Inspire programme: collaborating to strengthen our community leaders

So far in our series of Pathways to Economic Opportunities Programme (P2E) blogs, we have discussed meaningful allyship, organisational development support, and the importance of incorporating a collaborative and engaging approach to grant-making. Now, we hear from our Project Lead, Ola Opoosun, about the programme’s wider thinking on fostering collaboration and engagement – namely promoting shared experiences, through a tailored leadership programme, created in partnership with JPMorgan Chase and their in-house management team, Leadership Edge.

How did this collaborative approach to learning take shape?

The JPMorgan Chase Inspire Leadership Edge Programme came about as a result of the organisational development assessment completed by all grantee partners, which highlighted governance and leadership as priority areas of support for the majority of grantee partners. When presented with these findings, JPMorgan Chase proposed the Inspire Leadership programme. Usually reserved for JPMorgan Chase’s internal leaders, this programme was developed through a partnership between Corporate Responsibility and JPMC’s in-house management team, Leadership Edge. In collaboration with The London Community Foundation (LCF) and Action for Race Equality (ARE), this concept would lead to a pioneering tailored leadership programme for the organisations involved in the P2E Programme, taking into account their specific leadership skills requirements.

Design and delivery

The Inspire programme was designed with JPMorgan Chase to support the power and sustainability of community organisations and to sharpen the skills of charity leaders. It aims to give participating leaders the opportunity to explore their personal leadership style, determine how to create a culture of continuous feedback and elevate the skills of their team, while maintaining an inclusive environment. It was also important that the Inspire programme fostered an exemplary leadership culture by building the skills of managers, while also creating a closer funder-grantee partnership through workshop opportunities.

A key component of the Inspire programme was a pre-session situational leadership assessment and an organisational analysis (SWOT) exercise with each of the 22 participants, both of which would offer an enhanced learning experience. The programme also covered sessions on skill building, practice group discussion, reflection and action plan development, including a detailed working and action guide. This was followed up by a post session on practice and executing an action plan.

Feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive, including the examples below:

“The trainers were excellent at putting us at ease. Was very generous with sharing real life examples which make it relevant to our understanding – excellent trainers”
Absolutely loved both trainers enthusiasm and teaching style. The energy they brought was spot on and kept us engaged
The situational leadership style was an eye opener also identifying where team members are with their developmental levels. This is such a great tool and I can finally identify it!!

Practice and execution

Perhaps the most important aspect of post-training support is action planning and implementation – embedding learnings and new approaches. Feedback from the sessions suggests organisations are already looking at ways to share the findings with their teams, factor it into their longer-term business planning, and improve means of communication and feedback as leaders.

I will share my learning with other managers and work at being a better leader, communicate more and ask for more feedback on my role as a leader.

But the learning doesn’t end here! As part of the P2E Programme’s organisational development activities, we will continue to provide ongoing support to participants on good practice and executing their action plan.

If you would like to find out more about the P2E programme, contact Ola Opoosun, P2E Project Lead/Grant Programmes Manager at The London Community Foundation at emailing, or read some of our previous blogs below.