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Leaders to develop 'fresh eyes' that cut through chaos

The UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) is launching a trans-disciplinary course that breaks convention and defies the traditional. If business leaders need to do extraordinary things, business schools need to do the same to help get them there.
Leaders to develop 'fresh eyes' that cut through chaos

The Art of Noticing is a first-of-its-kind course specifically geared for leaders to develop 'fresh eyes' - the ability to frame the world differently and so use their attention to splice through the modern world of clutter. The result is leaders who are creative, elastic and can energise an organisation through their vision.

Offered by the GSB Executive Education unit, it is geared towards senior leaders who are at the top of their game, but who face substantial challenges. Running from 6 - 8 October, the course is co-directed by Elaine Rumboll, Director of GSB Executive Education division and Dave Bond, Director of the Leadership Centre at Ashridge Business School, UK.

According to Rumboll, business today is fraught with complexities, distractions and demands. "With super-fast information exchanges and technologies, organisations are battling to catch the eye of consumers in the new 'attention economy'. Meanwhile human resources are often frazzled, frustrated and disconnected, using tools too rusty and rigid to work in the chaos of contemporary business".

As the rate of change is happening faster than our ability to respond to it, many of us still want to knuckle down and 'get on with it'; using the well-worn filters and models which worked in the past and praying they serve us well in the future. But, the traditional ways of doing business and leading people no longer guarantee success.
"If one looks at the most innovative companies," said Rumboll, "the Apples and Googles of this world teach one important thing - that it's time to change how we see the world". To do that, we need to look and notice differently.

So, the role of a leader is changing as the shape of the business landscape transforms. For Bond, "the quality of leadership in this business environment depends on each leader's ability to step into uncertain futures with the reflective clarity to forge new possibilities. Equally essential, is the leader's capacity to engage the creative energy of colleagues and peers."

The dynamic duo directing the course use their differing styles in offering a potent mix to shift perspectives. Rumboll's work in leadership development includes the use of curiosity as a lens for attention, building deep sustainability through agility in organisations and harnessing the power of an attention audit to recognise opportunities for innovation. Bond's particular interest is in integrating reflection and presence to nurture our capacity for courageous action. Bond has been working in leadership development internationally for over 20 years. He has a multi-disciplinary background in communication studies, philosophy, action-learning, mindfulness and applied psychology.

Rumboll and Bond have set a course for leaders to change themselves from the inside out. This journey proceeds by increasing leaders' aptitude for noticing, allowing them to make better informed and insightful decisions while dealing with the overwhelming nature of business today. They challenge delegates to cast away dogmatic practices, to redefine themselves and their organisations, to be more like 'poets' in how they see the world.

For details on the Art of Noticing short course, contact Alison Siebritz on 021 406 1490 or SMS "Noticing" and your email address to 31497. Standard Rates Apply.

6 Sep 2010 12:09