Common Purpose
South Africa

A flexible and personalised leadership course that offers modular learning and development for established leaders.

What is Meridian?

Meridian is an open leadership course for established leaders from all sectors and backgrounds.

Spanning a five month period, Meridian offers a flexible modular format that means leaders can tailor it to meet their individual needs and to match their diaries.

The course includes three full days when all of the participants gather - at the start, midpoint and end of the course. In addition, each leader chooses from over 20 events to explore a huge range of real-life challenges - based in anything from a prison to a casualty unit; a trading floor to a production plant; a small business incubator to a radio station.

The learning process facilitates constant exposure to each other, to the guest contributors and to the experience of operating in very unfamiliar situations.

Kay Orlandi, Meridian alumnus and Account Director, Saatchi & Saatchi

"The Common Purpose Programme not only helped me develop and understand my own leadership capabilities, it enabled me to become an active citizen - as opposed to just being an inhabitant - of Cape Town. Because of Common Purpose I felt able to make a contribution towards the development of this place that I love."

Who is Meridian for?

Meridian is for established leaders who are already experienced at delivering objectives and managing people and priorities. It is ideal for leaders who are responsible for developing partnerships, engaging with internal or external stakeholders, working across several locations, divisions or countries or who simply need to broaden their horizons.

Benefits to participants
  • Become more accustomed to going outside their familiar environment and better able to adapt to new situations.
  • Develop lasting working relationships with people they would almost certainly never have met otherwise.
  • Learn how to lead in situations where they have no authority and how to become the kinds of people who can build and lead collaborations when required.
  • Become responsible leaders who understand their local surroundings - in the national and international context - and the impact of their decisions.
  • Improve their Cultural Intelligence by discovering how their own language, behaviour and biases can get in their way as leaders.
  • Find out when and how they can make their own contribution at work and in society.
  • Understanding the city - behind-the-scene insights about how the metropolitan area really works.
  • Understanding change - real-life leadership scenarios based in hospitals, schools, businesses and council chambers, meeting and quizzing the leaders who make the decisions there.
  • Leadership insights - key leaders share their first hand knowledge - from their successes and failures - of leading beyond their immediate area of authority to create positive change.
  • Learning groups - tackling the challenges brought by participants to the group sessions.
  • Practices - participants are set a series of leadership 'practices', small challenges to complete in their own time that will broaden their thinking.

Important Information

Meridian participants complete a minimum of 60 hours of learning. On each course day, the participants meet at a different venue within the area to give them a range of perspectives. On the three core days - at the start, mid-point and end - participants look at why, where and how they lead and at how their biases influence their leadership. Between the core days, participants select from a series of half-day modules.

Participants can choose to do some of their hours on a Meridian course in other international cities.

Cost: Meridian 2016 course fees are R33715 (excl VAT)

Financial Assistance: To avoid exclusion of candidates on financial grounds, individual negotiation of fees is possible.

Upcoming programmes

Programme Start date Location Audience
No courses available


Fill in the online form to apply for Meridian.

If you have any questions about the programme or the application process please contact your local Common Purpose office.