Building up leadership expertise and capacity with cross cultural challenges


An international public research university


A new international graduate-level public research university in the midst of developing a new model of delivering higher education, with ambitions of establishing itself as a leading school worldwide. KDVI was approached by the University because it had both leadership expertise and culture-specific experience.


The university wanted to bring leadership into the institution because change was not coming through as expected: teamwork was not as effective, and leaders did not have any exposure to leadership concepts.


A modular intervention using 360° feedback instrument and individual coaching with senior administrators. Group coaching, however, was not used as the institution did not believe the leaders were ready for this form of intervention.


KDVI provided an intervention consisting of a teaching component to 15 senior level administrators, provided summative feedback to them as a group from a number of instruments (GELI, personal bio questionnaire, portraits), as well as 2-3 hours sessions of intensive individual coaching, delivered over a period of three days.


The most impactful outcome was that it created more reflective practitioners through increased self-awareness, as most of the participants had never undergone a 360° assessment from both their private (home) and public (work) spheres. This exercise allowed them to build a level of comfort in exploring and understanding of ones self, as well as to make a connection between their personal lives and leadership work. KDVI faculty also approached the debriefing by focusing on strengths and identifying opportunities to reshape and leverage strengths. This was key to increasing their effectiveness as leaders. Next steps include working with the VP in a group coaching context, focused on bringing the top team closer in alignment with the strategy of the organisation, and implications for them individually, as a team and as an organisation.