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Change Catalyst Leadership Programme

30 Jan 18

On November 29th 2017, we launched the Change Catalyst Leadership Programme at London’s Here East! The first module was led by best-selling author, coach, and expert on change management, Professor Damian Hughes, and focused on the importance of personal and organisational change.

In this group of like-minded leaders sharing learning experiences together, the delegates explored topics such as understanding the importance of emotional intelligence when dealing with change, displaying behaviours that inspire trust and confidence, and how to project your authentic leader self; not a persona.

We believe that our learning experiences should be supported in a modern way! Adventurer, coach & speaker, Paula Reid, introduced our innovative mobile app to the delegates and explored how it can support the learning journey. With collaboration being one of the most important factors when implementing change, the set-up and atmosphere of the venue lend themselves well to this, and the app means delegates can interact before and after the session, with each other and with the facilitators.

Damian guided the delegates through the session, exploring how to influence organisations and individuals towards change, how to communicate that vision and how to handle the inevitable resistance to change – after all, we are creatures of habit! It’s then important to monitor the impact and progress of change and consolidate the gains. With the programme limited to 75 places, this is an exciting and exclusive opportunity for those already in leadership roles looking to progress their career and focuses on some of the most important leadership challenges today.Here’s what some delegates on the course had to say about the first session:


“Inspiring day with Raise the Bar and Professor Damian Hughes.”


“Thanks to Professor Damian Hughes and Raise the Bar for a thought-provoking session, great feedback all round too.”


“First session at Change Catalyst yesterday, some great psychological techniques from Damian Hughes.”


“Such a great balance of theory…stories, Q&A and networking. Loved the first session, can’t wait for Laila’s on January 24th!”

The second session of our Change Catalyst Leadership Programme took place on January 24, and was just as successful as the first! This session focussed on Disruption and was led by exponential technology expert and one of Europe’s leading thinkers on innovation and customer service, Laila Pawlak.

Laila explored how to lead through uncertainty and ambiguity, how to demonstrate decisive leadership, and unveiled the secrets from exponential organisations such as Tesla and AirBnb. Laila looked at the industries and companies that are leading the way in sustainability and humanitarian goals, such as young inventor Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup and Impossible Food’s Impossible Burger – a burger that looks and smells like meat but is made entirely from plants.


“The future we create depends on the challenges we dare to take on today” – Laila Pawlak


Laila also used The Fundamental 4’s Model to examine how becoming better is what drives us as human beings to continuously develop the world we live in… The model explores how our motivations can be used to enhance the customer experience, and, using the Raise the Bar supporting app, Laila asked delegates to think about their internal and external customers prior to the session so that these could be explored these using the F4 model in greater detail.Here’s what some of the delegates had to say about Laila’s session and the Change Catalyst Programme:

“I have just completed session 2 with Laila and previously session 1 with Damian! Both very different but equally thought-provoking and insightful. Can’t wait for session 3! Already seeing enormous benefits in both work and personal life, Thank you!”


“Great session. I am currently redesigning a workshop I’m running next week to stretch the team following the session”


“Thought-provoking day, challenging everything I thought I knew. Thank you, Laila and Raise the Bar, I have so many new tools to be a #ChangeCatalyst”


“In my team, I am a bit of a disruptor so, being here, I feel like I might have a bit of a kindred spirit! We aren’t the biggest player in our industry, so we have to learn how to be disruptive, and it’s not easy, we are fighting against multi-million-dollar organisations from around the world… So being a disruptor is really important to us”

The third session of our Change Catalyst Leadership Programme took place yesterday, with a focus on Resilience and led by Professor Steve Peters, psychologist and creator of the ground-breaking mind management programme, The Chimp Paradox. The book features insights, tools and techniques used by people like Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Ronnie O’Sullivan, to name just a few!

Steve took delegates into the world of The Chimp Paradox and explored how understanding the brain can help leaders to manage their own emotions, increase their self-awareness and give them strategies to help manage individuals who work in their teams.


“Don’t be disheartened if you have setbacks; instead learn from them and always celebrate any successes. Remember: you always have a choice.” 

The Chimp Paradox explores the struggle that takes place in your mind and explores how understanding and applying this can help to recognise how our mind works, how to manage emotions and thoughts, and how to manage yourself and become the person you would like to be.

This explores the 3 areas of the brain:

  • The frontal cortex, or “Human” brain: This is our rational, thinking brain
  • The limbic, or “Chimp” brain: This is the strongest and oldest part of the brain, the emotional and irrational brain
  • The parietal lobe, or “Computer”: This part of our brain can be controlled by the human brain and can override the irrational responses of the Chimp brain

Steve explores the tools and techniques to prevent a hijack from the Chimp brain, and how to override irrational and emotional responses when the Chimp hijacks. This model is effective for leadership, management, resilience, confidence and overall health and success.Here’s what some of the delegates said about Steve’s session and the Change Catalyst Programme:


“Great session today with Professor Steve Peters. Must devise a plan now to control that chimp!”


“Another inspiring and thought-provoking Raise the Bar session – thank you”


“You will love Change Catalyst, it’s an amazing opportunity, do it now”

The fourth session of our Change Catalyst Programme took place yesterday, focusing on communication & brand and led by Head of Experience and communication expert, Kirsty Mac. Kirsty works with thousands of individuals to help them become inspirational leaders and helps transition entrepreneurs and executives to their next level of success.

“A strong personal leadership brand allows all that’s powerful and effective about your leadership to become known to your colleagues, enabling you to generate maximum value.”

Kirsty’s sessions aim to help delegates gain understanding of their personal awareness as a leader, their leadership identity, how to adapt communication styles, listening as a leader, creating and having powerful leadership conversations as part of ‘The Leaders Toolkit’ and how to deliver ‘The Compelling Narrative’.Kirsty encouraged delegates to think about how environment can bring out the best capability and potential, how they are ensuring their team members feel like they belong, they are valued and that they are safe and the effect this has, their resilience and how resilient their team is, and what they are doing to lead in disruptive times.Here’s what delegates had to say about Kirsty’s session:

“An inspiring session with Kirsty Mac and Raise the Bar today at Change Catalyst, you guys keep knocking it out the park!”

“Wow… what a fantastic day spent thinking and developing with the help of the brilliant team at Raise the Bar. Big thanks to Kirsty Mac & Professor Damian Hughes – I’m buzzing!”

“Had a brilliant day – can’t wait for the next session in July!”

The fifth session of our Change Catalyst Leadership Programme took place on Wednesday July 11 facilitated by James Kerr, bestselling author of ‘Legacy’ and the first outsider to ever be allowed inside the camp of the most successful rugby team, the All Black’s. He has a unique viewpoint that has never been reported before and translates it seamlessly into the business setting.James gave delegates insight into and an understanding of providing mission leadership, establishing collective values, visions and purpose to create a common cause, creating marginal gains, making decisions under pressure and the characteristics of a high-performing team.

“No one is bigger than the team and individual brilliance does not automatically lead to outstanding results. One selfish mindset will infect a collective culture”

Kerr argues that all winning teams share the same high-performance principles, including a relentless focus on excellence, a collective commitment to an ‘uncommon cause’, a high degree of autonomy, trust and individual initiative, clear, candid and compelling communication, an emphasis on individual accountability, all underpinned by a climate in which ‘leaders create leaders’. In his session, James revealed the simple secrets of success that drive the best teams to extraordinary results – and what these teams can teach us about leading a business, a team, even a life.Here’s what delegates had to say about James’ session and the programme:

“Great session and great discussions afterwards”


“What attracted me to Change Catalyst is the idea of being able to connect with people from all different industries to exchange ideas and to hear from specialist speakers in their areas”

The sixth and final session of Cohort One of our Change Catalyst programme was held by Professor Damian Hughes. He brought together the key messages from all the previous sessions, and went on to speak about topics such as Social Identity Theory, asking “What underpins our attitude?” and “Do you light up the room when you walk in, or out?”

Damian helped delegates to truly understand the differences between leadership and management, and how our values can influence our actions and behaviours.

This module helped to teach the importance of combining new techniques of leadership with one’s authentic self – ‘not a persona’.

Well done to all our delegates who completed the programme.If you’re interested in booking places for the third cohort of this innovative and exclusive programme, with sessions led by Professor Damian Hughes, Professor Steve Peters, Laila Pawlak, James Kerr and Kirsty Mac, click below to find out more information and to secure your place!