The 2019 Leadership Vanguard concludes in Bangalore

2 Dec 2019

Select participants from Xynteo’s year-long leadership experience, The Leadership Vanguard, convened in Bangalore recently to reflect on the leadership and acceleration skills they’ve gained during the year, as they prepare to apply them within their organisations.

For the final gathering of this year’s Leadership Vanguard, the participants embarked on field trips with innovative impact entrepreneurs, and reflected on insights and learnings from their year-long journey within the programme.

Participants such as Patrick Boumalham, Global Head of Markets Products at HSBC, were reflective and overwhelmingly positive about their overall experience.

Working in an area outside of my expertise made it easier to improve on my growth edges, and overall I think the Leadership Vanguard offers a very different experience than a general leadership programme”, he said.

Field trips exposed valuable lessons

Key focus areas throughout the Vanguard year have been to enhance the participants’ leadership capacity and ability to understand and help address global challenges such as plastic waste and pollution.

Throughout the journey, leaders have selected and analysed start-ups that have promising solutions, and then used their newly developed skills to deliver acceleration support to them. The result is a win-win opportunity – the Vanguard leaders are able to help scale promising innovative impact enterprises and develop strategic partnerships between their organisations and these entrepreneurs, while the start-ups are exposed to the talent, thinking and network opportunity of the Vanguard leaders.

The leaders have been working in three different themes: Revaluing plastics, supported by Unilever, Financial inclusion, supported by Mastercard and Low Carbon Cities, supported by Shell.

In Bangalore the Vanguard catalysts visited impact enterprises such as TrashCon, Hasiru Dala Innovations and Vogo, to enhance their understanding of their business models and identify common challenges and opportunities.

Engaging with the entrepreneurs provided the Vanguard catalysts with valuable lessons to take back to their organisations.

“Something for us in larger corporations to learn is to be more interactive and have more speed”, said Suchismita Sanyal, General Manager, Computational Science at Shell.

One group of Vanguard leaders visited Hasiru Dala Innovations, an impact enterprise working with marginalized waste pickers to enable them to improve their livelihoods and Bangalore’s waste management.

Leadership Vanguard
The Vanguard leaders visited Hasiru Dala Innovations’ aggregation centre, a typical informal plastic recycling facility where they make granules.

In addition, a meeting was held with TrashCon, the award-winning start-up that separates unsegregated municipal solid waste, including food, plastics, cardboard and diapers, into biodegradable components which can be recycled into biogas or compost.

Leadership Vanguard
The leaders visiting TrashCon learned about their waste segregation solution and how it can help reduce landfill in India.

Vogo, a dockless scooter rental company working to improve mobility in Bangalore was visited by the final group of leaders.

Leadership Vanguard
The leaders that went to Vogo’s docking station were given a demo and presentation of Vogo's bikes and business model.

Aligning on purpose of the partnership is key

Following the field trips, the Leadership Vanguard participants received expert advice on creating impactful business partnerships and bringing innovation back to their companies.

Clive Allison, Global Director of Innovation and New Business Models at Unilever, emphasised the need to scale existing ideas through creating partnerships.

He highlighted the importance of aligning on purpose. “For partnerships to deliver at scale, the partners must have a clear and aligned view of where they share corporate purpose".

“Learning and leading by doing is also key for success. This involves creating real platforms and operational mechanisms to do stuff together”, Allison said.

The Leadership Vanguard Exchange in Bangalore marked the end of this year’s programme. In January 2020 the Year 6 of Leadership Vanguard will begin, with a new cohort of leaders from a diverse group of global companies.

These leaders will embark on a highly challenging year, delivered by the Xynteo team and with support from experts and thought leaders around the world.

Each leader constitutes a significant part of the Vanguard programme. They all contribute to the mission of applying leadership and commercial muscle to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges.