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Transformation is humility, not hubris

Most businesses feel they need to transform. But how?

Often transformation equates to a new strategy, structural re-organisation, expensive legacy IT overhaul or processes that end up adding rather than subtracting from the complexity.

Often these transformations fail.

There are many reasons why it can go wrong. The bigger the business, the more reasons that can conspire to undermine success. Maybe critical decisions are inadvertently outsourced. Or competing internal incentives and rewards doom any real sense of coherence. Frequently, many people involved know it is going wrong. But the slide is inexorable.

However, some transformations succeed. Why?

In Anna Karenina, Tolstoy wrote:

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”

Likewise, every successful transformation (and indeed business) is alike — and in 3 related ways. It knows what it is for, its purpose. From top to bottom, the staff believe in this purpose. And they feel they have a stake in the success that will result.

It is obvious therefore that only the business — and the people in it — can transform it and themselves. It takes work. It is hard.

At the Møller Institute, Churchill College, we believe that the first act of leadership should be one of humility, not hubris. No one has all the answers or rarely all the tools needed to transform successfully.

Set in the beautiful grounds of Churchill College at the University of Cambridge, Møller Institute focuses on delivering high impact, experiential leadership development programmes to senior and high-potential leaders from organisations around the world.

Our inspiration comes from the connection between two great leaders, Sir Winston Churchill and Danish shipping magnate Maersk McKinney Møller, whose vision and benefaction in 1992 has created a unique ‘Centre for Excellence’ which for the past 25 years has brought together business practitioners and academia. We have access to Cambridge’s unique eco-system of innovation and extraordinary convening power to bring in multi-disciplinary expertise for fresh perspective.

We partner with CEOs, Heads of Learning & Development and other senior executives to design and deliver leadership development programmes for current and future leaders. Our associates work alongside clients to understand and address specific business needs and challenges through practical, customised programmes. We build our programmes on a genuinely bespoke basis — and use context to reinforce learning. Where better to focus on the art and science of delivering high performance than in the Goldie Boathouse, home of the University of Cambridge boat crew?

We enable businesses to transform themselves.

Our profits are covenanted back to Churchill College for investment in undergraduate and graduate education and student support.

By helping businesses transform, we help grow young leaders for the future. This is our purpose. We believe in it. And we share a stake in its success.

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