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On average LEAD participants increase their turnover by £200,000.

“No matter what issues or concerns a business owner has, LEAD can help by offering them the chance to learn from others who have had similar experiences” - Marian Ginesi, Linco Communications, LEAD cohort member, February 2009.

“LEAD has given me the power to take the action to empower my staff and myself, to drive my business forward” – LEAD cohort member, February 2009

Outline LEAD is an innovative leadership programme designed specifically around the needs of SME owner -managers. LEAD has been piloted by Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) in conjunction with the NWDA and since its inception in 2004 over 150 businesses have been through the 10 month leadership programme. Following the success of businesses who have attended LEAD over the past four years the NWDA is now supporting the rollout of the programme across the region to support up to 2000 SME businesses in the next three years. Who is LEAD aimed at? SME owner-managers with up to 20 employees based in the North West who: * want to gain confidence in and improve their Leadership skills * are looking to grow their business but aren't sure of the direction they should take * are looking for support in developing new business processes and ways of streamlining the business * feel isolated and don't have a peer support network to turn to for advice Benefits The businesses that have taken part in LEAD over the last four years have benefited from a significant increase in sales turnover as a result of their participation. Other benefits include: * Improved staff productivity & more effective business processes * Helping delegates manage their business more effectively in this tough economic climate * Increased confidence allowing delegates to make the right decisions * Allows delegates to work on the business not in it * It's the Board you can't afford - the support and advice from peers is invaluable What is LEAD? LEAD concentrates on two areas of the business: the business itself and the personal development of the owner-manager. The programme is made up of several elements which run alongside each other throughout the 10 months: * Overnight Experiential – the first element of the programme is a two day group activity with an overnight stay. This helps members of the cohort get to know each other and helps them to start thinking about their current leadership style. * Masterclasses – 10 masterclasses are split into two themes, business growth and leadership. * Coaching – a solutions focussed coaching approach changes how members work with people both inside and outside their organisation. * Action Learning Sets – a group of 6-7 cohort members who meet to discuss real business issues resolving them through listening and questioning techniques designed to establish positive actions. * Shadowing and Exchanges – Cohort members are partnered for a series of shadowing visits and exchanges. The process begins with a shadowing exercise where members will observe and reflect on the behaviour of their chosen exchange partner in their place of work. This is followed up by a series of exchange projects which are agreed by both delegates. * On-line Forum - - members share what they have learnt in Masterclasses and discuss issues from Action Learning Sets. They also have access to podcasts, Masterclass presentations and additional reading. What is the commitment / cost to the business? LEAD is a 10 month programme and requires 2-3 days commitment a month. This is a high value course supported by the NWDA resulting in a maximum cost to the business of just £2,000 Funding may be available through the Train to Gain L&M programme to reduce this cost further.
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Innovation and Enterprise Unit, B45, Bowland North, Lancaster University, LA1 4YN / 01524 592809 /