Celebrating the Future of Leadership at Aston Business School

More than 80 professionals attended a dinner to celebrate graduates from BPS Birmingham Future’s second Leadership Development Programme.

Held in partnership with Aston Business School, the programme saw 28 participants develop core leadership skills during a series of monthly evening workshops on a range of topics.

The participants were presented with their certificates by Mark Smith, Executive Director of Business Engagement, at Aston University, at the event on Thursday 26 July at Conference Aston.

Commenting on the evening, Mark Smith said:

“It’s been great to celebrate the success of this initiative between Aston University and BPS Future, which is a very important relationship.

“Aston University’s ethos has always been to work with business. Long may this continue and flourish with BPS Birmingham.

“The graduates here tonight all have high-pressured jobs, and I’m sure there were some days when they could have stayed working, or could have gone home to relax with loved ones.

“But instead they did this programme, showing enthusiasm to develop their skills. And so tonight was about rewarding their dedication, with an enjoyable evening of food and entertainment alongside their peers, colleagues and new found friends.”

Victoria Ball, Chair of BPS Birmingham Future and Senior Associate at Trowers & Hamlins, who was one of the programme’s graduates in 2017, addressed the dinner audience.  She said: “Your leadership journey is a constant and evolving one, with new lessons learned all of the time.

Dr Keith Schofield, Executive and Apprenticeship MBA Programme Director at Aston University, was one of the keynote speakers. He said:

“The BPS Birmingham Future Leadership Development programme is a great initiative which is helping to foster a culture of excellence in tomorrow’s leaders in the West Midlands.

 “We are committed to enhancing leadership practice through working with local and international businesses, developing leading research, and using it to inform our excellent teaching, which we showcase on the BPS programme.”

The evening’s second keynote was delivered by Kiran Trehan, Professor of Leadership and Enterprise Development and Director of External Engagement at the University of Birmingham, and the Research Lead for the West Midlands Combined Authority Leadership Commission.

Kiran made a passionate case on the importance of leadership diversity; sharing the research from the work of the Leadership Commission she argued that there was now an economic and business imperative for greater leadership inclusivity in addition to the clear social imperative.

Beth Sadler of Aston Business School, who is also a committee member at BPS Birmingham Future, is the lead organiser of the programme and celebratory dinner.

Compering the evening, she said:

“Congratulations to all of the participants. All 28 of you, who enthusiastically committed to monthly evening workshops since September last year.

“I am incredibly proud of what you have all achieved in the past 11 months alongside completing the programme; to securing job promotions or taking on new challenges with new employers, a couple even moved cities, and many of you embarked on new voluntary roles.  And equally, you have proved a new confidence in the language, thinking, behaviour and mind-set of good leadership.

 “On behalf of Aston Business School I would like to say thank you to all those involved.”

Natalie King, Account Manager at West Midlands Growth Company, was one of the graduates. Talking about her experience during the evening’s wine reception, she said:

“The programmes covered quite a broad range of subject areas, and yet every single module has been fully relevant to my role and current stage in my career.

 “Anyone looking to progress in a management-level role or develop their leadership skills should definitely apply.”

During the evening, it was announced that the Leadership Development Programme would continue for a third year from this October for another 20 professionals. Applications are open until Monday 13 August exclusively for Future members.

Photographs of the evening can be viewed here

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