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Nexus Leadership Programme: Building Inclusive Leaders

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​Learn how to leverage diversity and inclusivity in the South African workplace for enhanced performance.

How can we be the leaders that South Africa needs us to be? In a rapidly evolving “VUCA’’ landscape, leaders need to be flexible, adaptive, innovative and inclusive. They not only need to work effectively with people holding diverse and divergent perspectives, but to see that diversity is an advantage in understanding more fully the current context and in formulating more effective responses to it. They need much more than intellectual knowledge, they need a depth of self-awareness and strong interpersonal skills to navigate the uncertainty and discomfort that comes from journeying into unknown terrain.  If you feel inspired to make a positive contribution to South Africa through developing a more authentic and inclusive leadership style, want to improve your ability to have courageous conversations with people who hold diverse perspectives, and are prepared to challenge your own assumptions and biases in order to do so, then Nexus is the course for you.

This transformative leadership programme enables leaders in business, civil society and government to more skillfully – and collaboratively – understand and navigate the complexities of the South Africa context. Utilising a myriad of learning tools underpinned by deep dialogue, contextual awareness, experiential learning and self-reflection. Nexus nurtures leaders who are self-aware, have a high level of personal mastery, are able to engage meaningfully with a diversity of perspectives, and have the skills and the passion to develop innovative solutions to new challenges. The programme also provides tools for the application of key learnings back into the workplace.

The Nexus programme has been selected by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) as one of 35 programmes globally that demonstrate "the unique ways that business schools globally embrace an innovative mindset, and serve as visionaries across the higher education landscape".  In total, the AACSB received more than 315 submissions, across 33 countries for the 2017 Innovations that Inspire showcase.

Nexus Schedule 2020.pdf

Key Focus Areas

  • Contextual understanding of the South African social, economic and political landscape, key trends and issues.
  • Dialogue: learn how to have difficult conversations to achieve greater understanding, for more effective action.
  • Authenticity: self-awareness, congruence and the courage to voice divergent views.
  • Agency: a belief in your own ability and freedom to effect change.
  • Vision: a powerful and positive imagination of the future.
Be a voice, not an echo’’ - Albert Einstein


Quotes from previous participants:

"Here is what I still apply from Nexus every day: [The] ability to have difficult conversations, through the application of the tools I learnt at Nexus. A greater appreciation for the benefit of diversity and the strength it gives us. The fact that everyone has a story and has something to teach us, despite their background, education level, provocation or status. To be more understanding of people – since you don't know their story, until you actually find out" - Melanie Miller - KPMG

"The value Nexus offered me was twofold. In my personal life, I have learnt to listen more and challenge myself to explore new spaces in our country beyond my comfort zone. In my workspace, my team knows that they can bring forward any new ideas and they will be considered, no matter their position or the size of the idea. The result is that many of these ideas are now being implemented to make us more efficient and successful as a team. It is also important that all voices are equal and that every person has an opportunity to contribute. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to attend a learning experience like Nexus. It was like no other course I have attended previously and realised quickly that what you put into Nexus, is what you will get out..." Gillian Whittal, Business Unit Manager, Janssen

"In the world of changing technology, climate, stakeholder expectations, ethical dilemmas and market instability, the job of a leader is increasingly becoming that of building trust and not just ensuring productivity. This requires a different kind of leadership. It requires leaders to be authentic, to seek to understand their contexts deeply and to set out compelling visions that will connect with the heads and hearts of those they lead. Nexus is a journey that invites you to experience and experiment with ways of becoming this type of leader. To look again at your assumptions, values, beliefs and fears and to choose consciously that which serves you, others and the world. You will laugh, you will be surprised, you will be confused, you will be awed, you will be angry and you may even cry. Don't worry, you are becoming…"  Lerato Mahlasela, Executive Director: Customised Programmes, GIBS

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More Information

Who should attend?
  • The ideal Nexus candidate is someone who is passionate about making a positive difference in South Africa even if they are uncertain how to do it, Nexus participants believe that change is possible and want to be a part of it.
  • Participants come from the private sector, the public sector and civic society. 
  • Some Nexus participants are sponsored by their organisations to attend the programme while others attend in their individual capacity.

How you will benefit

Through this programme you will: 

  • Deepen your ability to see systems and linkages and reduce the 'silo' mentality;
  • Be able to work constructively and creatively with diverse stakeholders to understand and address pressing issues;
  • Deepen your self-awareness, sense of agency and personal mastery;
  • See more potential in people and situations, especially in those you may have been prone to discount or dismiss;
  • Be more willing and able to engage in the courageous conversations needed to move ourselves, our organisations and the country forward;
  • Gain a greater contextual appreciation of the complexity of operating in the South African environment and the implications for personal and organisational leadership; and
  • Be connected to a passionate group of people who are committed to effecting positive change in South Africa.

Programme methodology                                 
The methodology utilises experiential learning, reflective practice and direct engagement with societal leaders.
This programme is not lecture-based.

Participants are invited into a series of carefully designed engagements with self, with others and with the broader
environment and supported to reflect on these experiences to gain new insight.

In this way, the learning of each participant is unique to them and continues to develop long after the end of the programme.
Nexus is run over an eight month period and delegates meet on average two days a month. 

A series of written assignments allow delegates to apply their learnings in their 
workplaces and to integrate the learnings
into their own lives
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