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  • sarah5574

Bath organisations invest in leadership development

Updated: Apr 10, 2021

After waiting it out for close to a year now, as a result of Covid-19, we are excited to finally be set to launch this year's Bath Future Talent Programme 2021 with 12 participants on 22 April. Given the challenging year experienced by us all, it has been hugely rewarding to find a strong recognition by Bath-based organisations, of the importance of continuing to invest in their workforce, and specifically, leadership development. This is perhaps more important than ever, as strength of leadership, capability, resilience and adaptability, becomes ever more critical to organisational success through increasingly tough economic times.

This year, as in past years, our cohort promises to offer a rich learning environment as our 12 participants, drawn from charities (large and small), start-ups, global companies and differing sizes of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), bring a broad range of knowledge, skills and experience to the programme.

We are delighted to be welcoming participants from organisations which have been supporting the programme since its inception five years ago including Altran, Mayden, Bath Rugby Club and Julian House. Additionally, we are also welcoming some new organisations on board - Pure Planet, Wateraid, Dorothy House, Mitos and Creativity Works.

As in previous years, Bath Bridge is pleased to be sponsoring two local charities, Julian House and Creativity Works, with free places on the programme.

A new development for us is the delivery of the first two modules online this year - You as a Leader and You Leading Others. Given the nature of the last year's workplace, our team of consultants have had plenty of practise in their own work in delivering online, and we have redesigned each of the modules to provide 'bite-sized chunks' of learning as opposed to our face-to-face model of 2.5 days consecutively. We continue to travel optimistically that modules 3 and 4, scheduled for the autumn, can be delivered face-to-face.

Our programme promises to be an exciting one with some brilliant external speakers - the first of whom, Pablo Lloyd, OBE, will join us on 6 May as part of module 1 to explore ethical leadership. Pablo brings significant experience as a social entrepreneur, having co-founded four organisations in the education and training sector combined with extensive non-executive experience. He is currently CEO of visionnaires, a social enterprise increasing social mobility by incubating business start-ups, co-founded with Capital City College Group in 2019. Pablo has also served on commercial and not-for-profit boards in the education, music and other sectors for over 20 years. Following Pablo in subsequent modules, we will be welcoming a local leader, Alison Sturgess-Durden, a Director for Bath's very own Mayden - a highly successful company providing software solutions for the healthcare sector. Mayden has been a huge advocate of the programme since the outset and, as I took over the Programme Director's role in November 2019, I had the privilege of meeting with the eight Future Talent Alumni at The Old Dairy, Mayden's offices in Oldfield Park, each providing me with insight to the experiences of the programme. With lead responsibility for their business and organisational development, Alison will be sharing some thought-provoking ideas with our participants around organisational structures and cultures, as well as challenging their thinking on hierarchies.

Later on in the programme, we will hear from Dr Ann Limb, CBE DL - first woman Chair of the Scouts Association, amongst many other lifelong and significant achievements, not least being recently named #1 LGBTQ+ public sector role model in the OUTstanding List, and one of the 50 most influential women born in the North of England in the Northern Power Women Power List. Dr Margaret Heffernan, our very own Professor of Practice in the School of Management at the University of Bath, author of six highly influential books on leadership and management in addition to the delivery of TED talks viewed by over 13 million people, will join us at the end of the programme to stimulate some discussion around Leaders of the Future. And to add to our star-studded list of exciting speakers, we are introducing a new topic this year, to be led by Sue Turner, formerly Chief Executive Officer of the Quartet Community Foundation, and now immersing herself in the world of all things digital and artificial intelligence, around digital leadership.

As always, we have many returning and very popular consultants on our team this year including former Future Talent Programme Director, Dr Tracey Stead, Anna Britton, Piero Vitelli, Kirstie Sneyd, Steve Fuller FRSA and Dr Graham Abbey. We are also pleased to be joined by some new faces too - Amanda Wylie, Mark Hughes, Charlie Vernon, Sammy Burt and Jonathan Salisbury, each of whom will be introducing some new elements to the programme including thinking strategies, resilience, managing difficult conversations and difficult people, developing your own brand and your online presence. Supported by a first class team of highly experienced, professional coaches and business mentors, drawn from our local community, we are set to deliver what I hope will be a great programme again this year.

Working alongside this team of consultants, coaches, business mentors and speakers together with 12 great participants, all raring to go, I have no doubt that this year's programme will provide an engaging and creative learning environment into which we will all bring not only our knowledge, skills and experience, but also our insight and reflections from the last 12 months, which has tested us all in very many ways and through significant disruption has brought about organisational and life changes that most of us could never have anticipated. This will be an added dimension to our learning this year, I am sure.

Once again, we are partnering with Bath Rugby Club, who are kindly hosting us at the Recreation Ground when we return to face-to-face delivery. Our sincere thanks to them - it is a pleasure to be working with them.

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