For a number of years The Corporate Theatre has worked closely with one of the world’s largest engineering consultancy firms. We have delivered multiple programs in Inspirational Engagement and Leadership to senior executives in this multi-billion dollar multi-national firm.
In 2014, the company’s Learning Academy came to us again. They wanted to integrate The Corporate Theatre’s philosophy and methods into their “Future Leaders” training program. Specifically, they wanted to enhance the power of the Future Leader group’s final presentations to the company’s senior management.
In the past these ‘summary of learnings’ presentations had fallen flat. They had failed to inspire both the participants and their audience. Worse, the underwhelming presentations damaged the legitimacy of the entire Future Leaders program.
Something had to change. Those at the company who had worked with us before knew that we had what it took.
The brief to The Corporate Theatre was to develop, coach and stage a presentation by young future leaders to a panel of senior executives. This included:
- Nineteen individual inspirational narratives, in which each Future Leader would express their visions for their purposes in work, for the company, and for their own lives.
- Four group mini- plays, probing the questions of how the company could improve its team cultures, develop new ideas, and stay true to its original purpose.
Beginning with an overview of Inspired Engagement and its principles, the Corporate Theatre faculty took all nineteen future leaders through a specially designed workshop: ‘Theatre of the Exemplar: a Performer Prepares’.
Most participants, with virtually no public communication experience, were initially extremely nervous about this creative process. But with the theatre world’s creation of a safe space in which to experiment, do grounding work, and accept a spirit of play, improvisation and fun, the group quickly coalesced into four creative teams. Scripts were written, props were foraged, and in under 36 hours each experienced the highs (and lows) of a full creative cycle.
The result was that the Future Leaders gained authority and presence. They developed self-confidence and learnt how to make others feel confident. They were able to work together in a way none of them had ever experienced. They could speak truth to power because they had learnt the praxis of Authenticity.
The senior executive panel fully acknowledged the Authenticity, Creativity, Empathy and Courage exhibited by their Future Leaders. In several instances, they declared themselves ‘blown away’ by the authority of the participants, and their passion for innovation.
A summary from the client affirmed that a global engineering company whose leaders can engage with inspiration is in a very much stronger position than one with leaders who can only deal in transaction. It is no surprise to us that we keep on being asked back to do further work with this company, and that the ‘Future Leaders’ we helped coach are no longer future leaders, but leaders.