LCAM study tour to Harvard

LCAM Visits the Boston Ballet
LCAM cohort visits the Boston Ballet

In July 2016, QUT launched the Executive Graduate Certificate in Business (Leadership through coaching and Mentoring) designed for leaders inspired to coach and coaches inspired to lead. In particular, this program is for leaders who want to use coaching and mentoring to implement positive change in their organisation.

The learning experience is provided via a blended platform; for instance, to make life easy for professionals, the course is fully online, with weekly webinars and a year-long, work-based high impact project. It exposes participants to the most recent developments in leadership theory, as well as practical information on how to implement their own coaching strategy.

Here at QUT we believe in active learning, and the power of experience to expand perception. So we hit the road in search of wisdom and adventure, as part of the LCAM (Leadership through coaching and Mentoring) experience.

Our first stop was the hallowed halls of Harvard University in Boston. Here, our students participated in a 2-day CEO Forum, held by the Institute of Coaching at the prestigious Harvard Faculty Club. Highlights included an address from General Chuck Jacoby, President Obama’s advisor on operations in the Middle East. This was followed by a visit to the Boston Ballet, to hear inspiring stories of leadership and transformation from famed Artistic Director, Mikko Nissinen.

Travelling together creates a bond, forged by shared experience. At the McLean Hospital and the Institute of Coaching we challenged our students, throwing them into two days of leadership coaching. This proved to be an intense engagement with participants and presenters. Over time, our outward journey became an inward one. As we travelled, we shared more of ourselves, engaging in deep discussions around the opportunities and difficulties that leaders face today.

Just like the movies - The Harvard Faculty Club
Just like the movies – The Harvard Faculty Club
LCAM cohort visits the MIT Self Assembly Lab
The MIT Self Assembly Lab
Ford Headquarters in Detroit
CEO Forum conference at the the Institute of Coaching. Left to right: Kym Salvati, Elana Robertson and Catherine Johnstone

The discipline of constant self-reflection, the importance of trust, and the pressures of planning for unknown outcomes are just some of the topics that led to incidental, but invaluable peer-to-peer learning on our trip. Experience and collaboration – a wonderful way to learn more about yourself and the leader you want to become.

Along the way we engaged with a topic which is often difficult for managers – taking care of yourself so as to better provide guidance to others. Students learned about modelling resilience, practicing mindfulness, leaving work on time and celebrating success.

At the Self Assembly Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, we heard from Research Director Skylar Tibbits about the latest thinking in the field of material self-assembly – the future looks simply mind blowing. At the Ford motor company in Detroit, HR and Coaching Directors and their teams interacted with the group, sharing insights about leadership and coaching in a multinational giant and asking for our input as they work to embed a worldwide coaching culture within their organisation.

To sum it up in two words, both the LCAM course, and the study tour are all about experiencing a growth mindset. As the wonderful experiences have time to settle, we look forward to hearing from our students about what meant the most to them.

For more information contact Dr Fran Finn f.finn@qut.edu.au


Fran is passionate about developing exceptional leaders. She has an extensive background in Leadership and Executive Coaching, holding senior leadership positions, including as Director, Leadership Coaching and Executive Programs within the QUT Graduate School of Business and QUTeX Executive Education. Fran is responsible for successfully delivering global Leadership Coaching education as Course Coordinator for the Executive Graduate Certificate in Business (Leadership Coaching) and establishing The Leadership Coaching Practice within QUTeX.

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