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Building leadership skills to face an uncertain future

Thursday, 11 February 2016   (0 Comments)
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In order to meet the challenges of today's VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) world, strong leaders need to be able to anticipate future changes and prepare their teams to find smart, sustainable solutions to handle the growing complexity.

The Foresight, Innovation, and Leadership Programme, which took place from 7 to 12 December 2015 in Johannesburg, was designed to grow participants' leadership capabilities to develop themselves and those they lead.

The programme was hosted by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) in partnership with the American University’s School of Public Affairs, and the Institute for Leadership Development in Africa.

The six day course consisted of a series of lectures as well as team work aimed at introducing the mindset, foresight and innovation methods that leaders could put into practice to identify unforeseen opportunities, and equip them with the tools to take on new challenges and create viable, innovative alternatives.

CCDI Innovation Challenges Manager, Lisa Parkes said: "We learned to develop a shared language, understand leadership basics, different ways of conceptualising leadership and the leader’s role in creating followership, as well as how the workplace is changing. We were also introduced to adult development theory and we learned 'transformational' habits of mind, centred on asking different questions, taking different perspectives and seeing systems.“

The workshop used experiential learning to allow the participants to exchange ideas, share learning, do self-assessment exercises and collaborate. This exposed them to working with various tools such as:

Context Maps used to identify the main dimensions of current problem or opportunity space.

Progression Curves used to put event timelines, industry lifecycles, and other developments in context.

Janus Cones which enable viewing multiple, overlapping, and intersecting events in a single framework.

Generational Arcs used to plot and view the demographic changes and generational views of a target population.

"I learned more about managing a group process for working on real challenges and I plan on applying this to the process of framing the Better Living Challenge as well as other innovation challenges being run by our CCDI Design Support team,” said Lisa.

“This was a fantastic opportunity to learn and grow, as well as to network with TIA, the National School of Government, The Innovation Hub, The Vaal University of Technology’s Innovation Centre and a myriad of other stakeholders. The lessons learned can be applied within our organisation and in our projects and as such the experience has been invaluable.”

The next Foresight, Innovation, and Leadership Programme will take place in Cape Town from 22 to 27 February. Due to high demand it’s fully booked, however there is an opportunity to engage with the speakers at an evening event being hosted at Workshop 17, V&A Waterfront on February. 


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