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Leadership Development

Life Sciences

The Organisation

One of the world’s top research institutions, funded by public research monies from 20 member states, our client’s mission embraces scientific research, providing vital services to scientists in member states, technology transfer, and the development of new instruments and methods.  Research is conducted by approximately 85 independent groups based in five units in the UK, Switzerland, Germany and Italy. An international, innovative and interdisciplinary organisation, the organisation has 1,400 employees from 60 nations representing disciplines that include biology, physics, chemistry and computer science.

The Context

Scientist leaders are typically employed on 3-year rolling contracts, with an expectation that they develop substantial professional standing through publication and presentations. While their innovations are critical in attracting external funding, they face a challenge in balancing this with a need to lead teams of junior scientists and to develop their management skills.

ASK was commissioned to develop a Leadership Development intervention that would appeal to highly intelligent and critical individuals working in research, academic and supporting roles. The intervention would need to have both immediate impact and a lasting effect in developing greater leadership capability and a coaching culture to support talent management and succession planning.

Our Solution

ASK designed and developed a Leadership Essentials programme with three fundamental components:

  • Enhancing self-reflection through the use of psychometrics to develop self-awareness and awareness of impact on others
  • Introducing leaders to a range of tools and models that would underpin the development of their leadership skills
  • Simulation exercises to provide opportunities for safe practice, supported by real-time feedback on both performance and behaviours that would serve to begin the learning transfer process and the embedding of new skills and behaviours.

Evaluation and Results

The programme has been run in both the UK and Germany for six years, using 2 facilitators for each delegate group of 12.

Feedback to date has been highly positive and our client is exploring opportunities to work with us to develop additional follow-through activities and interventions.

Delegate Quotes

“It really made me stop and think in terms of reflecting on my own behaviour and having a greater self-awareness of how I lead others.”

“I found the Leadership Essentials programme really powerful and would like to do more with ASK to help me further develop my leadership skills.”

“Working with real examples was a really effective way of bringing my understanding to life.”