Experts call on organisations to unlock the cultural intelligence of their aspiring leaders

via Laura for Common Purpose UK

Experts call on organisations to unlock the cultural intelligence of their aspiring leaders

Leadership experts Common Purpose are calling on local organisations to consider looking beyond the traditional pillars of diversity to better equip their workforce and emerging leaders.

Working within the framework of cultural intelligence (CQ), Common Purpose’s new programme, the streetwise mba, equips high-potential leaders with the skills to cross divides and operate in different cultures. Rather than looking at diversity as a series of tick-boxes, Common Purpose wants organisations to recognise that individuals need to really understand themselves, and what is core to them, to enable them to connect, and work with, people who are different.

Launched last year, it is now being rolled out in major cities in the UK, including Birmingham, as well as internationally in Hong Kong, New York, and Johannesburg.

Common Purpose
Common Purpose

The blended learning programme, has three face-to-face days, with additional online support and a translate event to embed the learning after the programme finishes. It will give leaders the tools to cross boundaries and cultures; allowing them to communicate effectively and build the diverse networks necessary to solve messy problems. Using their innovative Core and Flex model, the programme looks at personal identity and equips participants with the ability to experience new situations and adapt to other people without fear of losing their sense of self.

Louise Teboul, Operations Director for Common Purpose UK, said; “We are really pleased to be launching the streetwise mba in Birmingham. Our programmes use experiential learning to deliver tangible benefits for leaders and organisations that are difficult to achieve alone with in-house training. We know from nearly 30 years’ experience of working with leaders that retaining talented future leaders is important, but also equipping them with the right skills for an ever-changing world. The streetwise mba provides a valuable learning tool to support people development and has the benefit of on-going alumni events. ”

Jim Sutcliffe, Managing Partner, Arboretum Partners LLP said: ‘You need CQ to run a business today, because, in the long run, you will make more money with CQ. I know we have all thought business was about products, customers, finances and people, but it’s more than that now. You have to understand the context in which you are operating and the communities you are part of. You have to work with other sectors and, if you are international, in other countries, and you need it not just at the top, but right through the business.

‘Without it, you won’t judge when to stand firm and when to give way, when to spend money, whether you like it or not. Without it, you will walk into impossible, messy situations that are sometimes at least partly of your own making. And, when the solutions do not lie in financial models, better products or new technologies, you will make bad judgments, because none of those things are much use when you are dealing with the media and politics, and you find yourself and your company in the public eye.’

The streetwise mba starts in Birmingham with an online accelerator in June and face-to-face programme in July. The programme will also run in Manchester and London later in the year. For more information, visit

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