The Voice of America: Our resilience programme at the Centre for Creative Leadership

Our Challenge of Change Resilience programme has been included in the leadership development offering of the USA Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) for over three years now. Many NZ executives and HR people know CCL as a pre-eminent American leadership development centre.

New Zealander and colleague Nick Petrie has worked in the leadership development team at CCL for four years, and amongst other responsibilities he leads the Resilience programme and the team of CCL people Derek trained to run it.

We thought we would catch up with Nick to find out how things have been going.

Hi Nick, what made you include our Resilience programme in the leadership offering?

There hadn't been much of a demand for it, but a few years after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), we started to get loads of requests. While companies were recovering from the GFC, they still hadn't started to rehire. They still aren't actually, but they can see the huge workloads and demands on their employees. Instead of hiring, organisations are deciding to look after the employees they have.

Also, work places are much more complex, matrixed, more global, technology means we are "on" much more. Lots of people are completely overloaded. So if you aren't rehiring – and often there isn't the talent to hire – then organisations need to assist their people manage the demands or they face burning them out. The resulting drop in performance, in all regards, will damage the delicate financial recovery.

Have you had to make any adjustments to the programme?

Not really. The four steps, Waking UP, Controlling Your Attention, Detaching and Letting Go, are universal. The programme you run in NZ, and which is also run in the UK, is pretty much identical to the one we run in our programmes. For executives we particularly emphasise detachment - keeping things in perspective - and discussing where they put their attention.

How has it been going?

It has been very well received. Thousands of executives have completed the course both as part of an open leadership programme at CCL or as part of an in-company programme CCL runs for clients. It's not unusual to have the CEO and the top 120 - 150 executives go through the course together!

We think their greatest need is in the C Suite – tier 3 of the organisation, and probably in the front line supervision as well though CCL sees less of this group.

Nick Petrie writes about a broad range of leadership issues at

Learn more about CCL at

New Zealander and colleague Nick Petrie has worked in the leadership development team at CCL
Nick Petrie