As one of the most diverse cities in the country, Common Purpose is calling on Birmingham organisations to ensure their high-potential staff are equipped to take the next step in their leadership journey.

The streetwise mba is our innovative new programme, designed for leaders who want to be able to lead diverse teams, serve diverse customers and work with diverse stakeholders.  Launched last year, it is now being rolled out in major cities in the UK, including Birmingham, as well as internationally in Hong Kong, New York and Johannesburg.

The programme focuses on Cultural Intelligence, which enables leaders to work across different cultural boundaries: geographies, generations, sectors, specialisations, backgrounds and beliefs.  Participants on the programme, who come from public, private and not-for-profit organisations, are not only encouraged to think inclusively, but are equipped with the tools to translate this into action, using our  innovative ‘Core and Flex’ leadership framework.

From the pilot programmes, 92% of participants said they were better able to build relationships with people different to them and also better able to confront their own biases in decision-making.  In addition, 86% of the streetwise mba graduates said the programme developed their leadership skills.

Louise Teboul, Operations Director for Common Purpose UK, said; “We’re really pleased to be launching the streetwise mba in Birmingham.  Our programmes use experiential learning to deliver tangible benefits for leaders and organisations that are difficult to achieve alone with in-house training. We know from nearly 30 years’ experience of working with leaders that retaining talented future leaders is important now more than ever and the streetwise mba provides a really valuable learning tool to support people development. ”

Jonathan Harvey, Managing Director – Global Head of Talent and Culture at Barclays, said; “What do we need from the next generation of leaders? I believe we need adaptability, a genuine love of—as opposed to comfort with—change and ambiguity and a broad intelligence encompassing the practical, the emotional and the cultural. The capability is there, but we do need to hone it.”

The streetwise mba starts in Birmingham with an online accelerator in June and face-to-face programme in July. The programme will also run in Manchester and London later in the year; for more information, visit