Platform For Connected Leadership




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Early beginnings?
Any innovation becomes just that, when it fills a gap, solves a problem, or improves ways of doing things. Our co-authored Harvard Business School Arabia published Connected Leadership Framework, fills such a gap.

Born from interacting with a bouquet of multinational cultures, having worked in so many different countries globally, we experienced a gap in leadership development. This relates to an unspoken objection and limitation for equal participation during leadership development initiatives. It occurred whenever a preconceived framework, with a particular viewpoint, was used to provide structure to such a workshop/ session. As most leadership frameworks used by the leading business schools, and other forms of leadership institutions, globally stems from a particular thought discipline, we experience the lack of and need for a more inclusive framework. The story of Platform for  Connected Leadership (PCL) is the story of creating such a framework and, a resulting company, built on its principles and components.

The framework fuses the main components required to lead self, team, organisation, society, and the world at large, successfully, within the context of evolving industrial revolutions and globalised cultural workforce – and customer diversity. Breaking from the known linear evolvement of leadership theory over time, the framework encapsulates the morphing of human thought paradigms through time and space, incorporates our leadership intelligence competencies and highlights the required behavioural dimensions to progress from self-leadership to changing / impacting the world.

Our difference
In doing so, we have managed to not only capture what we do, but also why we do it, and how we significantly differ from others in how we deliver our leadership development interventions. We have moved beyond theatre-style training. We do not teach, nor lecture – we facilitate. Classes are set-up in groups and round tables, even online, the same style of delivery is applied. We facilitate on a level of understanding – the fourth level in Ackoff’s mental hierarchy – not on levels of knowledge, nor information and/or theory. In the final instance, we learn from participants, not only them from us.

“In the session, I am the teacher, but also a learner, learning from participants, listening to their worldviews and experiences as they paint their universe of knowledge and understanding on the canvas of dialogue.”

Prof. Steyn Heckroodt – Chief Thought Leader – Platform for Connected Leadership

Our methods focus on the individual, needing selfdiscovery through reflection. We optimise diversity in the room, as complexity of the modern world is better served through diversity, than through expertise. We derive a higher-level knowledge, understanding and real-time learning by creating an atmosphere where people can learn from one another, not from what the person in front of the room has to say. Boundaries are broken down, perspectives are shared and debated, and people in our sessions come to respect one another as individuals, no matter which part of the world they are from. As co-authors to the HBR Arabia published framework, both our Chairperson, Dr. Waddah, and our Chief Thought Leader, Prof. Steyn Heckroodt, are recognised industrial academics who write and teach from practice. They share the same criticism towards conventional teaching through schools and many university systems globally.

At PCL, we believe that this method of schooling and universities, even business schools, has led to a world divided on so many levels. A world that rewards conformism, not individualism. A world that believes that some are better than others. A world with a fragile economic system that broke under the COVID-19 pandemic, and a world continuing to enforce division, as the nationalist race for vaccination is growing. To break this entrapment, fostered in most business and societal leaders of today, innovation is required.

Our value
Our services are thought provoking and challenging, we challenge what has been taught.

We start by contextualising the world as we experience it today and unpack the hypothesis that drove the genesis of our innovation. That leadership, as we know it today, is stuck in mechanistic entrapment of typical Business-School-like thought paradigms. Paradigms that, over time, seemingly paralysed leaders’ ability to change the polarised world created through the economic drivers embedded in these paradigms. And, unless we break this entrapment, disruptions like COVID-19 will bring further polarisation to the globe, bringing it closer to the tipping point of global shame.

We take a critical view at the economic systems that shaped the world as we know it today and unpack its perilous impact as it co-contributes to a two states world of rich and poor. We look at the “Dark Side” of Value Created and Value Captured, well known Business School pendulums for teaching leaders how to strategise and drive profitability. We break from what we have been taught as leaders, unlearning the fundamentals of failing methodologies, cradled by non-systemic leadership approaches.

We peek into the future of a world governed by big business. Comparing similarities between the “COVID-Fascist-SocialistExperiment” of governmental super-power and the phenomenon of global dominance by multi-national business conglomerates.
We even question whether technology is, maybe, a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

That’s what we do differently. We disrupt, call a spade a spade and in the process, try to make people, not just better leaders, but better people.

PCL’s founding
Founded by three partners:
Dr. Waddah Ghanem Al Hashmi FBDIGCC (Chairman)
Marina van Zyl (CEO)
Prof. Steyn Heckroodt (Chief Thought Leader)

We believe that everyone has greatness in them. Through inspiration and motivation, and by creating a culture of connectedness, we enable leaders to supersede performance, and achieve greatness within.

We aim to become a leading player in leadership development, driving learning from others, openness of mind and co-creating a richer, more sustainable world.

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