseas, helping them identify the managers and leaders who can command the future. Much of her work has been with businesses undergoing profound change, or with government departments charged with delivering major transformations effectively and humanely.

In the 1970s she re-introduced the Assessment Centre method to the UK. She developed methodologies for helping organisations define the skills they would require in the future, thus avoiding off-the-shelf generic lists of competences in favour of prescriptions tailored to their individual unique requirements (and, incidentally, greatly enhancing management ’ownership’ of their recipe for success). With colleagues in the UK, South Africa, and New Zealand, she helped transform the traditional pass/fail Assessment Centre into an approach that, under the heading of Development Centres, moved beyond assessment into high-impact learning events that deliver a critical mass of managers performing with mutually reinforcing energy and wisdom.

Dr Stewart has spent several years researching the skills and knowledge that tomorrow’s managers should have, especially in the light of growing threats to the Western capitalist model and the changes to the business eco-systems in which they must make their living. She is about to publish her diagnosis, under the title FarSighted Leadership. We at Catalysts at Work have early access to her services delivering this essential vision.

Click here for FarSighted Leader competencies.

How We Can Help
Valerie Stewart has found that the most effective way to instil FarSighted Leadership throughout an organisation is by means of Development Centres. Development Centres come in a variety of formats, but typically they cascade skills down the organisation by having more senior managers act as coaches on courses that use specially tailored exercises through which participants learn to apply these skills in their own situation. These exercises have been tested and validated, to prove their strong predictive power.

Typically, our Development Centres use exercises that deliver the following results:

  • Embedding entrepreneurial thinking (making productive and imaginative use of resources) as a daily routine habit;
  • Scanning the environment for patterns, especially patterns that imply early opportunities or imminent failure;
  • Spotting upcoming disasters or occasions when good money is about to be thrown after bad, and having the courage to speak up about it – and cut your losses if needed;
  • Understanding – and helping other people understand – complex rapidly-changing situations with multiple factors at work;
  • Diagnosing and acting on problems that (i) aren’t of your own making, (ii) aren’t within your core skills, but (iii) for which you’re going to be held accountable;
  • Organisation diagnosis skills: what’s the culture of the organisation, where are the opportunities, what needs to happen next?
  • Acting effectively in politically charged situations;
  • Moving yourself and others out of a ‘tragedy of the commons’ situation – i.e. one in which each member of the group has an incentive to enrich him/herself, but at the cost of impoverishing everyone;
  • Weighing competing demands for investment in situations where resources are scarce;
  • Negotiation lessons: build bridges before you need them, negotiate needs not positions, take the long view, don’t hurt if you don’t have to;
  • Managing change: having a road map for the organisation, being the change you want in others, helping individual people adjust to change.

Our Development Centres usually contain psychological tests – personality questionnaires, aptitude tests, and examples of practical opportunities to achieve results in the organisation – which are followed up with detailed supportive individual feedback.

Click here for examples of how Valerie Stewart’s Development Centres have benefitted key organisations.

Development Centres are significant events that shape the future of organisations. Please call us to arrange a discussion on how we can help you shape yours.