Bath Bridge, an Ablaze/WEM partner, delivers an impressive Future Talent programme, developing future leaders in Bath and North East Somerset. Below is more information with contact details at the end.
“Great effort on the programme so far. I have got lots out of it and have been working on putting my reflections into practice. Your guests have been great and I am loving having such a variety of ideas from participants as well. There is nothing better than having my thinking challenged and that is definitely happening.” Jonathan Wood, Bath Rugby Foundation, (feedback following Module 1, Bath Future Talent Programme 202)
Five years on since its inception, Bath Bridge – a Bath-based community interest company – has, in April this year, taken the Bath Future Talent Programme online for the first time in response to Covid-19 and lockdown. Designed to bring early career and aspiring leaders together from a diverse group of local organisations to support their leadership development and increase the sense of connection between leaders and the different sectors and organisations, the programme continues to flourish in new and different ways.
What are the Programme’s aims?
Our main aims are to:
- deliver a leadership development programme relevant to each individual participant, while providing a shared and truly collaborative experience
- benefit sponsoring organisations by supporting the development of their current and future leaders, and establishing valuable connections between Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES)-based employers and their staff
- grow the capacity of Bath to manage the ever more complex issues now facing cities
It is formulated on the basis and assumption that the role and process of leadership is a motion towards something – a ‘something’ that is dynamic and challenging. We strive, therefore, to create a safe space within which participants can gain insight and clarity around their own purpose, values and motivations, develop new skills to build and enhance their ‘leadership toolkits’, generate and explore new ideas and perspectives as well as build new connections and a network through engagement with their cohort and our Alumni beyond the programme.
The Programme incorporates significant reflection time and has been designed to run over a six to eight month period, specifically to enable participants to take their learning, ideas, questions and reflections back into their own organisational contexts between modules. The diverse nature of the cohort facilitates a richness of learning supported by a first-class team of consultants, coaches and business mentors, each of whom make hugely valuable contributions to the programme in many different ways.
Who is the Programme for?
The Programme has to date drawn its participants from local organisations – from large corporates, small and medium sized enterprises, national and local charities to the public sector including universities and the NHS. Participants are generally between 25 and 40 years of age, depending upon where they are in their careers, and may well have either just taken on a new leadership role or be about to step into one. Alternatively, they may have been in such a role for some while but had no formal development in that time.
It is a unique programme designed by the city for those people who live and work in the city, and its surrounding areas, who want to build their careers here and become the next generation of leaders.
How is the Programme structured and what does it cover?
The Programme comprises four modules (each of approximately 2.5-3 days). For online delivery this year, each of the first two modules have been reconstructed into shorter periods of learning taking place over approximately six days in a period of three weeks. Once the return to in-person is possible, we will revert to 2.5 – 3 days per module consecutively.
Each year, we launch the Programme around April, run two modules before the end of June and then follow up in September and November with modules 3 and 4. Each module takes a different perspective of the leadership role – You as Leader (Module 1), You Leading Others (Module 2), Your Leadership in Action (Module 3) and Your Leadership Future (Module 4).
Each module brings a wide range of highly interactive sessions led by a brilliant teams of consultants, many of whom have been contributing to the programme since the outset and return year after year as willingly and enthusiastically as ever. Sessions cover a wide range to topics and introduce the participants to models, tools, frameworks and theories, to stimulate their thinking and development. For example, exploration of core values, ethical leadership, leading with purpose, thinking strategies, transactional analysis, resilience, difficult conversations and digital leadership.
This team is supported by our highly experienced coaching team with each participant receiving four 1-1 coaching sessions, setting their own goals and addressing their own challenges during this time. Additionally, each participant receives two mentoring sessions from one of our business mentoring team, drawn from local organisations, who is well placed to share valuable experience, insight and advice, to contribute to their career and leadership development.
Each participant completes a strengths-based assessment and receives a personal report providing them with greater insight into, and awareness of, their own strengths. A follow-up session exploring how their strengths can support them in leadership roles provides an opportunity for the cohort to consider how best they can do this, not only to perform at their best, but also to lead and support others to do the same.
The final element of our programme, and every bit as important as the modules themselves, is the engagement of participants with a social community project. Each year, we establish a number of projects with local charities enabling each participant to contribute, as part of a project team, to give something back to our local community. This element offers an incredible learning opportunity for each participant as they can explore with their peers different tools and approaches to leadership and working in high performing team over a short space of time.
What does the Programme cost?
Bath Bridge, as a community interest company, is not-for-profit, so we are able to offer the Programme to sponsoring organisations on a sliding scale according to their size and sector, and also the number of participants they wish to put forward in any one year. The programme fee covers our running costs and also enables us to pay our consultants and coaches a ‘gesture of goodwill’ payment. It is testimony to our amazing team of consultants and coaches, who return year after year to contribute to the programme despite there being no commercial fees involved. In the event that a small surplus is generated, Bath Bridge invests this either into the subsequent year, or into an alternative community-based project to benefit the city. We use best endeavours to ensure the cost of the programme is not a barrier to participation.
Timeline for applications
Recruitment for places for the Bath Future Talent Programme in 2022 will start in the autumn this year. Should you be interested in an informal chat to find out more, we would be delighted to hear from you.