What did the program set out to do?
This program sought to strike a new balance between grand strategic thinking and hands-on practice. With the initial support of the Swedish Postcode Lottery, the Tällberg Foundation designed a pilot program for rising leaders the Nordic countries and selected southern African countries in transition and renewal, beginning with Rwanda and South Africa. The program aimed to foster ways for participants to develop and articulate their more powerful local visions, while building and sustaining relationships outside of their immediate context.
The practices learned in the program had a bias for hands on impact without losing sight of local dilemmas, personal aspirations and a wider strategic vision. By involving participants from different parts of the world, the Tällberg Foundation was also able to extend and deepen its contribution to fostering powerful conversations across thresholds of difference. The outdated language of ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ gave way to new forms of peer-to-peer engagement for mutual development.
The Tällberg Foundation recognized that the programme had to be deeply embedded in local contexts and essentially demand driven. Execution therefore took place in close partnership with local organizations and was positioned as a strategic “add on” to existing programmes and initiatives. A next stage ambition is to develop and resource a replicable module that can enrich and support local discourse in diverse places around the world, expanded through local partnerships.
While the longer-term ambition of the programme was global in reach, the practical development and prototyping was done in phases.
Input to shape the design of the program
In cooperation with the Yale World Fellows program at Yale University, a collaborative design workshop session was held with faculty and emerging leaders from around the globe and with varied experiences. The workshop has helped to shape the program and its desired outcomes.
The pilot program targeted a small group of selected participants from Rwanda, South Africa and the Nordic countries. However, the ethos of the program was truly global.
Particular attention in the selection procedure - in addition to direct professional and personal achievements - was placed on the candidate’s ability to think laterally and creatively, their entrepreneurial drive to turn new insights into new responsibilities and their humanistic value base. The potential candidates were interviewed and assessed before being accepted into the program.
Analysis of needs
Once the candidates had been selected, workshops were held in each of the three regions. The focus of the workshops was to assess the needs of the participants and with regional know-how and experience. The input from these workshops was used to further develop the program.
Workshop for "Developing leaders in transition," 12-17 June 2012, Tällberg, Sweden
The workshop brought together all the 15 participants for one week in the village of Tällberg, Sweden. The program run in parallel with, and at times in combination with, the annual Tällberg Forum.
The program themes and elements included:
- Systems thinking - understanding a wider context
- My theory of change - develop an understanding of multi-level change and role as an actor in a change process
- Competing commitments - understanding core conflict models, mediation and resolution approaches
- Building enduring relationships and influence mapping - what do we know about developing string networks and working groups?
- My personal leadership signature - what does feedback tell me about what I need to do to develop my sweet-spots and overcome gaps?
- Coach and consulting for change - influencing skills to affect systems-wide change