Our Future Leaders

a recess college programme on organisational life and leadership

The world of work is contradictory. It sends complex messages of what is required to the fast track entrant and those in the first phases of their career.

Future leaders need to be radical, practical and strategic in knowing what to maintain and what to change from their future positions of power.

They need to know how to develop the necessary qualities of good judgement for handling the unpredictability of the future and the uncertainty of other people’s reactions. And to obtain perspective, organisational acumen and a healthy dose of “political savviness” to prosper in today’s demanding organisations.

The first part of the programme is five-days and held in the Netherlands. It consists of a real-life laboratory with peers and senior leaders on group and organisational processes and de-briefing on the personal interaction that happened to you in the laboratory.

It is followed by a two-and-a-half day review six weeks later for participants to reflect about how they were best able to transfer their learning to work and home life.

Participants learn by experiencing the demands of self-leadership and leadership of others in organisations through a real-time simulation of creating high performance teams and an organisation as a whole.

A focused personal de-briefing helps participants recognise what “happened” to them, how their behaviours reflect their personal real-life dilemmas, strengths, patterns and beliefs, with their emotional responses.

Past participants said about the programme:

The OFL course opened my eyes to how I work in teams. I expected to learn theory on leadership, but instead I experienced how I operate in teams and organisations. This greatly improved my effectiveness.
I see situations from a different perspective. I'm not trying to make it according to others' ideas and requirements, but trying to find ways according to my own thoughts which is difficult for me. I have a higher awareness of the impact I have in groups and how group dynamics happen.
The OFL provides opportunity for real deep change – when other programmes are usually forgotten in a few weeks. OFL was the programme I did not know I needed.

Our organisations need future leaders who can learn to guide and lead with wisdom, perspective, organisational acumen and a healthy dose of ‘political savviness’.

The world of work is contradictory. It sends complex messages of what is required to the fast track entrant and those in the first phases of their career.

Future leaders need to be radical, practical and strategic in knowing what to maintain and what to change from their future positions of power.

A “living lab” to develop the necessary qualities of good judgement for handling the unpredictability of the future and the uncertainty of other people’s reactions. It is intended for young scientists, creatives and professionals who wish to work on their leadership and their understanding of dynamics in organisations.

Participants use the experimental programme to develop their creativity and maturity; to become more ready, perceptive and able in their current position and to better deal with work challenges in their next career steps.

The OFL leadership programme was co-developed with the Dutch funding agency for science and technical research and has been running for over six years. The programme received very high ratings from past participants.

Prof. Stefano Stramigioli, chairman of the Robotics and Mechatronics group at the University of Twente, describes the impact as follows:

The programme is really a unique opportunity for young scientists and professionals to understand their leadership, their relations with themselves and the people they work and collaborate with.
Thanks to sending people in my group to the OFL and The Recess College, my group is making a radical change and the organisation is becoming stronger and more productive. It is really impressive what this programme is achieving.

The OFL Programme was set up in collaboration with the funding institution for science and technical research in the Netherlands through an alumnus of The Recess College Sabbatical for senior executives. Its aim was to provide people with some of the benefits of the Sabbatical in an earlier stage of their working lives for a competitive and enduring kick-start in organisational life.

The first group convened in 2012. The group consisted of Dutch early-stage academics, but since then it has spread internationally amongst different professional backgrounds.

Our Future Leaders’ experiential programme provides a unique learning opportunity for participants to consider and explore the:

  • Choice of the ‘self’ you wish to be in and beyond work
  • Complex differences between role relationships and friendships
  • Inner workings of management and leadership of teams
  • Dynamics of competition and collaboration; hierarchy and self-reliance
  • Understanding of organisations as a whole.

OFL participants across disciplines initiated and developed an alumni group to continue their learning journey. Twice a year they organise events and invite staff from The Recess College to facilitate the learning.

Additionally, several participants have sought in-house training to become peer-facilitators at OFL programmes and events.

Layla Amber - Administrator
Email: info@recesscollege.org
Telephone: +44 7771 818 681

The Recess College
1 Macklin House
1-7 Macklin Street
London, WC2B 5NH
United Kingdom

The photos are from Guy Taplin’s work.