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Image Now open for applications, the British Council Strategic Leaders Programme offers you a unique opportunity to join African and British leaders in addressing today's pressing challenges.

The British Council is the United Kingdom's international cultural relations organisation. Since it was established, the organisation has grown into a global force with a presence in over 100 countries around the world, with teaching centres that provide over one million classroom hours a year.

Since 1934, the British Council has had a presence in Africa and today it works in 23 countries throughout the continent to build mutually beneficial relationships and increase awareness of the UK's creative ideas and achievements. Each of its centres offers a different range of services, including cultural events, student exchange programmes and study visits to promote opportunities in UK education, teach the English language and promote arts and innovation as well as professional networking.

British Council Strategic Leaders Programme

The British Council Strategic Leaders Programme, one of the organisation’s flagship programmes, is an 8-day cutting edge international programme for high level African and UK leaders in the public, private and community sectors. Now open to applications, the programme offers a unique opportunity to address new challenges in this interconnected world through access to inspirational and professional senior leaders from the UK and 19 African countries and using innovative learning tools.

Now open for applications, the British Council Strategic Leaders Programme is an 8-day cutting edge international programme for high level African and UK leaders.

It is a unique experiential learning programme, delivered over a period of three months, by a team of highly-qualified and experienced facilitators and respected practitioners from Africa and the UK.

"Being the largest international cultural relations organisation, it is our belief that when people engage positively they benefit from the richness of diversity," says Alan Addison, the Strategic Leaders Programme Manager.

"In the Strategic Leaders Programme we bring together leaders at or near CEO level, adopting the British Council's distinctive leadership approach and using speakers, alumni, a facilitator team, and our consortium links which include Exeter University Centre for Leadership Studies and Manchester University Business School."

Global Leadership with an Edge

The Strategic Leaders Programme is an innovative programme that focuses the skills of professionals and builds on participants' experience to deliver high performance for their organisation; Image imparts skills to help them understand and motivate their work force so as to accelerate sustainable change inside and outside their organisation and build networks with senior professionals.

"Leaders strengthen their capacity to understand their own role, to envision, to bring out the best in their team and lead others into a successful strategic transformation of organisation or company," says Alan.

The programme has proved hugely successful and is now highly sought after by senior African and UK professionals from private, public and non-governmental sectors. Asked why people should seek to participate, the message from the British Council is clear. "Because it works," says Alan. "The British Council has run the programme for four years in the UK and in twenty African countries. Over 3,000 leaders now use its tools to understand better their own role as leaders, and to bring out the best in their teams."

The programme has proved hugely successful and is now highly sought after by senior African and UK professionals from private and public sectors.

"It is a unique opportunity to engage, learn and network within and across multi-cultural environments," Alan explains. "It is a chance to learn how to lead change with a new focus, energy and understanding. It is not just about business but about seeking new ways to achieve the 'Triple Bottom Line' of 'People, Planet and Profit'."

Learning within an Appreciative Inquiry framework and Systems Thinking, participating businesses or organisations can establish new mutually beneficial relationships for their employees, stakeholders, shareholders and customers.

Image By the end of the programme, participants will have strengthened key leadership competencies, explored opportunities to establish new partnerships, gained insights and tools to achieve core objectives whilst respecting people and preserving the environment, and planned action to make the change for the organisation.

"The Programme enables you to clarify what you and your organisation stands for," says Alan. "To raise your ambition levels through inspiration from many new voices and continuing to grow your confidence as one of a global community of leaders making positive change in Africa and the UK. It develops your skills based on proven experience of what works and how transformation happens, and increase your impact to address new challenges and business opportunities through networking, partnerships and collaborations."

"No lectures!".... instead they offer highly effective experiential learning led by professional and skilled African and UK facilitators.

The methodology of the programme is highly interactive. "No lectures!" says Alan. Instead they offer highly effective experiential learning led by professional and skilled African and UK facilitators and continually updated to include the latest thinking and best practice. Participants are given space for cross-cultural conversations and mutual learning, while further learning also comes from international Guest Speakers with global and organisational insights.

Leadership with Purpose

The programme is structured into 2 phases: a 'Doing and Learning Phase' between 11 and 14 January 2010 in London, followed by 4 days in Johannesburg from 8 to 11 March 2010 for the 'Living Leadership Phase'.

Alumni of previous programmes include the Botswana Local Government ministry, cabinet members of countries including Malawi and Cameroon, delegates from the Commonwealth Heads of Government and UN Economic Commission and local government ministers from Botswana.

Image Those interested in joining the 2010 programme have until 11 December to contact the British Council and the selection process will be rigorous. Those selected will typically be responsible and/or accountable for the present and future success of their business, organisation or department.

They will need to be passionate about leading successful, sustainable change, not only for their organisation or company, but also for humanity. Given the diversity of participants, those selected will need to demonstrate their interest in working effectively with different cultures.

"We are looking for people who are dynamic, enthusiastic and make things happen," says Alan. "Our vision is to bring a large cohort of African leaders together with UK leaders, to focus and produce leadership that generates sustainable solutions to the real and pressing challenges we now face in Africa and throughout the globe."

The cost of The Strategic Leaders Programme is £3,500 and includes all tuition, full board accommodation and airport transfers. The cost of flights is not included. Expressions of interest must be made by 11 December 2009. For further information, contact: Alan Addison, Programme Manager on alan.addison@britishcouncil.org or Sekai Mpisaunga, Support Manager on sekai.mpisaunga@britishcouncil.org.zw
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