Simon Bracher


Diploma in Organisational Leadership







By Simon Bracher

Leadership styles, organisational culture, motivation, teams, change, complexity, power and personality…

The start of the first of four residential weeks in Oxford, for the Diploma in Organisational Leadership. Learning has taken place in Oxford for nearly a thousand years, making it the world’s second oldest surviving university, and the oldest in the English speaking world. I ponder this as I arrive in the city, where ancient spires and iconic buildings serve to reinforce the university’s academic heritage. My primary motivation for undertaking the program was driven by the curriculum, which for me meant formally rounding off my professional finance qualification and background with vital leadership knowledge, skills and tools. Arriving in the city and finally coming to terms that I would have the privilege of studying at this wonderful institution affirmed my choice of program as absolutely the correct one.

The theme of Module 1 was Leadership Fundamentals, and Sue Dopson and Michael Smets excelled in their roles unpacking and helping us critically explore core leadership concepts, such as leadership styles, organisational culture, motivation, teams, change, complexity, power and personality. Assessments of our own personality profiles were conducted with further coaching to be provided, allowing us to examine the concepts we had explored in the light of our own personal traits and contexts.

Our group of around 40 participants bonded remarkably quickly, and the diversity of candidates, from both a geographical and professional perspective provided a smorgasbord of experiences and viewpoints that made for an enriched learning experience. Many a hard working session was followed by equally festive bonding sessions over a refreshing cold beer in the many of the excellent local pubs. All part of the Oxford experience!

With Oxford being a collegiate University, we were given membership of Pembroke College, and after a tour of the college and dinner in the college hall, were provided with Salto cards giving us full access, including the library and Middle Common Room, along with our University Student cards giving us access to the University’s impressive Bodleian Libraries – one of only two libraries with a physical copy of every book published in the United Kingdom.

In all the week at Oxford was to be a memorable and first rate affair – the experience of the University, the quality of the Academia and their wonderfully organised support staff, the top rate dining experiences, making new friends and future business contacts, and of course the excellent course content and case studies. A memorable first week and I am certainly looking forward to the next one!

DOL blog week 2

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