LeaderLabs – explore, share and grow
When a well-known pharmaceutical giant wanted to develop an outstanding leaders programme to drive the right mindset and behaviours, they contacted The Culture Club and we got to work.
We needed to create a virtual and physical space where leaders can engage, connect and own their individual development in an encouraging environment. It had to be simple enough to work globally and credible enough to appeal to leaders.
We recommended an informal and flexible leader led approach where leaders form small trusted groups with their peers. Together they explore topics that matter most to them.
“A leader, first and foremost, is human. Only when we have the strength to show our vulnerability can we truly lead.” – Simon Sinek, Author of Leaders Eat Last.
LeaderLabs is a space where leaders explore and ask the big questions. Safe, non-judgmental and welcoming, it’s a place to open up, be vulnerable and develop their leadership practice.
LeaderLabs is an in-person or virtual meeting of up to eight leaders where they share experiences and insights based on their development needs. Leaders are accountable for planning and running their own sessions to ensure it works for them.
This simple, informal and flexible approach means LeaderLabs can be easily implemented across sites and able to grow in a sustainable way. To help celebrate and demonstrate impact, leaders are encouraged to share their authentic experiences with others and asked to provide continuous feedback.
How do leaders’ benefit?
Our aim was to create outstanding leaders at every level who can drive open and honest conversations. Leaders who help their teams achieve their objectives and perform by showing they focus, motivate, develop and care.
LeaderLabs is a tool to help leaders put culture front and centre with their teams and each other. By taking the time to focus on key areas of their own development, leaders will improve how they perform with their own teams.
We wanted leaders to bring real challenges and be open about the support and advice they need with their LeaderLabs group. Creating a welcoming environment for open-minded leaders to come together is at the core of LeaderLabs.
Leaders need time to connect with others in their group to create a lasting impact. During their first meeting (a chemistry session) leaders start to build psychological safety. The aim is to embed the shared belief that LeaderLabs is a safe space to speak up with ideas, questions and concerns.
Accountability and sustainability are essential elements. Leaders own their individual development – they choose their topics, organise their meetings and create ground rules for how they want to work together.
We gave leaders the freedom to use their development time in the best way. And supported them by creating an online community to get peer-to-peer insight, share their knowledge and experience, and download easy-to-use resources to have meaningful discussions.
What are people saying about LeaderLabs?
500+ leaders took part in a Live LeaderLabs taster session as part of a global conference in January 2021. We’ve seen some brilliant results so far:
are likely to recommend LeaderLabs to a peer
of leaders agreed they found their LeaderLabs session valuable
felt confident that session insights will help them improve their skills
Seven sites took part in an initial three-month pilot of LeaderLabs at the end of 2020. Here’s what leaders have to say:
- “The session in general was very dynamic and participatory, which contributed to it being very productive.”
- “I appreciate as a leader that I am given the opportunity to talk openly about the barriers we encounter on a daily basis, and above all the company’s willingness to change these things.”
- “Our challenging and changing future will demand that these initiatives be alive to enable us to face change with more skill.”
- “The initiative is quite innovative involving development in decision making capability for the future.”
As part of a continuous feedback loop leaders are invited to complete a survey after attending a LeaderLabs session.
In May 2021 LeaderLabs was rolled out to a new division of the business, giving even more leaders the opportunity to learn and demonstrate the right mindset and behaviours.