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Approaching leadership from within

Lorraine Warne, alumna of the School’s Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship (PGDE), helps people become better business leaders by absorbing – and, especially, retaining – key leadership principles.

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Lorraine Warne

Lorraine Warne

Cambridge Judge Business School alumna Lorraine Warne (PGDE 2014) knows a thing or two about starting a business and leading teams. Lorraine co-founded her first business in the construction industry when she was 19 years old. Today Lorraine is chief executive officer of Cambridge Inner Game Leadership. The company was started in January 2016 and now has a team of six people. But how did Lorraine get to this point in her career, and what role did Cambridge Judge play?

“Originally I wanted to go onto further education, but my mum told me that she couldn’t afford for me to continue studying and that she needed me to help support the family financially.” This did not hold Lorraine back, though, and a few years after starting her first business, A1 Fencing, she later helped her friend launch a new business by raising money and designing a business plan for the Alphabet Day Nursery. Both businesses are still running successfully today.

She then sold the two businesses, and now had the money to fulfil her dream of returning to education. She achieved a BA (Hons), Postgraduate Certificate of Education, and whilst working as a teacher obtained a Masters in Applied Linguistics. Her MA thesis was on the psychology of learning and completed her research around “what makes a good learner”.

It was here that the idea crystallised for her current business.

Cambridge Inner Game Leadership offers a customised leadership learning experience to senior managers and directors, wanting to develop their leadership skills. Lorraine says her educational training on the PGDE and MA programmes helped her to design the leadership modules, through applying business psychology. Cambridge Inner Game Leadership offers a framework for each delegate to obtain maximum retention of new leadership learning. Lorraine says that participants in leadership courses can “find it difficult to apply the knowledge back into their work environment after the training has finished. So I have looked at this problem and have designed a programme that helps people retain the information, and we give them support, to enable them to apply the knowledge in any practical situation at work, once they return to their normal fast-paced work environment.”

So how does it work? After signing up, participants become members of the Cambridge Inner Game Leadership and start with a personal coaching session with one of the Cambridge Inner Game business mentors, to measure individual motivation using science-based technology. Then the participant joins a monthly training session with other business leaders. Additional leadership coaching can also be designed and delivered to meet personal needs. Each participant will also join a network of business leaders from a variety of sectors to share best practice.

After a year of being a member of the Cambridge Inner Game Leadership, David Russell, director of Cambridge-based technology consultancy The Fusion Works, signed up for another year as he saw a positive impact around his personal leadership development.

“The recent feedback from my team is that now I do things differently, especially as part of the team,” he said. “To be really honest the biggest change I can see in myself is the change of mindset. I now take ownership and responsibility for my behaviour.”

Cambridge Inner Game Leadership opened a second office in Tokyo in November 2016. Lorraine says she was planning to go global right from the start, but Cambridge will always remain the headquarters of the company.

The company now works with businesses, locally and abroad, including Microsoft Research in Cambridge and QQ English in Tokyo, and is looking forward to expanding, with Dubai next on the list. The biggest challenge to such expansion she says, is to recruit new staff both home and abroad – as getting the right people on board a people-oriented business is crucial.

Lorraine is interested in hearing from…

…or meeting anybody who is excited by what the Cambridge Inner Game Leadership team are doing.