Leadership Development

Leaders and leadership teams hold the keys to successful change. In larger organisations, the work system has optimised over many years/decades, influenced by a traditional take on technology. Digital and Agile transformations are upsetting this established set-up and face substantial systemic hurdles, that only leadership can fix. 

The ways of leadership also call for much change. Digital is about Knowledge Work and needs to engage the people's brains, not merely line them up to execute on what has been decided. Understanding the scope of the change, how to facilitate it, and the new leadership stance are at our leadership development programme's heart. 

  • Organisational effectiveness

  • Aligned leadership teams

  • Role clarity

  • Conflict resolution

  • Engaged operational teams from better leadership 

  • Talent attraction / retention

  • Safe teams and enhanced collaboration

  • Better conversations

Client stories

A large bank was going through merging two Business Units and chose to redesign their work system. Henko helped them pivot their organisation to Value Streams. 

We facilitated the design of their operating model, influencing a new perspective. The focus was to enable the operational teams to make the right decisions and organise the system to support this. It called on prioritising Relationships towards outcomes, which shaped the collaboration (as opposed to classic RACI model that divides the work). 

New Systemic Leadership

Challenges to address

Leadership developed from managing projects and budgets tends to focus on tasks, rather than people leadership. Developing effective leadership in Digital requires understanding and forming a Systemic Leadership stance. Systemic Leadership brings a heightened sense of ownership in the teams and supports effective autonomy and collaboration.

Henko's approach

We help leaders and leadership teams develop an understanding of organisation system relationships and develop ways of working with it in practice. Our programmes run as individual coaching or systemic coaching of leadership teams. 

Our programmes cover:

  • Navigating the dysfunctions of teams

  • Being intentional about psychological safety

  • Identifying and establishing the relationship system 

  • Recognising people & team edges

  • Working with the emergent nature of human systems

  • Mastering the levels of reality

  • Creating positivity and intentionality

  • Organising collaboration

Services Deployed

  • One-to-one leadership coaching

  • Individual assessments (Lumina Learning, others assessments also possible)

  • Leadership Team Systemic Coaching mixed with micro-trainings to Systemic Leadership

  • Observations / feedback cycles



  • Team assessments (Mirror Mirror, Agendashift)

  • System assessments (SenseMaker)

  • Alignment is also achieved from Strategy and Operational Excellence facilitation

LEADERSHIP in Ambiguity
  • Flexible leadership

  • Flexible work system / team autonomy

  • Operating models designed to Flex

  • People engagement

  • Stimulated innovation & excellence

  • Organisation resilience

  • Budget effectiveness with LPM

Client stories

At the beginning of the pandemic, a start-up had to choose between preserving funds or pushing forward. The financials for budget preservation did not add-up, so they had to go for it.


Given the situation's uncertainty, they looked to consolidate on the existing clients and experiment on new offerings, testing the market and getting closer to their ecosystem for feedback. This is Complexity Thinking and agility in practice. The new product is progressing in a modular fashion, in tune with their market.


The business has not only survived through the pandemic but has managed to grow and continue to develop their products.

Challenges to address


Leadership has long been valued on driving certainty. A great manager was one to take on a challenge and deliver on it. Many enterprises still think this way and use compensation/bonus to motivate the outcomes. Though such extrinsic motivation can be effective in repetitive low value-add work, it does not work with Digital complexity where results can be highly ambiguous, and more importantly emergent opportunities multiple. 


A traditional approach in this context becomes loaded with unintended consequences:

  • Mid-level management and teams "sand-bag" their objectives and estimates

  • Excessive delivery pressure results in quality compromises and change blindspots

  • Management hierarchy end up promoting an unhealthy culture where people do not feel safe

  • Stifled innovation, increasing tech-debt and high-attrition

  • Opportunities are missed to keep commitments


Leaders need to appreciate such unintended consequences and develop a new leadership approach in tune with Digital business's complexity and ambiguity. 

Henko's approach

We educate leaders and leadership teams to the principles of complexity and how to work with it. Our approach relies on the fundamentals of the Cynefin (R) framework and positions it in the context of day-to-day decisions. We explore how to engage with the work system to enable creativity, work with diverge/converge cycles and implement true agility. 

Our programmes cover:

  • Complexity theory with Cynefin

  • Unlearning biases and discovering complexity

  • Creating landscape awareness

  • Organising and operating in ambiguity

  • Supporting teams' autonomy and emergent thinking

  • Using complex facilitation for divergent/emergent/convergent cycles

  • Distributing strategy & leadership while holding systemic coherence

  • Complexity and agility, strategy and operational excellence

Services Deployed

  • One-to-one leadership coaching

  • Leadership team systemic coaching 

  • Micro-training programme: Leadership in ambiguity

  • Advisory in organisational design and operating model

  • Workshop & offsite facilitation

  • Strategy & operational excellence facilitation

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Henko  |  London  |

Henko Limited, Registered in England and Wales under Company Registration number 10910832

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