International Cultural Leadership: Workforce Development and System Leadership

Research conducted by Michael Grayson for the UKs National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, just after the Millennium revealed that UK leaders would benefit from international experiences.  This holds as good today as it did then, indeed many other organisations and initiatives have been influenced by the idea, including International Placements for Creative Entrepreneurs and the Clore Leadership Programme.  The International Cultural Leadership Award was designed by Venu Dhupa and Nicola Turner in response with the aim of enriching the leadership journey of up to 20 high potential leaders.  Leaders constructed 9 month learning programmes which included re-location overseas to a ‘different culture’ and where they were required to shadow and deliver a project.  The goal was that 50% of them should be in leading positions, and demonstrating an outward facing capability, within the five years following their award.  Fifteen countries partnered NESTA including: China, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Egypt, Singapore, South Africa, India and Mexico.  The results were more than expected with 75% taking up positions and demonstrating an awareness of cultural diversity at a deep level.

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