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CONNECT Gauging our impact and influence


Connect: Impact and Influence

Contents Introduction3 Short and sweet

4

Rationale and method 

5

So, what did we find out? 

7

SURVEY QUESTIONS 1 My organisation has directly benefited 

8

2 I act with more courage 

9

3 I have tools/approaches I still use 

10

4 I have a bank of stories and insights I draw on 

11

5 I am clearer on my purpose as a leader 

12

6 I have helped people and/or been helped by people I met through Wavelength 

13

7 People have said I am better at helping others with their leadership challenges 

14

8 I have consciously built a stronger network to support me/my team 

15

9 I actively look at what goes on outside my sector 

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10 Other people have commented that I’m a better/happier leader/person 

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11 Overall, how useful has Connect been to you as a leader? 

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Case study – Richard Brass, Impact Ventures UK 

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Wavelength’s impact in the world – what have we learned? 

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What we are doing differently 

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Flashcard Questions 

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Members, hosts and partners 

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More about Wavelength 

26

Thanks Thank you very much to everyone who played a part in this process. To Helen Trevaskis and Delia Wallace for helping design and execute the process. To those who gave so freely of their time to be interviewed. To all those who completed the online survey. To our critical friends: Heather Hancock, Dr Zella King, Julia Rebholz, Jane Clubb and Bob Thust. To Mineral, who designed this report.

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Connect: Impact and Influence

Introduction We created Wavelength to change the world for the better through business. We work with leaders from across industries and sectors offering them world-class stimulus, learning and new connections. Liam Black

Jessica Stack

Adrian Simpson

We want to help make them better leaders – more informed about key issues, more resilient and confident in how they exercise leadership, with better networks – in order to deal with an increasingly complex and fast changing world. Our cross subsidy business model has enabled leaders of scores of social enterprises, charities, mutuals and community organisations to take part as equals with their peers in private sector big business. We have invested more than £500,000 in the learning and development of social entrepreneurs and innovators in the UK and beyond. Since 2008 more than 800 leaders have taken part in our various programmes. Our work has taken us from the beauty of the Berkshire Downs where we run our residential events to the slums and rural areas of Bangladesh and Kenya and on to the gleaming citadels of the digital revolution in Silicon Valley. It has been quite a ride.

We have never wanted to do purposeless inspiration. We are not an entertainment business, we are in the business of behaviour change and this report focuses on Connect, our UK-based leadership programme. We wanted to find out what real impact we have had in the lives and leadership behaviours of the many hundreds of people who have taken part in the Connect programme. The leadership and executive development industry is drenched in hyperbole and empty promises of ‘transformational change’. We don’t want to overclaim or indulge in hyperbole about how amazing we are. We aren’t. We’re good but we have much to learn and we want to always be improving. This is our first foray into working out how to measure our impact and into assessing if we’ve had one worth measuring. All feedback gratefully received so we can make future reports even more useful to us and our clients. Liam, Jess and Ade June 2016

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Connect: Impact and Influence

Short and sweet What is Connect?

The Survey

Connect is an annual leadership programme made up of a series of residential events, masterclasses and visits to companies punctuated by facilitated sessions to help members make sense of what they are learning and how it might be applied in their own businesses. Each year there have been a different 100 to 120 members from a wide range of businesses and sectors.

564 alumni surveyed

Connect 2010-2015

26%

response

“my organisation has directly benefited”

77%

612 leaders 422 corporates

190 socials

Top 5 corporate sectors:

Top 5 social sectors:

Financial Services

Housing & Homelessness

Media

Health & Social Care

Engineering & Manufacturing

Young People

Retail

Environment

Telecomms

Long Term Unemployment

91%

“I still have tools I use”

“Connect was 69% completely invaluable or really useful”

80%

“I am clearer on my role as a leader” 4


Connect: Impact and Influence

Rationale and method At the heart of our work are three core beliefs. We believe in the power of experiential learning. Rather than have a guru lecture you about, say, innovation, we take you inside organisations that do innovation really well to hear about honest first hand experience from leadership and shop floor. When you get to a certain level in your career and business there is always more job specific stuff to be learned but how do you learn about leadership? There is great power in leaders learning from leaders unmediated by ‘experts’ or ‘consultants’.  e believe that diversity – in all its W meanings – is critical to learning about leadership. The ways an engineer, a journalist, a social entrepreneur, a banker, respond to the same leadership stimulus will be different. Surprise, insight and learning happen best in those intersections of diverse experiences and perspectives.

Gauging behaviour change and linking it credibly to our interventions are no easy tasks. Senior leaders living complicated, ever-changing business lives have many influences on them of which Connect is but one. People have different learning styles and timing is everything. In some cases it is very straightforward to draw a line between participation in Connect and new stuff happening. One private banker created a £40 million impact fund (see page 21). Centrica founded an innovation investment fund called Ignite to back “entrepreneurs with the energy to change society”. A director at Deloitte created a pro bono programme for social entrepreneurs. All identify Wavelength as the catalyst to change and creation. But where there has not been a big bright shiny new thing created like an multimillion pound investment fund gauging the difference Connect has made – in our alumni’s difficult business decisions, calls, hiring and firing, career choices, an individual’s sense of confidence and how they are seen by peers and bosses – that is harder to measure and account for. The structure and content of Connect has been deliberately modified and improved over the years in response to participant feedback. So while the leaders who responded to our survey all went on Connect they will have experienced different versions of it.

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Connect: Impact and Influence

Phase Two We used 10 of these factors to construct a Survey Monkey that we sent in September 2015 to all those who had taken part in Connect in the five years from 2010 to 2014. 97 of these 445 people completed and returned the online survey. We achieved a respectable hit rate of 22%. In March 2016, we sent the survey to the 119 people who had done Connect in 2015 and the response rate was 47%.

The findings in this report are based on a two-stage approach, designed to first qualitatively identify when Connect works for leaders and why this is – success factors if you like. Then, secondly, to measure quantitatively how others on the programme ranked the impact of Connect on their leadership against these factors. Phase One We identified 10 leaders from across the years who we know have benefited significantly. We created a set of question cards (see page 24) which interviewees picked at random from the pack. Their answers were recorded.

We did not set quotas within these samples, neither for types of organisations nor on any particular attitude or behaviour. We relied on what the leaders interviewed told us, although where possible we structured questions with an external validation built in – e.g. Other people have commented that I’m a better/happier leader/person. This report is not perfect – it’s our first and the next one will be better. We had to start somewhere so we started here. What we have uncovered is, we believe, valid and useful for both us and for the organisations and individuals who are Wavelength alumni now and will be in the future.

We talked to them each face-to-face for at least an hour (some went on for much longer). We distilled from these interviews a set of factors which were common across the interviewees and suggested how we might measure the impact of Connect on individual leaders in the wider alumni community.

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Connect: Impact and Influence

So, what did we find out? Here we have collated the data from the Survey. The direct quotes are a mix from the survey and the ten face-to-face interviews.

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Connect: Impact and Influence

Survey Question 1

My organisation has directly benefited Connect is at root about a leader’s own personal journey. Often the teams of leaders from large companies on the programme don’t even know each other when they commence Connect and individuals from the same business can have very different responses to the stimulus and provocation. Timing and level of authority are critical. Indeed we advise people not to do the programme if they have no real power to change things back at the business where it matters. The feedback we have received seems to indicate that for those with the right levels of authority, doing Connect at ‘the right time’ and with the openness to learn and change, impact can go beyond personal insight and awareness into organisational change.

YES 77%

My change in attitude and approach is to embracing and welcoming digital disruptive technologies into our thinking and operational effectiveness, actively joining forces and linking with other post Wavelength delegates to forge new ways of working and thinking. Thinking differently about how we assess and check customer experience – we’ve embraced change into how we survey and measure” Global Retail Bank (2014) It’s been great to have solid data and examples of good practice to share with colleagues. They’ve been energised by what they’ve heard and we’ve collaborated to make changes in our own organisation” Pharmaceutical Multinational (2011) I have personally added an energy and breadth of insight from the Wavelength stories, environments and other attendees, that features in how I now work with my teams” Corporate (2015) We replicated much of Wavelength’s approach, adapting it to our needs. And if not lifting specific elements it certainly seemed to awaken us to the need for a more concerted approach to the development of our people and the need for frequent discussion” Engineering and Manufacturing Business (2012) The people I sent benefited from expanding their thinking around developing a customer centric culture” Pharmaceutical Multinational (2011) I feel I have brought an improved way of thinking around recruitment with more focus on behaviours and values... both in recruitment and performance management. Secondly, I value looking at what other companies do best... ‘Best in Class’ ” Pensions and Investment Business (2014) Improved my vision of the possible and consideration of the triple bottom line” International Bank (2013)

NO 23% We only had 3 people on the programme and so didn’t have the groundswell of opinion/ support to make meaningful change” Brewing Company (2013) All our Directors and CEO attended but the experience was not galvanised to bring about change in the organisation” Healthcare Mutual (2013)

Connect absolutely affected my thinking – I would never really have looked at first what is going on for our SME customers rather than start with our business drivers” Commercial Bank (2012) We have grown a striking customer obsession that runs much deeper than any previous “customer initiative” that was promoted. We have had lots of conversations about “purpose” and made a lot of progress on the back of this. This is hard in a big corporate. The Magic 10 and other great stories have led to many pockets of positive change” Insurance Business (2012)

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Connect: Impact and Influence

Survey Question 2

I act with more courage Leadership can be isolating and lonely. The grind of the day-to-day over time, no matter what the sector or industry, saps energy and confidence. Our members often talk to us about the relentless acceleration of change in their businesses, the increasing complexity of their markets and the growing demands of stakeholders to do more with less, be more accountable, hit ever rising targets. This issue of courage came over very strongly in the face-to-face interviews. Having more confidence in themselves, a renewed passion about purpose and a bank of stories and business insights gleaned from Connect, we were told makes these leaders more determined to stand up for what they want and to influence the direction of their teams and organisations.

YES 83%

Inspired to be bold/different and disrupt” International Bank (2012) Wavelength helped me to see that I was already doing the right things and it was OK that I wasn’t the same as some of the ‘corporate yes men’ ” Pension and Investment Business (2013) I was always curious about the outside world but, having seen ‘Best in Class’ organisations, I know what good looks like and I am even more able to challenge and hold the mirror up” Insurance Business (2012) I show my commitment and my heart on my sleeve to a greater extent. When I act with courage, how I articulate my position to gain support from others has transformed greatly” Aerospace Manufacturing Business (2010) My experience of Wavelength Connect was in three phases: 1) utterly daunted by the calibre and charisma of contributors 2) gradual dawning that it wasn’t a competition 3) gradual realisation that I had decent foundations to build a stronger leadership capability within myself and that there were some practical ways of doing that. The end result is definitely that I’m a more courageous (and thoughtful) leader” Social Entrepreneur (2011) More confidence to ‘do the right thing’ ” Brewing Company (2013) This ‘resource’ gave me the courage to believe I could fill a greater role and for the first time in 10 years applied for a job – and got it!” International Bank (2013) Transformed my confidence to stick to my passionate purpose. Really self affirming” Credit Card Company (2013) Wavelength gave me more confidence and belief as a leader and it has definitely helped me make my move to my current role, based in Boston” Investments and Pension Business (2014) More difficult to quantify this one, but in general Wavelength has helped me to benchmark my own leadership practice against fellow leaders, which has provided me with more confidence. The focus on inspirational leaders who have made difficult decisions and achieved major impact has also been influential” Private Bank (2013) I have a much stronger and more grounded sense of confidence in questioning ingrained beliefs and practices, and pushing ahead with new approaches that fit the vision” Housing Association (2014)

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Survey Question 3

Connect: Impact and Influence

I have tools /approaches I still use Although Connect is not about skills training – we talk of the programme as a resource not a course – our members are smart people and the really smart ones pick up an array of techniques and tools to deploy in the day job. We encourage all our hosts and speakers to be warts and all honest and to share the minutiae of, for example, how they use their time, how they deal with specific challenges and leadership crises. We believe these stories are every bit as inspirational and probably more useful than “I have been to the mountain top” variety of speech making. Whether it’s being a lot more mindful about saying thank you to people, restructuring how people are recruited and onboarded or in how new products and services are invented and brought to market, the feedback was full of nitty-gritty examples of how Connect helped people.

YES 91%

Connect gave me many of the skills/tools I needed. In April last year I was in a new job. I would not have been as ready without Connect” Global Media Organisation (2011) Yes I draw on my notes, memories from my experiences on Wavelength all the time. It helps that others from my organisation have been or are on the programme as you can compare thinking and experience. It means it lives on” Aerospace Engineering Company (2014) Every day I employ and think about different approaches. Story-telling, having videos created to articulate what we are trying to do. Mentoring/coaching” Anon (2010) It still lives with me, Connect. It was turning point for me. I often refer back and I am constantly mulling so that they have become habits” Management Consultancy (2011) Recruiting for attitude, bringing the outside in, creating high contrast experiences, focusing on people and culture more” Pharmaceutical Multinational (2013) Applied theory is gold dust... Wavelength is a mine of such gold” Credit Card Company (2014) Definitely, my notes are a constant source of reminders, insights and motivations. For many situations for which I have not encountered, to ones which I’m sure I will in the future” Management Consultancy (2014) Sue Campbell’s killer questions, Personal Boardroom, Lisa Gansky’s “Now is the perfect time to do stuff” has been our watchword over the last year as we have recognised that we are market disrupters and run with that idea more than before. Martin Narey’s advice about being decent and writing personally to staff has yielded a great response” Social Care Mutual (2014) There were times where there was steam coming off my pen as I wanted to capture everything I was learning in my moleskine. Insights continue to come back to me depending on what I’m going through, and I take the time every few months to revisit my Wavelength notes for inspiration” International NGO (2015)

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Survey Question 4

Connect: Impact and Influence

I have a bank of stories and insights I draw on One of our respondents – a senior guy in commercial banking – said, “Being able to tell a story saves you so much time doesn’t it?” It is clear that the leadership stories our Connect members hear have a huge impact and are every bit as useful to them as business theories and case studies – more so in communicating to those they lead. Great leaders are, after all, great storytellers and great stories are a powerful currency. It seems not to matter from which sector the stories originate. Sue Campbell, pictured below – formerly chair of UK Sport – is consistently voted as our best speaker. Yes she achieved amazing things in the run up to London 2012 – but what sticks with people who listen to her are the simplicity and authenticity of the stories she tells which bring to life the challenges of change and resistance she confronted.

YES 93%

I still refer to my notes on my iPad – these notes are never apart from me. I have told WL stories, many many times – formally and informally. I get invited to endless conferences – and I’ve talked about what I learned at John Lewis (on my ‘Best In Class’) and I have a presentation that I use for internal training” Commercial Bank (2013) Sue Campbell’s simple, straight and forthright rejection of the proposed budget cuts is a constant source of inspiration” International Bank (2014) I can’t think of speakers I haven’t referenced or further researched” International Financial Services Business (2012) A week doesn’t go by without me referencing my Wavelength experience” International Bank (2012) Often share stories from my masterclasses and visits to the ‘Best in Class’ offices” Investment Business (2013) So many inspiring examples and leaders to draw on that will continue to have relevance and utility for all the challenges and opportunities I face” Food Retailer (2014) I hadn’t quite thought of just how much I have and how enduring these memories have been but now you ask...” Global Media Business (2014) I am nearly 40 and therefore the canon of war stories and anecdotes is growing. Possibly to the irritation of those working with me” Engineering and Manufacturing Business (2012) Changed the way I look at digital. Endlessly use Grundfos and other examples” Civil Service (2011) I told my 6 year old boy about my Wavelength Rolls Royce visit and he was inspired to build a Lego version of a jet engine with me. I showed this to my Wavelength colleagues and as a result Rolls Royce commissioned a life-size 155,000 piece Lego version of a jet engine which toured the country. My heavily dyspraxic son, who chronically lacked confidence at school, was told he was an “honorary Rolls Royce engineer”. A certificate which hangs on his bedroom wall 4 years later” Social Entrepreneur (2011) Aravind – eradicate needless blindness... Henry Ford Hospital – redefining the role of the hospital... South West Airlines – focus on employee happiness... Grundfos Pumps and their 20 year business plan... Virgin Atlantic trying to win on service and personality in a cut-throat business... Ritz-Carlton with their ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen... and lots of others. Everyone loves a story to bring a point to life. Top stuff!” Insurance Business (2012)

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Connect: Impact and Influence

Survey Question 5

I am clearer on my purpose as a leader We spend a lot of time around consistently high performing individuals and organisations across a wide spread of activities and industries – elite sport to global social enterprise, hospitality to running prisons. They all have one thing in common: a crystal clarity about purpose – what they stand for and what they are going for. They are, to quote Jeff Bezos, “stubborn on vision and flexible on details”. It is around this issue of purpose that members can find Connect most challenging and provocative. For some it makes them reflect – sometimes with a lot of angst – on the purpose of the companies they work for. Others are reminded of the drive and purpose which brought them into their industry in the first place when they were younger and – perhaps – more idealistic. For many of the corporate leaders Connect is the first time they have given any real thought to the purpose of their businesses as they relate to the big issues of leading in the 21st Century, such as climate change and inequality. Sue Campbell’s challenge echoes across Connect – “What do you do? What could you do? What’s stopping you?”

NO 20% I didn’t really find it useful for personal leadership development. It came across to me more about wanting corporates to undertake more social enterprise work” Energy Business (2011)

YES 80%

I was running a large operation making big decisions with lots of responsibility but despite having that level of authority I was wondering what the purpose was. I was running ops for a large FTSE company but how to explain what and why it did for my family, friends, consumers? Connect really helped” International Telecoms Business (2009) For the first time I realized I was a leader. At the core of everything I ask myself everyday is ‘what is my purpose?’ I am really really grateful to Wavelength – really helped me to be careful and not to over think but just get on with shit! Joy, compassion, action – I own those words” Entrepreneur (2011) I think I was pretty clear in any case but what reinforced it was a clear sense now that the best organisations have purpose at their core and purposeful leaders engage teams around values” Food Retailer (2014) It was not about making the world better but how to make my purpose real. I was given a bigger context for my purpose and tools and ways of getting going. And how to guide and unlock others’ purpose and not just my purpose. My career accelerated as result of my increased confidence and energy” Management Consultancy (2011) I am more aware of being ‘on stage’, and the need for consistent and inspirational messaging. I take more care with the words I use, taking time to set context and framing. Being sensitive to how my actions affect others. Behaviours and cultural fit – 20% technique and 80% cultural fit” Global Media Organisation (2011) Sometimes, in my business, the view is taken that you need to be a ball breaker to be successful. Being firm, direct and tough is necessary at times but always within the framework of your values. I think it came through strongly that business is changing and values based leadership is both the best approach for productivity and the right thing to do” Corporate (2015) I try to be. Not always easy. Being clear on the purpose of my team and everyone in my team being clear and engaged comes easily now... being clear on my personal purpose is more difficult and easy to not focus on. However... anything I do, with my team or myself around purpose, is absolutely because I recognised the importance of “purpose” at Connect” Insurance Business (2012) Set the vision, get the right people on board, create a culture focused on the customer” Pharmaceutical Multinational (2013)

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Survey Question 6

Connect: Impact and Influence

I have helped people and/or been helped by people I met through Wavelength Connect brings together a very diverse group of leaders in terms of sector and industry. Women make up about 40% of the cohorts and – reflecting the pools we draw people from – leaders from black and ethnic minority backgrounds constitute some 5% of the membership. They spend a lot of time together in masterclasses; on ‘Best in Class’ company visits, waiting in airports and on coaches. By the end of Connect there is a fair amount of honesty around and members are more willing to share what really is on their minds and to offer meaningful help.

YES 78%

Largely within my organisation rather than outside” None Given (2014) But only within the social network – have not maintained any contacts as I had hoped with the public and private organisations” Anon (2011) Have been involved in my fair share of networking. Has certainly helped relationships inside of my company. Lots of coaching discussions with people external to it” Anon (2010) Within my own organisation definitely. I’m determined to stay connected to some of the external people I met too” Anon (2015) I’ve kept in touch with many contacts with Wavelength, it’s a supportive community. The transaction goes two ways!” Social Enterprise (2010) Not a huge network. But I forged a better relationship with some colleagues and have a new mate as a consequence” Engineering and Manufacturing Business (2012) Massively. I have met so many genuinely nice people who are always willing to listen and offer help and support. It is a genuinely hard job keeping in contact!” Management Consultancy (2014) Through general conversations and discussion... I have met both colleagues and strangers who were great to chat to and bounce ideas off” Pensions Business (2014) Within my own organisation, I have a shared experience with other Wavelength alumni. We have a strong bond and a good sense of trust” Pensions and Investment Business (2014) I have created lasting and meaningful relationships as a direct consequence of my time on Connect; both with a number of the speakers on the programme and with my fellow delegates. I am actively developing potential collaborative business opportunities from both cohorts and I have received some priceless coaching from some people I trust and admire thanks to Connect.” Social Entrepreneur (2015)

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Survey Question 7

Connect: Impact and Influence

People have said I am better at helping others with their leadership challenges One member emailed us after we sent out the survey: “you can lead us to water, it might be very nice water, but it is up to us to drink it”. Whose responsibility is it to ensure those who have done Connect do something positive with it and what are the limits of Wavelength’s accountability in all of that? To whom are we are accountable for what we create? The members themselves, those they lead or the clients who pay the invoice? And, whose opinions are most valid – should carry most weight with us – on what leadership behaviour change has taken place – the alumni or those over whom they exercise leadership?

YES 46%

Some have noticed a change – but I recognise I still have so much more to do” Retail Bank (2014) I have been promoted twice since I joined Wavelength and I think that my participation during the programme and how I have developed during and after Wavelength has had a great deal of influence in it” Global Media Business (2010) Without a doubt my ability to coach/mentor others with their own leadership challenges has improved and is now something that is sought out/after” Social Entrepreneur (2011) They have said I have opened their eyes to a world outside our industry” Pharmaceutical Multinational (2013) I am now asked to speak about leadership to young community activists from around the globe” Social Entrepreneur (2011) Difficult to answer. I mentor and support a number of people and do draw on Wavelength experience. However, they wont know what I am drawing on” Private Equity Business (2013) People do talk to me about leadership challenges and they (appear to) appreciate the conversations we have. They don’t reference Connect and neither do I... But I know I’m better because of Connect” Insurance Business (2012) Nobody has said it, but I suspect they may have appreciated a rounder ‘me’ even if subconsciously” Aerospace Engineering Business (2014) Other people have not said so but I can tell this to myself” Financial Services Business (2013)

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Survey Question 8

Connect: Impact and Influence

I have consciously built a stronger network to support me/my team New ‘connectivity’ is one of the promises we make to members. We have struggled over the years to find the best way to help them make sense of and develop their networks. A surprisingly high number of them tell us at the start of Connect that they hate ‘networking’ even if they have to do it as a key part of their leadership roles. They often mean by networking awkward mingling at painful corporate events! We mean creating meaningful networks of support that take forward personal and professional goals.

YES 70%

More thoughtful about key partnerships and the influence maps we need – me as an individual and the organisation” Housing Association (2013) Management of my network is now the key challenge. It is strong, but supporting/benefiting it is a question going forwards (due to scale)” Anon (2010) Yes – I’ve been more conscious of the need and better at identifying where support will come from – and where it won’t!” Anon (2015) I already am a natural networker but being exposed to a rich and broad vein not previously available has added to that” National Youth Charity (2014) For me ‘yes’ but not for my team. However, this is a good prompt that I still have some areas to strengthen!” Aerospace Business (2014) We have used Wavelength to help us on other customer projects and as a source of inspiration with speakers” Pharmaceutical Multinational (2013) Networking is no longer a dirty word in my team’s minds” Credit Card Company (2014) Yes but not with delegates from the 2011 event; however, that is not a failure of the programme” Energy Company (2011) There are a number of corporate partnerships in place now which didn’t exist pre-Wavelength – and not only with connections made on the programme, but based on the understanding from the programme I’ve been able to approach corporate businesses with a new sense of understanding” Social Entrepreneur (2011) I think I am more active in building my network and encouraging my teams to build their own” Financial Services Business (2014) Peer support and exposure to ideas/practices outside my sector is something I consciously prioritise as part of my own development – and have encouraged team members to do similarly” Property Services (2013)

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Connect: Impact and Influence

Survey Question 9

I actively look at what goes on outside my sector One of the main reasons cited by our clients for why they buy places on Connect for their leaders is that they are too siloed with their heads down in the nitty-gritty of their businesses. Connect provides the opportunity for leaders to lift their head up and see and experience what leadership and high performance looks like in other industries and sectors. Connect provides the time and space to leave the madness of the daily routine behind and focus on learning. When confronted by the rapid speed of change driven by the wizards of Silicon Valley, one Connect member said to the room: “Not only do I not know what I don’t know. I feel like I don’t know what I don’t I don’t know. Know what I mean?”

YES 81%

Wavelength convinced me good leadership is universal to some degree and that ‘claimed difference’ in my organisation is largely self-serving and spurious” Environmental Social Enterprise (2014) I regularly look to other industries (particularly digital media) to understand how I can change/improve what I do and my business” Anon (2010) The best bit about the course” Anon (2014) I have had a much greater awareness of social enterprise” Energy Company (2011) When I have time, but something I push others to do too. Be curious about how everything works and hangs together and put themselves in others’ shoes” Financial Services Business (2014) Had never really read the “tech” pages in the paper, I look at loads more market and business information, none of which relates to the sector in which I operate but actually has added to my knowledge bank and helped me make connections which 18 months ago I would not have done” Social Care Business (2014) It was a good reminder that the world does not stop at our front doors” Food Retailer (2013) Yes, much more than I previously did. Connect helped to demonstrate the relevance and value” Insurance Business (2012) This was a major benefit of the programme. A great way to mitigate the gravitational pull of my narrow world” Corporate member (2015)

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Connect: Impact and Influence

Survey Question 10

Other people have commented that I’m a better/happier leader/person This was a hard one for people to answer. If we had the time and capacity it would be intriguing to ask those our alumni lead what they think about the impact of Connect on their bosses.

YES 44%

I have always been optimistic but Wavelength just reinforced this” International Bank (2012) Courage and confidence has been noted by my boss and others” Anon (2014) Yes I’ve just had my review and there were lots of comments on my energy in 2015... which I’m proud of as my leadership journey over the last two years has been challenging” Youth Social Enterprise (2014) Glad you allowed me ‘happier’ than the more definitive ‘happy’ ” Credit Card Company (2014) I truly believe my senior management have seen benefits and witnessed me grow as a leader” Financial Services Business (2014) We have had a bloody tough year as a company. The resilience I developed as part of the Wavelength programme has, without doubt helped me push through some of the pain barriers and more importantly, take people with me” Healthcare Business (2014)

NO 56% But it’s a long time ago and am not sure I asked people if they had seen a difference in me” Anon (2011) No one has specifically commented but I do feel better and happier about my purpose” Anon (2013) Definitely made me re-evaluate several things which has overall, I think, led to me being happier” Food Retailer (2011)

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Connect: Impact and Influence

Survey Question 11

Overall, how useful has Connect been to you as a leader? Completely invaluable

22%

Really useful

47%

Useful

20%

A bit useful

11%

Not useful at all

0%

The data we have gathered through this process seems to show that Connect inspires people, helps them renew – and in some cases find – their purpose as leaders, provides them with new tools and approaches that they can use and creates for them a bank of stories and insights from which they regularly draw. We asked people how useful Connect had been to them. The majority told us that it had been either ‘very useful’ or for a quarter of them – ‘completely invaluable’.

Completely Invaluable

22%

Wavelength had a huge impact for me, I absolutely loved it, it was just the wake up call I needed to really think differently about what I was doing at work and how I could make a more valuable contribution” International Distiller Business (2013) I would not have aimed for outrageous goals and built the bold, risk-taking venture I’m embarking on had Wavelength not inspired me to do so and taught me how others did it. Why wouldn’t I give it a go? Wavelength makes you want to turn your back on average” Social Entrepreneur (2011) Different approach to usual leadership development. I appreciate most, that you continue to invite me back to events to connect with new members and continue to get value from attending those sessions” Financial Services (2012) I clearly recognise now that I was too “insular” in my thinking, both within the industry and within my realm of expertise” International Bank (2014) It both reinforced my own convictions and showed me new ways to lead. I’ve not had development as deep and lasting in my nearly 30 year working life” Anon (2014) The personal impact is still there on me six years on” International Telecomms Business (2009)

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Connect: Impact and Influence

I valued it so much – it really helped me. We go on many events and courses – coaching and that kind of thing – but Connect was the best. Personally and professionally it worked at every level for me. It was like having 70 after lunch motivational speakers. A Gatling gun of inspiration!” Commercial Bank (2012) Connect helped me at a pivotal time to help shape my leadership journey and also the organisation I lead. It really helped me combat the loneliness of leadership” Financial Services (2013) It was right time right place for me and gave me a platform to really find my place and make it happen” Credit Card Company (2013) Loved the whole experience. The discussions, the thought provoking sessions, the presentations. The inspirational leaders dealing with challenges. All great. It all makes me want to be so much more than I am” Corporate (2015)

“It was a fantastic experience and I learned so much from the key speakers and leaders”

Really useful

47%

A valuable experience at the right time for me to help develop as a leader and make some of the choices about the direction of the business journey and culture” Housing Association (2013) Wavelength was brilliant. Frankly, it was the Ferrari of leadership courses. The venues, the food (why is this so close to the top of the list!), the facilitators and the speakers were outstanding. The best in class visits were eye opening.” Corporate (2015) I’ve loved it. It’s been fascinating to meet such a diverse range of people and to hear of their challenges – often not too different to my own. I’ve been humbled by the spirit of enterprise, tenacity and organisational skills in the different businesses I’ve seen – some of them much less privileged that my own. It’s made me feel more determined and able to get things into proportion... more determined to deliver change” Anon (2014) I took on a big year-long project last year and had to step up to a more senior level, and I think the confidence and skills I developed through Connect really helped me to embrace it and perform at my best” Global Media Company (2013) Wavelength was one of the contributing factors leading to me believing in myself enough to leave my corporate role and to explore other opportunities” Media Business (2014) I think this really accelerated the process of understanding the power of purpose, the value of alternate styles, the power of seeking overdeveloped strengths in your team members rather than screening for lack of obvious weakness and to damn well enjoy the journey” Credit Card Company (2014)

“Wavelength makes you want to turn your back on average”

Lots of reminders, not Earth-shattering. Very good practices and inspiring moments. A great, and unique, experience” Financial Services Business (2014) It was a fantastic experience and I learned so much from the key speakers and leaders of great businesses and from the fellow Wavelength participants” Housing Association (2014)

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Connect: Impact and Influence

To have this level of access to such amazing people was an opportunity that I would never have had on a standard MBA type programme. Meeting those individuals gave me the confidence to aim higher in terms of ambition for me and the business. There is a great deal I use every day, whether that’s when something good happens or when there is a problem. Whilst Wavelength reminded me that it is still a world dominated by uber confident men, it was good to see very high calibre women speakers and engage with them too” Healthcare Business (2014)

“Maintaining networks with alumni hasn’t really worked out for me; I suspect due to a combination of my anti-social tendencies and the London focus of events. Still the best development type thing I’ve done, so not too shabby”

Useful

20%

The start of the course was “wow”, but I admit that the later events were more familiar with material, approach and environments. This could have allowed some deeper building and exploring with established contacts and individuals from other sectors but unfortunately the attendance also seemed to have shrunk as the year progressed” Engineering and Manufacturing Business (2014) Wavelength was a terrific personal experience. Coming into contact with the speakers and other delegates was inspiring and has raised my sights for both my performance and of us as an organisation. However – I’ve found practical application of the experience challenging as my good intentions often seem to fall away under day-to-day pressures. Maintaining networks with alumni hasn’t really worked out for me; I suspect due to a combination of my anti-social tendencies and the London focus of events (OK so this one is probably down to me). Still the best development type thing I’ve done, so not too shabby” Aerospace Engineering and Manufacturing Business (2013) Useful as quality time out for personal reflections, informed by good quality and often challenging inputs” Retail Bank (2014) My biggest take out was the idea of Corporate Social Innovation (CSI) rather than CSR. It was worth it for that alone” UK Bank (2011)

A bit useful

11%

Most useful as in meeting people outside of the business and hearing from many good speakers. Less useful on practical tools” Food Retailer (2014) Some elements were helpful (particularly the discussions around evolution into the digital world at a personal and corporate level and the best practice tour). Overall the sessions were very well run. Unfortunately I found the determination to preach around social responsibility and position not for profit/social/developing world activity as a moral high ground everyone should aspire to very distracting for me and for the group I was in. I think a bit less evangelising and a bit more acceptance of different approaches would have made me want to recommend the process far more” Insurance Business (2012) Very interesting (and some inspiring) speakers. Interesting to understand more about the social enterprise sector. Not really a leadership development programme though (which was how it was badged by our company to us). Seemed more a vehicle to try and get folks in corporates to undertake more support of, or setting up of, social enterprises. Some of the facilitated group discussion sessions were not particularly good nor helpful” Energy Company (2011)

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Connect: Impact and Influence

Case study

Putting purpose around the day job

Richard Brass Berenberg Bank

Richard Brass is one for whom Connect really worked. Richard first did the programme in 2010 and so inspired was he by what he learned and the new connections he made he went on to create Impact Ventures UK, a ten year capital growth fund of some £40,000,000 which invests in ambitious innovators and entrepreneurs. IVUK has invested in a range of businesses and is developing specialisms and communities around two big themes – mental heath and young people. Based in London, the fund has a team of 8 and Richard has assembled an Investment Committee comprising well-known entrepreneurs, business leaders, social innovators and impact investment specialists. www.impactventuresuk.com

“Connect was a critically important part of my self-learning, exposing me to a completely different business environment. The stories, experiences and new contacts helped me frame a clearer purpose around the day job. If you don’t have purpose – all you’re doing is just putting food on the table – you’ll never do your job as well as you can, will you? I’m a cynic or sceptic by nature and I’m not good at conferences. But Wavelength surprised me. The diversity of people and leadership stories. The bringing together of what you might call core business themes like service and process with the challenges and opportunities for social entrepreneurs. It was inspiring. Still the challenge remained what to do with all this knowledge? In a conversation about purpose with one of the Wavelength speakers, he challenged me to find an overlap with money and relationships; to meld those skills with social innovation. Clients were interested in opportunities to use their experiences to support social businesses. Social entrepreneurs were creating growing businesses and not just looking for money but also business contacts, advisers, mentors. I began to see that I could align what I do without comprising the core job and quality of service with a renewed sense of purpose. The learnings, experiences and contacts from Connect have reshaped my professional outlook. It has added a critically important dimension to working with clients. My network has grown dramatically and I have made some lifelong friends. And I’m really clear. No Connect, no IVUK. We even won a City award for innovation!”

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Connect: Impact and Influence

Wavelength’s impact in the world – what have we learned? So, what have we learned? We believe that the research data validates the design approach that underpins Connect: where leaders learn from other leaders from diverse sectors; where learning is experiential; where we curate content based on our instincts and beliefs about leadership rather than design a didactic programme of rigid learning. This being said we were surprised (but perhaps should not have been) to find that where individuals came from the same organisation, building a network within their organisation was often valued above building one without. And indeed we feel that while there was a high score on consciously building networks (70.4% said Yes) this is an area we would do well to understand and attend to better. We have learned that where it works – where leaders make significant changes to their leadership, their lives and in some instances their organisations, Connect does this by equipping them with three key things: 1 The courage to act rooted in selfconfidence and a sense of purpose.

We have also learned that for some this cocktail can be more Molotov than Mohito and that for these the spark comes from meeting Connect at the right time for them personally. While this could be a post rationalisation – for some leaders perhaps the great stimulus always arrives at the right time – it could also be true. In response to the question “If you’d been on Connect two years earlier, or later than you did, how might its impact have been different?” our ten high performing leaders were consistently vehement that the timing was critical for them. This is not necessarily an easy finding to do something with, however, and is something we are still pondering. How do we discern for whom the timing is right? Finally, it has been reinforced to us that while it could be argued we’re taking a ‘changing the world one leader at a time’ approach, we are OK with this. One leader across a whole career can make a huge difference to many organisations and individuals and to the world. Although we won’t stop working with teams and with organisations because we know we can make a difference there too.

2 A bank of stories, examples, anecdotes (not case studies) to draw on in almost any leadership setting. 3 The habit of looking beyond the day-to-day both at where they are headed personally and at what others are doing beyond their division, organisation, industry and sector.

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Connect: Impact and Influence

What we are doing differently The evidence we collected throughout this process really helped us shape the length and content of the 2016 Connect programme. We made it shorter, beginning in March and ending in June not November. We kept the components that people clearly value most and framed and signposted each more clearly. As one member put it “Post-summer there is a diminishing return on inspiration”. We put an end to that. The initial wave of feedback heavily influenced the way we framed and talked about Connect in the recruitment drive for 2016. The sales brochure foregrounded many of the big themes the survey and interviews threw up as core to the impact of the programme, a bigger emphasis on leadership purpose and resilience, for example. The data and stories were put at the core of our preparatory work with 2016 members.

With regards to future assessment work we will survey the 2016 cohort next year and after that take a view as to whether there is value in following this group beyond that to see how our impact develops – or doesn’t – over time. We are not clear yet about whether to do a similar exercise with the participants of our Wavelength USA annual week long tour and our bespoke activity (when we design and execute events at the request of a single client).

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Connect: Impact and Influence

Flashcard Questions The ten interviewees were, at the time they did Connect, working for the BBC, Capital One, Deloitte, RBS, Trafford Housing Trust, Vodafone, Livity, RSA and Schroders. How many phone numbers do you have on your phone directly or indirectly because of Connect? Which was the last one you used, why?

Thinking back to Connect are there any specific moments you recall from the programme that really affected you?

Has anyone commented that you are different as a leader or person since you went on Connect? Who? What did they say? When?

What do you do now that you wouldn’t do if you hadn’t been on Connect?

Did you help anyone you met on Connect or through Connect in any way? Who? How? Why? Can you give a specific example of how you have dealt with a situation or person differently as a result of your Connect learning? Have you ever thought ‘I got a better result there and I can attribute that to the learning I had from Connect’? Have you deliberately contacted anyone you met on Connect to help you with something? Or has someone done this to you? Did you turn down any opportunities to connect with people from Connect? From whom? Why? Did anyone on Connect turn down offers to connect with you? List as many things you can think of that you would not have done if you had not been on Connect – big, medium or small. Sometimes Connect can be a slow burn – is there anything you are still mulling over which came to you as a result of Connect? Have you made any friends due to Connect? Some people do a lot with Connect, some do not. What are your thoughts about why you did or did not?

What do you think now that you didn’t think before you went on Connect? What’s the hardest thing to measure that you got from going on Connect? Was there anything that happened on Connect which at the time you didn’t like, or wondered about the value of, but later came to see as important to you? Is there anything you did or didn’t do during your time on Connect which you now regret or would have done differently? Are there any things that have become leadership habits of yours since doing Connect? Which of the speakers and hosts you encountered really stands out for you? Why? Which of your fellow Connect members made the biggest impression on you? What were you most surprised by during your Connect experience? How important was it to your learning that the Connect membership is so diverse? To what extent did Connect make you reflect on your core purpose as a leader?

If you’d been on Connect two years earlier, or later than you did, how might its impact have been different?

When did you last think about your time on Connect?

Has your Connect experience made you more insightful and resilient as a leader?

What best describes the value to you of your Wavelength experience?

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Connect: Impact and Influence From 2010 – 2015 our members, hosts and partners included

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Connect: Impact and Influence

More about Wavelength Connect is by far and away our biggest programme in terms of the numbers of participants and the time, money and energy we invest. In 2016 Connect ran from March to June. Once a year we run Wavelength USA when we bring 25 C-Suite leaders from around the world to the States for a week. Our hosts in June of 2016 included Southwest Airlines, The Ritz-Carlton, Apple, IDEO, EA, and Andreessen Horowitz. Each year we work with a select group of organisations to develop bespoke programmes tailored to their particular business and leadership challenges. In the last year this has included creating a week in Silicon Valley for an engineering business to understand the ‘internet of things’; a four day leadership challenge for 14 UK Sport CEOs and four one-day sessions for 50 BBC leaders from around the world. Through our Speakers Bureau we provide leaders to speak at conferences, seminars, corporate events and workshops throughout the world.

The business – based near London – is owned by Liam Black, Adrian Simpson and Jessica Stack who work with a crack group of freelancers to invent and execute our programmes. Liam speaks and writes on entrepreneurship and social change and sits on the investment committees of Impact Ventures UK and Centrica’s Ignite fund for entrepreneurs. Adrian is a board member of the Youth Sport Trust. thesamewavelength.com

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INSPIRING CONNECTING EDUCATING LEADERS

Liam Black e: liam@thesamewavelength.com t: +44 (0)7714 521 061


Wavelength Connect Impact Assessment Report 2016