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Leaders face increasing uncertainty, complexity and unprecedented scrutiny.

Mounting economic, social and environmental concerns are placing growing demands on leaders.

At the same time, public trust in capitalism and its institutions has been shaken. Organisations are being challenged to demonstrate a ‘social licence’ to operate alongside traditional (often short-term) metrics of success.

To thrive in this complex and evolving world, organisations must be outward looking and adaptive. We need our leaders to be curious, cultivating broad perspectives and networks.

Traditional career paths, and the incentives to get ahead in organisations, however, encourage people to become inward looking, siloed and specialised. The result can be a senior cadre who are technically brilliant but isolated from wider society and ill-equipped to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

These complex and systemic challenges are placing significant pressure on leaders. New capabilities are needed to succeed. But the way we develop our leaders has failed to evolve sufficiently. Never has so much been invested in leadership development, yet the gulf between public expectation and institutional performance continues to grow.



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The Forward Institute was established to address this collective challenge. Early in 2014, a group of some of the most senior leaders in the UK, supported by The Boston Consulting Group, came together to commit to a commercially rigorous exploration of responsible leadership. And to finding new ways to embed these principles in our next generation of leaders.

To find out more please download a copy of our brochure.



The Forward Institute was founded by a group of major organisations deeply committed to exploring responsible leadership and to supporting the next generation of leaders meet the challenges facing business and society in the 21st century.