November 4, 2015 in Events (live blogging), #cipd15

#cipd15 – Enabling leaders to develop and maintain high levels of performance

A session at #cipd15 by Catherine Ward (Interserve), and Indi Seehra (LSE), chaired by Tim Pointer (Starboard Thinking).

Catherine Ward introduced with a brief introduction of Interserve (84,000 employees globally). Interserve experienced a period of really significant growth, and quickly identified the need to

  • Break down business silos
  • Leverage experience and innovation to help business growth
  • Building trust and creating networks
  • Developing leadership capability for a changing world

Inter serve have created two programmes – Trusted Partner Programme and Ingenuity at Work Programme.


The Trusted Partner Programme is focused on accelerating the development of high potential senior leaders. The teams work on community and business projects to bring the experience to life. The programme is spread over 30 weeks, with three residentials which includes one in Dubai (which is a major base and market for Interserve). The programme starts with 360 feedback and psychometrics, and is well supported through action learning and coaching support. The final residential includes pitching to a Dragons’ Den comprised of the Executive Board. The entire programme is focused on developing future thinking, working internationally, developing business strategy, and leading change.


The Ingenuity at Work Programme is focused on high potentials within middle management. The programme has a similar structure to the Trusted Partner Programme, but it has a different emphasis: Looking inward, up-cycling challenge, business strategy, and supporting change.


The community projects have had a good positive impact. One – The BIONEST Dubai nursery project – made a contribution to making Dubai a greener place, working with academics and a school to install water recycling protect. A second project – with Manzil – made a big impact on empowering people with disabilities in the UAE by using left-over construction materials to renovate a run-down school.


Both development programmes have resulted in a positive benefit for attendees, with 50% of participants either being promoted or now have significantly increased responsibilities. So far 132 people have been through the programmes, and 24 projects have been undertaken which have made a good impact.


Indi Seehra (LSE):


Thoughts on Enabled Leadership:

Good organisations tend to be ones that have a clear identify and a really clear purpose. In great organisations, the clear purpose shines through at an organisational, team, and individual level. Great organisations have devolved decision making, and make ethical decisions at devolve this to the lowest possible level. Great organisations grow leadership from within, focusing on recruitment and development to grow future leaders from within. Great organisations recognise and reward success


Google is a great example of creating a fantastic brand and hiring the best people you can. Culture and climate is vital. Google has great leadership and a mission that inspires and excites people, although Indi noted that he didn’t see any of the visible trappings of leadership when he visited Google in California, and he wondered whether all Google employees see themselves as leaders?



Many organisations are early in their journey to develop Integrated Talent Management processes,

Level 1: Siloed HR processes

Level 2: Standardised Talent processes

Level 3: Integrated Talent Management

Level 4: Strategic Talent Management


What businesses can learn from Higher Education knowledge creation sector? Encourage collaboration by getting the right people working and getting teams collaborating. Provide stimulus, especially from early career researchers. Accept more and faster iterations to experiment and learn. Focus HR processes on reward not failure. All of these things are geared to create a culture in which serendipity is more likely to happen!


(This was live-blogged during a session at the CIPD Annual Conference & Exhibition – #cipd15 – I’ve tried to capture a faithful summary of the highlights for me but my own bias, views – and the odd typo – might well creep in.)

By browsing this website, you agree to our privacy policy.
I Agree