Yesterday evening I had the great pleasure of attending a "Dean's Dinner" event in London.
The event was organised by the Manchester Business School and was hosted by De Vere's at their rather impressive Holborn Bars location, formerly the home of Prudential Insurance.
The event brought together about a dozen people from a range of organisations with a shared interest in Leadership Development.
Over the course of a very tasty dinner we got to chat and then listen to our "Provocateur" for the evening - Prof Chris Bones who is Professor of Creativity and Leadership at Manchester Business School and former Dean of the Henley Business School.
In a talk that focused more on asking questions to get us thinking than providing prescriptive solutions he highlighted some of the challenges he sees with leadership, especially in large organisations. He has recently published a book "The Cult of the Leader : a Manifesto for more authentic business" on this area in which he describes the problems and identifies areas for change that will be needed. I think I can safely say that I have never previously heard L'Oreal, Mary Poppins, Dumbledore and Peter Drucker all get a mention in the same talk.
After some time for general discussion on the issues raised it was time to say goodbye and head for home - and in my case the mystery of why the 22:39 train from Waterloo was so full. Clearly it was reasonable for me to be traveling at that hour but what was everyone else doing there :-) One-off or always that full I wonder?
All in all a great evening, met some new people (and reconnected with someone who used to work for IBM but who I'd not seen in many years) and heard some new ideas/ broadened my thinking on leadership development.
My thanks to Manchester Business school for the invite, De Vere for hosting it and Prof Bones for the talk.