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Astute Leader

Never in our lifetime has there been a greater need for outstanding leaders with societal impact. Before the outbreak of Covid-19, leaders across the globe were fixated on the disruption that was rolling out with the 4th Industrial Revolution. Little did we know how quickly those changes would seem tame, in light of this black swan event and the wicked problems it would exacerbate. As we move from the Receding Now into the Imaginable Next, we are more conscious than ever that future-fit leading needs to be different!


  • Dealing with increasing complexity, change and conflict

  • Old 20th Century leader paradigms are being challenged,

  • New paradigms have not been clearly defined or translated into meaningful practices.

  • The business environment has changed radically

  • Variables are increasing exponentially

  • The people we lead do not believe think, feel or behave in the way that people believed, thought, felt or behaved just a few years ago,

  • We must deliver more complex responses

  • We must meet increasingly high standards

  • We have fewer skilled people

  • Our environment is more uncertain

  • We face far more difficult and volatile issues.


Many leaders are ill-equipped to handle these challenges with excellence, having progressed into these roles because of technical competence and outstanding delivery, not because they have been taught to lead. There are no text-books to dictate their decisions or answer their questions. The skills which they need can not be transmitted in theory but must be honed through profound experiences and deeply reflective processes. 




In the last year or so, several lists have emerged of 21st Century Leadership skills necessary to navigate increasing complexities, changes and conflicts, but research is indicating that most leaders do not possess these skills and they tend not to be taught in management development programmes. We have consolidated more than 50 skills identified in those lists into 4 critical leader competencies, and designed a system to develop them.


This system is based on the Astute Leader Foundational Skills Programme, which is crafted to enable deeply personalised, practical and progressive development for leaders who wish to equip themselves to be powerfully effective in the next decade. The modular programme is highly flexible, participative and experiential – even when conducted online!


Each module includes…..

  • Completion of online assessments

  • Pre-work.

  • 20 hour Astute Leader skills workshop

  • Action assignments

  • 1 x 60-minute coaching session

  • Ongoing interaction and support through membership of the Astute Leader Alliance


  • 1 module: R13 800 (including VAT)

  • 2 modules: R25 875 (including VAT)

  • 3 modules: R37 950 (including VAT)

  • 4 modules: R49 900 (including VAT)


Payable in full on booking.

Relaunch Rate      R11 500 for 1 module and R38 000 for all 4.
Module 1 starts
3 April  2024

Learning Outcomes


Module 1 

Influence: Be Articulate

In this module we emphasise identity, congruence and messaging. Sustainable and impactful influence rests on the trustworthiness of your being, who you are becoming and the mark which you make on the world. To be trustworthy and credible in this age of information overload, your brand must be congruent, aligned with solid principles and you must walk the talk. Your message needs to be relevant, audible and original to be impactful. The lead developer on this module is Tshego Khutsoane, who has masters degrees in both business and theatre and who lives and breathes the importance of being and becoming.


Participants completing the Influence module will

  • Develop awareness of their strengths, values and personal impact.

  • Develop a vision for service, social impact and societal transformation.

  • Clarify their business identity and identify ways to build their personal credibility and brand.

  • Understand and apply the concepts of influence, empowerment, value and congruent, ethical leadership.

  • Understand the power of inspiration and be able to tell a noteworthy story and use visual representation to increase impact.

  • Master messaging.

  • Enrol people into new activities more effectively and facilitate change.

  • Learn basic coaching and mentoring skills

  • Learn to use provocation, strategic questioning and the arts to change paradigms and perspectives.

  • Recognise and understand social pressure and power dynamics and become more assertive.

  • Become more persuasive and negotiate more assertively.

  • Build and contribute to more influential and meaningful networks.

Anchor 1

Insight: Be Aware

In this module we think deeply about thinking. In an increasingly complex business context, leaders have to be thinkers. Greater volumes of more granular information will probably make choices more complex and challenging. As awareness expands, conflicting interests and values may become more apparent and leadership decisions will probably become less obvious. In this environment leaders will need to be digitally articulate, to be aware of broader realities, to develop reflective techniques, dissect perceptual constructions, and integrate polarising perspectives and cross-boundary constructs. The lead developer on this module is Kemble Elliott, who has a masters degree in education, is a specialist in philosophical thinking techniques and is an exceptionally brilliant thinking partner.


Participants completing the Insight module will

  • Understand their thinking habits and practise self-reflexivity to increase personal resilience, leadership impact and effectiveness.

  • Explore meta-cognition and cognitive flexibility and learn specific techniques for thinking about thinking and for lifelong learning.

  • Understand the principles of complexity, paradox and sense-making, and their personal sense-making strengths and biases.

  • Develop an experimental and deliberatively developmental mindset and understand personal change paradigms.

  • Understand the business language of technology and the disruptive landscape of the 4IR.

  • Learn processes for anticipatory thinking, environmental scanning and scenario planning.

  • Be able to apply transdisciplinary and critical thinking and engage people with diverse perspectives.

  • Develop complex problem-solving and decision-making approaches.

  • Expand their ability to conceive possibilities, think creatively and imagine better outcomes.

  • Select synthesising, refining and integrating strategies to enable them to deal with information overload.





Module 3


Interdependence: Be Adult

In this module we emphasise the importance of relational skills in an increasingly connected and demanding world. There has been a decades long debate around the difference between leadership and management. Whilst non-human resources, assets and processes are managed, only people can be led and only people can lead. Individuals can be coerced, cajoled or manipulated, but they cannot be made to do anything. Astute Leaders create environments in which people choose to engage. They deeply value contribution and work with and serve others to solve important problems. They understand the depths within others, they radically include and they shift the dynamics of power to create environments of trust which facilitate adventure, collaborative risk-taking and outstanding performance. The lead developer on this module is Tatiana Page, who has decades of people experience and is busy with a Masters in the Management of Technology and Innovation, specialising in toxic leadership.


Participants completing the Interdependence module will

  • Understand their personal relationship-building patterns and emotional intelligence and identify relational vulnerabilities.

  • Practise and develop active listening skills and identify their listening impediments.

  • Identify how they can more effectively develop rapport and trust with internal and external clients.

  • Discover and harness the value of diversity and collective genius. Reward and recognise people.

  • Become more aware of the needs, experiences and value of others.

  • Develop effective networking skills.

  • Identify and establish boundaries to foster adult-adult interactions.

  • Learn to foster effective engagement and interaction with all stakeholders.

  • Contribute more effectively as team leaders and team members.

  • Explore opportunities for collaboration, develop a collaboration strategy and identify risks to be managed.

  • Apply principles of effective facilitation to the activities of general leadership and change processes.

  • Understand the role of a mediator and the principles of difficult negotiations and conflict resolution.

Implementation: Be Adept

In this module we “close the loop” focusing on the new ways in which leaders will get things done. Of course they will increasingly use machines, but they will also formulate and execute strategy in new ways. There will be a dramatically greater need to create agile plans and processes, to select and implement new ways of monitoring progress and measuring success, all the while fostering sustainability and responsibility. Implementation within the emerging complex adaptive systems which are now characterising business, differs from linear environments. Whilst elements of these systems remain ordered, the strategic implementation environment tends towards volatility and disruption and the rapid emergence of novel challenges and issues. Leaders must learn arts such as pre-emptive surveillance, agile planning, iterative experimentation and designing for scale. Janet du Preez is taking the lead on the development of this module. She is an avid student of emerging strategy, execution and organisational design practices and is also busy with a Masters in the Management of Technology and Innovation, specialising in stakeholder engagement and wicked problems.


Participants completing the Implementation module will

  • Explore how their strengths impact on their contribution, courage, personal initiative and proactivity.

  • Apply choice theory to decision-making, self-leadership and prioritisation

  • Address organisation, scheduling and prioritising challenges which are hampering their progress.

  • Formulate personal focus and goal-setting strategies and habits.

  • Learn and apply the principles of modern strategic and world-class thinking to their context.

  • Understand the impact of technological and societal disruption on business strategy and the role of business in societal transformation.

  • Design an innovation strategy and implementation plan for their environment.

  • Outline a plan and high-level organisation design to rapidly scale a business or business unit.

  • Outline opportunities for process improvement and digital integration in their context.

  • Understand and apply the foundational principles of risk management.

  • Explore ideas for developing a more adaptive culture and processes.

  • Learn to enable outstanding performance.


Module 4 

Frames of Reference

Astute Implamentation Guide.jpg
Dynamic Engagement Framework
Drivers of Greatness
Strengths Assessment
Dynamic Engagement Framework

Our proprietary Dynamic Engagement Framework© provides a useful sense-making frame for exploring and shifting engagement, culture and performance. 

Asute Implementation Guide

The Astute Implementation Guide is our transformational roadmap. We use it to structure our interventions and to enable individuals, teams and organisations to navigate their  developmental journeys.

Strengths Assessment

The powerful strengths assessment we like to include in all our strategic interventions identifies the innate talents and wiring that is central to how people engage with their world. 

Engagement Landscape Square.jpg
Engagement Landscape

Our research led us to develop the Engagementt Landscape as an alternative to the traditional Engagement Continuum. It helps our clients to understand disengagement at a more granular level and to identify what needs to change in order to increase engagement. 

Astute DeSign Framework

The Astute DeSign Framework is a roadmap for emergent design and organisational strategy in a volatile environment. It has been influenced by Design Thinking and Lean Start-up Methodology

Our Coaching Ethos

Our Coaching Ethos defines coaching and outlines the role of a coach. We also explain how we use the Drivers of Greatness to assist our clients to achieve their goals.

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