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How the program is unique

The IWC Water Leadership program differs from typical leadership development programs outside the water sector (usually targeting executives) and in-house programs within large water agencies in six ways:
  1. It is customised for emerging water leaders at the project to middle management level in organisations. Customisation is important, as leadership is acutely sensitive to context. The program is not just focused on helping water scientists to influence policy - it has broader objectives. The program is also transparent in terms of design, content and performance.
  2. It has a strong emphasis on ensuring the program’s content is closely aligned with the latest research findings relating to emerging water leaders. For example, the choice of training modules reflects the leadership attributes known to be associated with effective non-executive water leaders in three key roles (i.e. the project champion, enabling leader and team / project leader roles). For example, leadership behaviours described by complexity leadership theory are relevant to the enabling leader role, and behaviours linked to transformational leadership theory are relevant to the project champion role.
  3. The program’s tools have also been customised. For example, the online 360-degree feedback instrument examines specific leadership attributes known to be associated with the three key water leadership roles commonly played by effective emerging water leaders.
  4. The program’s delivery team includes highly experienced industry mentors that emerging water leaders rarely have the opportunity to closely work with (e.g. former CEOs).
  5. The program’s design and delivery team includes specialists from our partner universities, some of whom are world leaders in their field. For example, Professor Victor Callan (Professor of Management and Director of Research, University of Queensland Business School) provides guidance to participants in the program on how they can continue to develop their leadership ability over their careers.
  6. The design of this ‘feedback-intensive leadership development program’ has been informed by published research findings and represents current best practice. It includes the key elements of ‘challenge’ (e.g. a significant, cross-boundary leadership project), ‘assessment’ (e.g. a customised 360-degree feedback mechanism) and ‘support’ (e.g. coaching and mentoring). The program’s design, content and evaluation plan have been peer reviewed by Professor David Day (Winthrop Professor and the Woodside Chair in Leadership and Management at The University of Western Australia’s Business School).

For those organisations that have internal leadership development programs, we suggest that the IWC Water Leadership Program represents a focused, intensive and complementary intervention for emergent leaders in the organisation with the greatest potential for development.



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