Leadership Conversations 2021/2022

Below we set out the dates and themes for our Conversations through to June 2022. Some Conversations are marked “Fellows only” because attendance is restricted to Leadership Fellows. Others are marked “Fellows+” because we are very happy to welcome Fellows’ nominees, such as a member of their top team or a key business partner.

Here is an up-to-date list of participants joining us for Leadership Conversations from September to December 2021.  Details are also available on the Agenda page for each Conversation.

Special Zoom Programme – Wisdom in duality.

In 2021 we are introducing a new series of zoom programmes, once a term, which we hope will become a standard part of our format for the Society going forwards. This builds on the value and insights that have been generated from our shorter ‘leader to leader’ zoom conversations and provides a space for people to connect in more depth around key questions that emerge. The report from the first series can be found here.

The broad theme we will be exploring this year is how we handle some of the dualities we face as leaders which have us pulled in different directions by different pressures, both internal and external. We often construe these as ‘either/or’ choices when the reality is ‘both/and’.

We have found the zoom environment, properly managed, to be just as conducive to in-depth conversations and have also found that the most value is obtained when we clear the space for a day to give it our full focus rather than trying to fit it in between other commitments. That is why we have allocated a day to these – either a single day or an afternoon and a morning of consecutive days.

This programme is provided as an optional addition to the residential programme and Fellows will still be expected to attend at least one face-to-face Conversation a year, as this is central to the ethos of the Society. Rather it is intended for those Fellows who want to sustain a more frequent contact than their annual attendance.

The remaining programme on this thread for 2021 is: (please click on the title to see the agenda)

‘Hard &/or Soft’ – October 14th

Further details about all of these themes can be found below.

 

New Leadership Themes:

Wisdom in Leadership

Wisdom in leadership is about cultivating our presence and awareness to see more broadly and deeply into what is really happening and access a quality of response that is not available when we are caught up in the immediacy of their concerns.

Leading in these times

This theme will focus on conversations that have a specific relevance to ‘the times we find ourselves in’. They give us a chance as leaders to sense into how the wider forces at work in ‘these times’ are making themselves felt in our own leadership and organisations.

Growth

This will be a more practical theme, looking at how we expand our resourcefulness, competence and confidence by enquiring into core leadership challenges and dilemmas that we all face – learning from our shared experience and best practice as we do so.

To read more about these new themes please click here.

 

Leadership Conversation
Deeper Learning - Facilitated small group sessions
Each session will be run on an ‘as needed’ basis. Simply register your interest and we will contact you to book in a time
One thing that many people have clearly valued on the conversations to date is Pete’s sensitive but probing facilitation and this is what we want to continue in these sessions. Facilitated by Chris or Karen, for groups of no more than five, these will provide a space to help you to go to a deeper level in addressing questions that are of real significance to you. This may be things that are stirring in you or concerning you, that you know you have not quite bottomed out – and which you sense may require some reappraisal of your own stance or perspective.
Each session will be run on an ‘as needed’ basis. Simply register your interest and we will contact you to book in a time
Fee: £75 per session
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
64
Addictions & Freedom
From 6.00pm on Monday 20th September 2021 until 3.30pm on Tuesday 21st September
Why would anyone want to come to a Conversation on addictions? The immediate answer is that they are the cause of much of the dysfunctionality that most inhibits our effectiveness, both our own and our organisation’s. It is the subtlety of compulsive and addictive behaviours that gradually lull us into a state of sleepwalking. The pandemic of course exposed many of these for what they were, but it is not long before we settle back into them – old and new patterns. One of the key skills of a leader is the ability to see this kind of sleepwalking and to wake people up – however unpopular this may make us. Jim Collins famously coined this as ‘facing the brutal facts’ in his book ‘Good To Great’. During this Conversation we will consider the cause and effect of addiction, the realities and repercussions in our workplaces, and our role as leaders in shifting these patterns. Fellows +
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
65
Leadership and Legacy
From 6.00pm on Sunday 10th October 2021 until 11.15am on Wednesday 13th October
There is a time in our leadership journeys when we shift perspective. We start to emerge from roles, constraints and patterns that are to some extent defined for us – whether at work or at home – and to sense into how to be a freer and fuller expression of our true calling. As Parker Palmer puts it – ‘is the life we are living true to the life that’s living in us?’ Is there a sense of something else calling us into a bigger story than the one we are inhabiting at present? And this is not an exercise in vanity, around feeding our own sense of significance. Rather it is the opposite – a letting go and a deepening of service and humility: What are we seeing that is so needed in the world around us right now, however near or far we look… and if not us, then who? And what might really possible if we were willing to trust ourselves, and others, enough to step more clearly, fully and freely into it? Fellows +
Three-night Leadership Conversation fee: £1325
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
66
Hard & / or Soft
(via Zoom)
From 10.15am until 4.30pm on Thursday 14th October 2021
How we manage the conflicting emotions and energies within us when we have to show up strongly and firmly behind tough decisions whilst remaining compassionate and sensitive to those caught up in them. Fellows only.

One-day remote Leadership Conversation fee: £290
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
67
Organisations as Conversations
From 10.00am until 4.30pm Wednesday November 3rd 2021
“In language we build our own identities, our relationships with others, the countries that we live in, the companies that we have and the values that we hold dear. With language we generate life.” Fernando Flores
This conversation will look at the extraordinary power we possess as leaders to shape both our own and others’ experience of reality through language. It will aim to help us be more alert to the power of language and more attentive, purposeful, and often more subtle, in our interventions. Fellows only.
One-day Leadership Conversation fee: £450
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
68
Re-imagining Team
From 6.00pm on Monday 8th November 2021 until 3.30pm on Tuesday 9th November
This conversation will take us into a radical exploration of the notion of team. One of the most significant consequences of the lockdown has been the different way leaders have found themselves engaging with their teams. We will share, explore and develop our own experience of ‘teams without boundaries’. In particular we will look at what we have learned about building common purpose and trusting relationships across some of the familiar structural and political schisms of organisational life. We will also look at the increasing spread of informal small, nested teams, (quads or triads) as a powerful force in mobilising organisational change and rapid adaptation. Fellows +
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
69
Ethical Leadership
From 6.00pm on Tuesday 2nd December 2021 until 3.30pm on Wednesday 3rd December
Leading in any system has us face ethical dilemmas, choices that cause a level of inner conflict. Choices that cause us to question
• What should I do?
• What sort of person should I be?
• When should I speak up and when should I stay silent?
At the core of this conversation is the question, “How do I find my ethical stance to live at peace with myself, both personally and in business?”
A conversation on ethical leadership is not abstract, it is grounded in our own truth, our own reality, and our own dilemmas.
During this conversation we will consider who we are as leaders, how we tend to make decisions and what it takes to hold for the processing of ethical considerations. We will also look at it systemically, the ethical dilemmas we face, the courage and wisdom it takes to build and maintain the ethical character of our organisation. Fellows +
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
70
Leader in the Mirror
From 6.00pm on Monday 6th December 2021 until 3.30pm on Tuesday 7th December
In his famous song Man in the Mirror, Michael Jackson sung "if you want to make the world a better place ... take a look at yourself and then make a change”. That will be our cue for this Conversation focusing on SELF-LEADERSHIP and our personal strategies for making better leaders of ourselves. What have been Fellows’ most effective strategies for self-leadership so far, and what are the key lessons that we each take from the stories that others share? Specifically, what changes should we each be making in our habits as leaders to make us more effective in persuading others to follow suit? By the end we hope to have sharpened up some general principles for getting tougher on the leader in the mirror, as well as supporting each other with sharpening up specific resolves in relation to our SELF-LEADERSHIP. Fellows +
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
71
Rebalancing our lives as leaders and taking on our inner postponer!
From 10.00am until 4.30pm on Tuesday December 14th 2021
Every December we have a one-day Leadership Conversation in which we ask what your priorities are for the coming year. It has always been booked up 6 months beforehand, so please don’t delay too long if you want to join this one! This year we want to make things even more difficult for ourselves by asking which among our top priorities for 2022 we are most likely to postpone and - knowing ourselves as we do - keep on postponing. We will then explore what we might each do to ensure that in 2022 we TAKE ON OUR INNER POSTPONER! We hope that we will each end up with two or three resolves that we might ordinarily try to postpone and now intend to act on decisively in the early weeks of the New Year. Fellows only.
One-day Leadership Conversation fee: £450
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
72
The Humble Disruptor
From 6.00pm on Thursday 20th January 2022 until 3.30pm on Friday 21st January
This draws on our theme of 'GROWTH' as well as the outcomes of various Conversations that have engaged with humility in leadership. Our stereotype of the disruptive leader tends NOT to be one in which we associate that leader with a high degree of humility! Imagine that you could combine a readiness to be more disruptive, and to say some things that others don’t particularly want to hear, with a desire to demonstrate humility, for example by encouraging others to push back if they are not persuaded by your proposition. Would this make you more effective as a disruptor? What sort of disruptive leader would you most like to be, and which other qualities would you most like to draw on to maximise your impact? As well as exploring humility within disruptive leadership, we also want to explore the disruptive side to your humility. How might you best demonstrate your humility in a way that encourages some of your disruptive colleagues to keep their own ego on a tighter rein? Fellows +
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
73
Working from Home or Living at Work?
From 10.00am until 4.30pm on Wednesday February 2nd 2022
The pandemic fundamentally changed the way we work. Working from home became the norm for many and leaders navigated their way through rapid adaptation and adoption of new technologies to support that. Communication was a focus, trust fostered, and a greater sense of autonomy appreciated.
The CIPD report ‘embedding new ways of working post-pandemic’ suggests that 40% of employers expect more than half their work-force to continue to work regularly from home, having seen the benefits of reduced commuting time and more autonomy around working schedules.
Many organisations are now considering what ‘hybrid’ working means for them.
This conversation will draw on our 'LEADING IN THESE TIMES' theme and look beyond the performance implications and practicalities of working from home to explore more fully the potential challenges and impacts on psychological well-being, boundaries and relationships as the space between work and home blurs.
In a fast paced conversation we will explore this question, ‘are we working from home or living at work?’ more deeply. We will share experience, insights and considerations for our-selves, our teams, and our society. We will consider the implications and the potential over the short, medium, and longer term.
Fellows only
One-day Leadership Conversation fee: £450
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
74
Re-purposing, remembering our 'Why'
From 6.00pm on Thursday 10th February 2022 until 3.30pm on Friday 11th February
Most people want to know their work has meaning, to feel a fire in their belly and know for the sake of what they give their labour. For many organisations, meaning had been reduced to a purpose statement that is grandiose and removed from the day to day or holds back from expressing its founding passion and hope.
For many, the pandemic has caused us to question our ‘why’. Why do we really do what we do?
For some organisations, the pandemic re-ignited their purpose. Supermarkets, for example, whose workers were reminded of the vital role they play in feeding the nation, rose in stature and approached the unknown, the unpredictable with inspiration and belief. This conversation will follow our 'WISDOM IN LEADERSHIP' theme and is for Fellows who are wanting to re-ignite passion and purpose in their organisations. To remember why they do what they do and bring meaning that inspires conscious, whole-hearted contribution. Fellows +
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
75
Keeping Perspective - "Seeing our Seeing"
From 10.00am until 4.30pm on Wednesday March 2nd 2022
One of our greatest challenges as leaders is keeping perspective, and nowhere is better than our time together in the Vicars' Hall for helping us restore it. This conversation will follow the 'WISDOM IN LEADERSHIP' theme and is designed to enable you to do a quick pause, check and reset.
It is an inevitable consequence of leadership that to some extent we get ‘sucked in’ to the ‘systems’ we are leading in, even though our job is to revitalise and renew these. More insidiously, we lose sight of how wider social forces are unconsciously shaping us – not always for the better. What are we ‘putting up with’ that we should be challenging? Also, as we focus on our own responsibilities, we can lose sight of why and how others are pursuing theirs. Fellows only.
One-day Leadership Conversation fee: £450
Leadership Conversation
76
For such a time as this... Complexity and Chaos
From 6.00pm on Monday 14th March 2022 until 11.15am on Wednesday 16th March
Full agenda to follow shortly
Two-night Leadership Conversation fee: £995
Leadership Conversation
77
Fostering Wisdom
From 6.00pm on Thursday 7th April 2022 until 3.30pm on Friday 8th April
This conversation will follow our 'WISDOM IN LEADERSHIP' theme and focus on our unique role as leaders in fostering in our own organisations the kind of quality of learning, insight, attention and reflection that we are able to access in this community here at St George’s. How do we create ‘safe space’ within our own systems for people to be able to pause and look more deeply at who they are and what is needed of them – not just in a developmental setting, but in the day to day running of a demanding organisational setting. Fellows +
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
78
Rehumanising Working Life
From 6.00pm on Thursday 5th May 2022 until 3.30pm on Friday 6th May
Are we losing the ‘human touch’ in our ways of working? What has our experience in the pandemic helped us see in relation to this? Are people increasingly being ‘instrumentalised’ by new expectations of performativity, new patterns of social control, including digital, AI, the new ‘machine age’ and other forces? What is the impact on mental health and performance? Why has ‘wellbeing’ become such a factor in our organisational lives? Is it working…?
This conversation will follow our 'GROWTH' theme and explore what we are noticing about our leadership contexts in recent times - are they getting ‘harder’ or ‘softer’, ‘tougher’ or ‘kinder’, more or less tolerant and patient, more or less ‘human’? And what are the underlying forces driving this? We will also, in true St Georges style, hold the mirror up to ourselves – how are we finding it personally? How is our experience of leadership changing? Is something different needed from us in these times? What are we learning as we evolve our leadership? What is best practice nowadays? Fellows +
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
Leadership Conversation
79
Achieving more purposeful connection as leaders
From 6.00pm on Sunday 15th May 2022 until 11.15am on Wednesday 18th May
This three-night Conversation will follow our 'GROWTH' theme and draw on: achieving a deeper CONNECTION with others through the principle of "connect not convince”; developing a keener sense of our personal PURPOSE as leaders, that is so key to how we focus our energies and define success, and achieving this all with a real sense of HUMILITY and desire to become ever more empowering of others. We will use this special time to make it possible for everyone involved to achieve multiple breakthroughs as we each review and refresh our own thinking about how we would most like to develop our future journey as a leader. Our aim is that by the end our personal strategies for achieving more purposeful connection as a leader over the coming year will be sharper and clearer than ever. Fellows +
Three-night Leadership Conversation fee: £1325
Leadership Conversation
80
Crafting your story as a leader
From 10.00am until 4.30pm on Friday June 17th 2022
More and more of us feel under pressure to tell our stories as leaders. We are reluctant to come across as self-centred and yet we know that we are required to offer some sort of summary of our personal leadership journey. Should we expect to share some of our previous leadership experiences to establish our credentials for our current role? If we share some of our past experiences, how much should we be prepared to say about things that have gone wrong as well as those that have been a resounding success? Should we have one all-purpose personal story for any audience and maybe another which offers some real vulnerability for those we want to let up close? Building on our theme of “GROWTH”, we will engage with all of these challenges as well as supporting each other with crafting the core propositions in our personal leadership stories. Fellows +
One-day Leadership Conversation fee: £450