In this last year of huge challenge and uncertainty, Common Purpose UK has innovated and done all it can to keep supporting leaders in new ways. The international leadership organisation has not only created new virtual leadership programmes with global elements and a new app, but also 21% of their participants have received bursary support to join the programmes.
Helen Kovacs, Senior Programme Director for Common Purpose in the South West explained more…
“In a time of such huge uncertainty, there’s never been more need for effective leadership but also for more diversity in leadership. For over 30 years we’ve been delivering cross-boundary leadership programmes – inclusive leadership is what we do and we’ve always offered bursary support.
“Last year almost 60% of our bursary-supported places were from under-represented groups in leadership positions, whether that’s people from Black, Asian or other ethnic minorities.
“Being able to collaborate with organisations, including BeOnBoard to offer bursary places on their behalf has been paramount in helping support the increased focus on fairness, equity and opportunity in leadership roles.
Kalpna Woolf, the founder of BeOnBoard, the Bristol based talent development agency said, “we are proud to have teamed up with Common Purpose to offer aspiring leaders from diverse backgrounds a fully paid bursary. Our mission is to disrupt the business-as-usual model with high-caliber talent from diverse backgrounds to help shape a fairer society for all. Together this bursary will help us level-up on the race leadership gap by accelerating much needed racial and gender representation across the nation’s Boardroom and C-Suite teams.”
Engaging, not lecturing
Helen Kovacs added, “Our real-time, virtual leadership programmes for both senior and emerging leaders focus on connecting cross-sector, diverse peers to learn from, and with each other, and are about engagement, not lectures or webinars. We have inspiring and thought-provoking contributors, who share their leadership insights, in a confidential, honest, open way and there’s lots of opportunity to question, discuss and engage.
“We have also taken advantage of the benefits that virtual learning can bring – alongside local cohorts, the programmes across the UK join other participant groups from South Africa, India, Hong Kong and Ireland for even more diversity. In addition, we’ve developed an app – to help track the insights/learnings from the programme and a Cross-Boundary Leadership Index tool,” says Helen.
Common Purpose is confident that these programmes can help leaders develop the skills they need at one of the most challenging, uncertain and pivotal points in their careers.
Helen concludes: “None of us, as leaders, and organisations, have been able to just wait for things to get back to normal – we’ve needed to be agile, innovate and be creative. There’s no doubt that it’s been challenging and still is, but it’s felt like a real privilege to be able to continue to support and work with leaders at a time when they need it most. And, more importantly, that we’ve continued to offer bursary-support to talented people who cannot afford to participate in our programmes.
“I’d also like to thank all our contributors and partners who support our work and quest for inclusive leadership.”
About Common Purpose
Common Purpose is an international, not-for-profit leadership development organisation that specialises in cross-boundary leadership. Founded in 1989, they run programmes in over 100 cities worldwide, and have more than 97,000 alumni. The organisation now also operates globally and has run programmes in over 100 cities for students, emerging leaders and senior leaders. These programmes develop leaders who can cross boundaries. This enables them to solve complex problems both in organisations and in cities.
Check out the Common Purpose programme