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One chapter ends, and another begins

Written by / Wednesday 20th December 2023

As one chapter ends, and another begins, for ION leadership, Ceri Jones, Director of Research, Engagement & Innovation Services (REIS) at Swansea University shares his thoughts on the programme that he supported in the transition to Wales from the North-West of England. 

Ceri.JPGIn the last 14 years the programme has supported nearly 2,000 leaders across Wales, with programmes delivered by both Swansea and Bangor University. Every one of those leaders is a story of personal, professional, and business growth. The programme has had a huge impact on the individuals who took part, their businesses, and the Welsh economy. 

I was hugely proud to be part of the team who imported the LEAD Wales programme to Wales. It was testament to the success of LEAD Wales, that in 2015 the funding from WEFO was extended, and LEAD Wales transitioned to become ION leadership. In the duration of the programme, we have run nearly 80 cohorts, some of which were ran virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although we have mainly delivered 2 leadership programmes – New Leaders and Leading Growth – we have been hugely innovative with how we have tailored the programmes, running programmes for different demographic groups, specific sectors, and several in-house programmes for businesses including Tokio Marine and Siemens Healthineers.   

It's all about impact

We have always said that we don’t want our leadership programmes to become just another programme where the folder is put on the shelf, and everyone continues doing the things the way they always have. Our programmes have always focused on finding real solutions for the real issues that leaders face every day. We want our delegates to implement change in their business straight away – that’s one of the reasons why we run our programmes 1 day a month. This gives the delegates time to reflect on their learning and implement change.

Our evaluation report covering 2019-2022 indicated that:

  • 94% of delegates believed that attending the programme had a positive impact on their self-confidence.
  • 98% of delegates believed that attending the programme had a positive impact on their adoption of new management and leadership practices.
  • 96% of delegates are likely to participate in further learning.
  • 100% of delegates who completed the programme said the programme had a positive impact on their ability to think strategically and communicate effectively.

Now that's what we call impact!

The future is bright

I am delighted that the legacy of LEAD Wales and ION leadership will continue, as the programme moves to the Swansea University School of Management. The programme has built so many fantastic relationships over the last 14 years, and developed so many extraordinary leaders, and I am delighted that the magic of the programme will continue. What the team at ION can offer going forward will be very different, so keep an eye out on their website and social media feeds

Thank you

It would be remiss of me not to end this blog with a thank you. Thank you to everyone who has been part of the LEAD / ION journey. There are too many people to list, but you all know who you are. Thank you to everyone who has worked on the programme, our steering group members, our speakers, and our Bangor colleagues. Thank you to WEFO for their continued support over the last 14 years, and to both Swansea and Bangor University.

Something very special happens when our delegates come together. You all contribute towards the magic. You are all leaders who will change the face of Wales. Thank you for being part of our leadership programme. Thank you for being extraordinary leaders.