The maiden edition of the innovative Gestalt Africa Leadership Programme (GALP), has been held in Accra, with 24 participants drawn from across Africa, Europe, Asia and the United States of America.
The GALP training consists of enlightening, interactive sessions, hands-on workshops, and immersive experiences, all aimed at fostering creative thinking, leadership acumen and adaptability in an ever-evolving world. GALP is committed to excellence and innovation and provides a unique platform for participants to explore and enhance their leadership competencies taking into account their specific context.
One of the highlights of the week long programme in Accra was Nana Dr S. K. B. Asante, Asokorehene and also a highly respected scholar, lawyer and statesman, gracing a session on the topic, “African Ways of being, organising and leading”, as the Special Guest of Honour and interacting with the participants. Nana said he was delighted to see leadership training in Africa integrating leadership principles from the African continent. Nana described the African leadership model as, among other things, “inclusive and consensual”. Nana said “African leaders are expected to be role models for society, serve as a general source of inspiration and a stabilization factor. They are expected to be accountable to the societies that they serve and face sanctions when they do not behave as expected.” He also indicated that, “in settling disputes, the objective that Chiefs have is the restoration of social equilibrium and not vindication of rights. The process employed in doing so ensures that all rules of natural justice are respected.“
A six-member faculty of accomplished Gestalt Facilitators, drawn from Ghana and South Africa, are facilitating the journey of personal and professional growth with the participants. The faculty members are: John Nkum and Chantelle Wyley, (initiators of the programme), Jeremy Timm, Michael Henderson, Esther A.N. Cobbah and Ato Kwamina Nkum.
John Nkum says, “GALP has been designed with current and aspiring African leaders in mind. Our faculty members have worked together to design and deliver an Afrocentric leadership programme that seeks to stimulate participants to come up with innovative approaches for responding to Africa’s leadership needs.” He added, “we are delighted at the patronage of the programme.”
The training sessions are uniquely designed and grounded in tried and tested Gestalt Principles and with facilitation methodologies that are interactive and highly practical and experiential, allowing participants to reflect on their reality, collaborate, network, and learn from their peers. The dynamic exchange of ideas, diverse perspectives, and cross-cultural interactions further enrich the learning experience.
Chantelle Wyley says, “Our programme is based on perception research from Gestalt psychology, learning and change practices from Gestalt therapy, and the application of both organisational development and leadership science. The content is also informed by the latest neuroscience research as applied to the workplace, especially the neuroscience underpinning emotional intelligence. We draw upon proven approaches from intercultural communication and diversity work, transactional analysis, and approaches to healing individual and collective trauma, as well as work in organisation behaviour and systems thinking.”
She added, “The programme learning spaces are designed and facilitated according to researched adult learning principles. We offer experiences for self and group activities, teaching inputs on relevant theories and concepts, opportunities for experimentation and assimilation of learning. Participants’ learning is further supported by individual coaching sessions with faculty, and engagements with client systems.”
The seven-module GALP is delivered through in-person and virtual sessions over a year. Participants leave the programme equipped with the tools, insights, and inspiration to lead in a rapidly changing world. The programme encourages participants to embrace innovation, foster diversity, and adapt to new challenges. This year’s participants are drawn from public sector, private sector as well as development agencies. The next GALP programme is scheduled for early 2025.