Leadership and people management

“Leadership is like beauty : it’s difficult to define, but you know it when you see it.”

This course considers the differences between leaders and managers and explores what it is that makes good, if not great leaders, at all levels within a creative organisation.

Who this course is for

This course is aimed at those with leadership and people management responsibilities, including those who are (or are about to be) newly promoted.

Course format

John Forrester, who runs this course, has worked with Colander for more than 10 years, applying his extensive knowledge of leadership and people management to the intricacies of the architectural and design professions. In that time, John has fine-tuned the course to suit the specific challenges of managing and leading creative people, incorporating cutting edge and emerging ideas as and when appropriate.

The course combines leadership and management theory, as well as practical applications. It uses architectural case studies, team leadership activities and group discussions, so that everyone participates and can learn how to transfer their new skills to the workplace.

As with all our courses, this one should be tailored to the needs of the people attending and we are more than happy to focus on specific topics to suit. A typical course would take place over two full days, usually 3 to 6 weeks apart, and address the topics listed under Course Content below.

If two days is felt to be too sizeable a commitment, then we are happy to discuss a shorter course addressing a less ambitious syllabus : it is not possible to simply condense the two days into a shorter time.

Interestingly, many of our clients add a third day, usually incorporating two of the following three topics, each of which can be covered in a half day session:

  • Communication and assertiveness skills
  • Working and managing more efficiently
  • Appraisals and staff development

It is equally possible to replace some aspects of the two day course with one of these three topics. So, if this course sounds interesting, do please contact training@colander.co.uk and we can make arrangements to discuss the most appropriate format and content for you.

Each participant is provided with a comprehensive set of printed and bound courses notes.

A final point : although not mandatory, we encourage people attending this course to undertake the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) psychometric assessment. This entails an online assessment between Days 1 and 2; the results are discussed and developed during Day 2. MBTI provides participants with useful insights into their own personality, helping them to understand why they think and do things the way they do; it also raises their awareness and tolerance of others, including those who may think and do things entirely differently.

Course content

This course should be tailored to meet the exact requirements of individual practices, suggested topics include :

  • Context: business strategy – ‘playing the game’
  • Acknowledging the practice’s culture
  • The learning organisation
  • Strategic alignment
  • Achieving a professional balance
  • Motivation and self-motivation
  • Management responsibilities, activities and structure
  • Project management and line management – compared and contrasted
  • The manager as a coach, mentor and role model
  • Management and leadership – compared and contrasted
  • Leadership skills and qualities
  • Leadership and managerial styles
  • Balancing leadership priorities – the need for ‘head-space’
  • Levels of leadership – on a project and in a practice
  • Leading with emotional intelligence
  • Understanding and maintaining the psychological contract
  • Maintaining trust and dealing with mistakes
  • Team dynamics: understanding your team
  • Collective intelligence and achieving consensus, whilst avoiding ‘groupthink’


CPD Certificates are issued to all attendees.