The brain child of Rosie Walford, a brand strategist, The Big Career Stretch and Pathfinder are intensive, time-limited leadership coaching packages which put senior professionals in touch with their sense of meaning prior to their next career move.
Reframing the agenda well beyond today’s paradigm, employees are guided to articulate their interests in the wider world, and to re-vision their powers of influence applied to their purpose.
They are stimulated to think creatively about how they might achieve this – perhaps in unimagined ways.
Commenting on the programmes, Walford says;
“Our focus is on senior executives who, for reasons of redundancy or not, hope that they could do something better in future with their experience and networks. We help leaders invent ways to have positive influence through their current industry; or find ways to reapply their skills in new fields.
“We’re creative and optimistic, so our coaching helps people find their ‘professional sweet spot’ – where they will channel energy into work which matters, use their talents to the full, and maintain their standard of living”.
In these nervous times, professionals who hope they could use their career to contribute to society may have been clinging to roles which don’t fulfil them, performing without willingness and passion.
These people are difficult players at senior levels, and often become candidates for redundancy.
When a company encourages such employees to be proactive about their career, it’s a positive signal to all – be they redundancy candidates or survivors – that the company wants its staff motivated and fulfilled.
Expedient, when Management Today showed that 73% of senior managers are ‘looking for more meaning at work’
The Big Career Stretch takes the form of a one-week intensive mountain retreat, full of exercises which Walford has honed when leading Responsible Leadership programmes for Price Waterhouse Coopers and Auckland University Business School and from running five years of transformative journeys on her original coaching programme The Big Life Stretch.
Pathfinder is a four-stage coaching programme for individuals at home.
A unique blend of leadership exercises and creative problem-solving, the Stretch packages expand a person’s career horizons in four main phases:
• They name their values, put their finger on what is happening in the world and look at what difference they want to make.
• They map the ‘ripples of influence’ they might have, and what talents they can apply.
• They identify barriers to high aspirations – whether practical or emotional
• They use lateral thinking techniques to dissolve these barriers.
Of course, this re-focus takes creativity and a change of mental state.
So in The Big Career Stretch, Walford takes clients into the remote Picos Mountains of Spain, where nature, coaching and a special form of creative problem-solving work their magic.
Walking rhythmically in big vistas, the brain steadies and moves into Alpha state, allowing people to shed victim scenarios and other emotional weight.
They connect with their intuition and creativity. In these fertile conditions, new professional possibilities take shape.
With Pathfinder at Redundancy, unhelpful emotions are addressed rapidly one–on-one, making space for forward thinking as soon as practical.
Between sessions, participants are offered exercises and guidance to help them research new options.