Global Partner Programme: A Custom Executive Education Programme for Odgers Berndtson

Our Executive Education portfolio provides professional development for the ambitious. Our custom programmes are offered as a bespoke package created in partnership with top businesses looking to support their rising leaders.

As part of our custom programmes offering, we partner with Executive Search, Interim, and Leadership Advisory business, Odgers Berndtson, to deliver an academic year-long development programme. The Odgers Berndtson Global Partner Programme (GPP) is a development initiative for the firm, designed to better prepare its future Partners to be business leaders, and Bayes play a key role in supporting the programme.

Delegates from across the firm’s global offices are invited to undertake psychometric assessments and create professional development plans before attending a week of custom taught modules delivered by Bayes academics and consultants on leadership, networking and collaboration, creating a culture for success, and negotiation. Additionally, delegates have access to the Bayes Open Programme and are invited to undertake a group project, jointly overseen by Bayes & Odgers Berndtson, which draws upon their learning and delivers benefit to the firm.

We spoke to Becky Royle, Partner & UK Head, Central Government and Housing Practice at Odgers Berndtson and Sally Havers, Partner & Head of Candidate Care and Referencing at Odgers Interim, about their experiences on the programme.

What were your goals in joining the GPP?

Sally: Being selected to participate in the Global Partner Programme was a real opportunity to acquire new tools and to challenge my mindset. I liked that the programme was rigorous and robust with academic research sitting behind it.

Partner & Head of Candidate Care and Referencing at Odgers Interim
One of my goals was to become a Partner at Odgers Interim and this happened shortly after I completed the programme. The course challenged my approach to leadership and what that might look like in practice. I found the concept of ‘followership’ particularly interesting. I now feel better equipped to engage my team and to assess their individual drivers and motivations, rather than just making assumptions about these.

There were a lot of light bulb moments! Every day I went home buzzing with new ideas and excited about what I was going to do to implement them in the workplace.

Becky: After university I went straight into work. I had always wanted to pursue further study so was very excited to join the GPP and return to the classroom. I was part of the second cohort and it had been great to see all the benefits the business gained from the programme.

I was on the journey to becoming a Partner at Odgers Berndtson and had a small team. Moving from an executive headhunter role to managing a larger team with diverse skillsets, the learnings from the programme were incredibly beneficial.

What takeaway have you continued to apply to your day-to-day work?

Becky: Before kicking off the taught part of the programme at Bayes, we undertook a psychometric analysis with Odgers Berndtson, the findings of which were shared with Bayes faculty ahead of our classes. Doing this was really helpful in having self-awareness about where I was and where I needed to aim toward to become a leader. It gets you thinking—do I see myself as a manager or as a leader?

Becky Royle, Partner & UK Head, Central Government and Housing Practice at Odgers Berndtson

One of the most important skills I developed at Bayes was deeper situational awareness and knowing when to delegate. I learned to better empower my team and figure out who needed more support.

The programme helped me determine my own leadership style and how to tailor it depending on the team members as not everyone will interpret it in the same way.

I loved the group exercise the ‘Reciprocity Ring’ – it was a joyful moment in the course and I tell colleagues about it all the time. The exercise uses a pay-it-forward principle to help colleagues solve problems and build deeper connections.

Sally: I also really enjoyed the ‘Reciprocity Ring’– the idea of reciprocity sparks joy! It is about expanding your ‘public self’ and opening up about the things that you need or struggle with. Other colleagues do the same, which builds trust, and also enables collective problem-solving to occur. It was very powerful.

Which open programmes did you choose to study after and why? How did you find these?

Sally: One of open programmes I selected was Strategic Decision Making for Leaders.  A case study involving a failing business, particularly struck a chord with me, as we were asked to assess what aspects had gone well, as well what mistakes had been made. We are all hardwired to analyse our mistakes, to see what we can learn from them, but if we overlook what went well, then we are missing the big picture, as well as losing the opportunity to build on our successes in the future.

My second module was the Finance for Non-Financial Leaders open programme, which I chose because I wanted to do something that challenged me. To my surprise, I loved it and it became my favourite part of the programme: my learning was transformative. After each class, I would look up and realise it was dark outside– I was so engrossed that I hadn’t noticed dusk fall!

Becky: I chose the Leading Digital Transformations and Strategic Decision Making for Leaders open programmes.

Leading Digital Transformation was incredibly useful as it is a big part of what my clients are doing and I became more able to understand what they were going through.

What is your advice for future candidates interested in pursuing the GPP programme with Bayes?

Becky: My advice to delegates is to throw yourself into the programme and create the space to do it. The programme is really tailored to your needs.

Sally: I agree with Becky. It’s a fantastic opportunity to work with people in other parts of the business. Be open to everything that comes your way; you will come away with new tools and new ways of thinking.

Find out more about our custom programmes.