More than 1,000 business owners, directors and managers have already benefited from the ION leadership programme and its predecessor Lead Wales, which has generated an average of 26% increase in their business turnover and added in excess of £52m to the Welsh economy.
Established seven years ago, and led by Swansea University in partnership with Bangor University, the Lead Wales project’s current evolution – ION leadership – is backed with £2.7m from the European Social Fund to raise skills and drive business growth in companies throughout Wales.
The initiative supports entrepreneurs and aspiring leaders to develop high quality skills through targeted leadership programmes, which aim to raise productivity in the workplace whilst developing sustainable, profitable enterprises.
The programme is based on practical, experiential learning within a trusted group of peers. Programme participants are also able to experiment with different leadership styles and learn how best to implement the latest thinking, strategies and best practice into their own business.
Mathew Dalziel, Commercial Manager with Pyle-based ASW Property Services, was an ION Leader on a “Leading Growth” programme, which graduated in April 2017 and took ION to over 1,000 delegates.
Mr Dalziel said:
“ION has been a great journey. I’ve been on lots of management training and one day courses where you just go through the motions. ION is different! It has provided me with the confidence and focus to lead effectively.
“ION has also brought the ASW senior management team together; we have all experienced the ION journey. We are now more effective and we’re on the same page. We are putting learning into practice and taking time out to work ‘on’ the business not ‘in’ the business!”
Gary Walpole, Deputy Director – Leading Business Growth, in Research, Engagement and Innovation Services at Swansea University, said:
“We are really pleased with the impressive growth that our delegates experience as individuals and organisations. Our Leading Growth programme is designed to give people the knowledge and skills to drive growth in their business and develop their people. The primary focus is on developing people’s leadership skills so that they are more confident and comfortable with leading growth.
“The ION Leadership Programme is an excellent example of the innovative ways Swansea University is supporting business in Wales. And while the University is a global player, it also demonstrates how we also think locally and regionally in terms of the support and knowledge we offer to ultimately benefit the Welsh economy.”