Edgecumbe Consulting

 Leadership Development

Using a co-ordinated and impactful approach, we help you to realise the business benefits that can be delivered through improved leadership capability, effective team-working and better sight of future leadership potential.

Our core beliefs about leadership development are:

  1. Focussing on situation and context when developing leaders is crucial – development activities need to be relevant and practical in order for the developed skills, behaviours or knowledge to be transferred into daily action.
  2. Developing individual leaders is not enough – individual leaders are ‘incomplete’ so the best leadership is done in teams of individuals with complementary strengths. The hard part is that these individuals need to work effectively with each other despite their differences, collaborating and having constructive conflict. This means that it’s important to help leadership teams to develop as a whole, as well as individually.

A Few Problems with Traditional Leadership Development

Leadership: Nature or Nurture?

Central to this debate is the nature Vs nurture question – is ‘leadership’ something that can in fact be taught and developed? Or, are the skills and attributes required to be an effective leader innate – you either have it or you don’t?

The truth of the matter probably lies somewhere in the middle. There are certain innate qualities (like assertiveness and sociability) that tend to lead to the emergence of leadership and are usually seen as qualities of effective leaders. These qualities are themselves a mix of nature and nurture but are usually stable by adulthood and therefore less amenable to change or development. However, there are also a host of skills and attributes that can be taught and developed, such as commercial or strategic thinking, business acumen, communication skills, influencing skills and self-awareness.

Additionally, how important each skill or attribute is will depend significantly on situation and context. It is for these reasons that we find our task-based model of leadership and framework for development works well – it is agnostic in terms of skills or competencies and instead focusses on what leaders need to DO. Therefore, it can be applied to all situations and contexts.

Individualism: The ‘Heroic’ leader

The other flaw in traditional thinking around leadership development is that it hasn’t caught up from the individualistic, ‘hero’ approaches of the 20th century. It is now widely accepted that leadership is not an individual, but a collective process – it is a team game.

Leadership is also seen to be a process between leader and follower, heavily influenced by a given situation or the context of an organisation. Therefore, in focussing solely on individual leadership development for a small population of senior leaders, organisations fail to address the important effects of team and organisational dynamics – putting a clean fish back into dirty water! When developing leadership, we need to look at the system as a whole.

How Our Leadership Development is Different

Firstly, our task-based model of leadership and framework for development works well as it is agnostic in terms of skills or competencies and instead focusses on what leaders need to DO. Therefore, it can be applied to all situations and contexts, it’s memorable and focusses leader’s thinking around their development in practical terms – which they really like.

Secondly, we partner with you to approach leadership development from several angles in a co-ordinated, holistic and impactful way:

Individual Development

Designing bespoke leadership development programmes (in-house or off-site), training workshops and providing powerful executive coaching – ensuring that all elements are relevant to the individual business challenges.

Read more about how we develop individual leaders

Team Development

Providing Team Coaching, Board Development, Team Alignment Workshops, and Team Observation. We focus on leadership as a team game, helping teams to understand how individual strengths and limitations contribute and how they can work together more effectively to realise the benefits of these complementary strengths.

Read more about how we develop leadership teams

Organisational Development

We help organisations to build a consistent, memorable and practical leadership language in order for leaders to translate business challenges into leadership tasks and embedding processes to make it live. We can help you to develop organisational culture and providing highly insightful HR analytics to support evidence-based decisions and improvements.

Read more about how we can help you to develop your organisation with HR analytics