Experiencing the Henley Centre for Leadership Lab: Leading Healthy, Resilient Organisations for High Performance
7 December 2017
On Thursday 23 November 2017, members of the Henley Centre for Leadership welcomed representatives from a wide range of prominent international businesses, government organisations and charities to the Tropical Library near London’s South Bank.
Dr Bernd Vogel, Director of the Henley Centre for Leadership, gave an overview of the Lab - The Consortium for Sustained Leadership Excellence. He explained how the Lab is a consortium of organisations joining in a two-year leadership transformation process, working both with each other and with Henley, to engage in deep-level research for a long term outcome. “The HCL Lab is about fundamentally re-shaping your leadership approach for sustained leadership excellence and performance”, he said.
The subsequent workshop session was run by Dr Caroline Rook on the topic of ‘Leading Healthy, Resilient Organisations for High Performance’ and gave particular insight into how the eight HCL Lab workshops will play out. The participants discussed examples of high profile executives who have succumbed to stress in recent years and the detrimental impact that work stress has on organisational wellbeing and performance. Caroline asked if the business world is currently facing a “stress epidemic” and in a revealing exercise invited guests to identify and analyse their own personal sense of stress. She then challenged the room to discuss how to identify negative stress within ourselves, within our colleagues and in our organisations, and what the obstacles are to acknowledging its presence in executives. The subject inspired deep thinking and a lot of lively discussion.
Caroline finished the workshop by asking two questions for brief discussion then and there, and, more importantly, for the participants to take back to explore within their organisations:
- How can we actively safeguard health and well-being in an organisation, for one’s team and for ourselves?
- How do we get hard-pressed managers and professionals to pay sufficient attention to the taboo of stress?
Bernd then led onto the key building blocks of the HCL Lab, which addresses today’s most pressing leadership challenges through topics such as: Leadership – Everyone Matters, Innovation, Leading in Digitalisation, Diversity, Shaping Senior Management Teams.
During the Q&A session which ended the evening, Bernd and colleagues took incisive questions from guests about the detail of how the Lab will operate and what its many benefits will be for all participating organisations.
The next step will be for the Lab to convene for an introductory workshop with its new members in early Spring.