The Leadership Sphere was founded in 2007 by Phillip Ralph after spending six years leading program delivery across 40 countries and 40,000 staff for the ANZ bank’s Breakout and Cultural Transformation program. The experience and learnings gained in being part of a globally successful program that focussed so widely and deeply on being ‘the bank with a human face’ were profound.
Our business name – The Leadership Sphere – was chosen to represent a number of things that were meaningful to us. First and foremost, our focus was leadership – as it remains today. We see leadership as a key driver of sustainable organisational performance and just as importantly, the experience people have when they turn up to work day-after-day. People are the heart of any organisation. If our companies are run well, then they will have a positive impact on our communities and society at large.
What’s in a name?
While ‘sphere’ was a play on words in terms of our ‘scope’ or what we did, the word aimed to represent a core principle of our practice. A sphere is connected, whole and inherently interdependent. A change in form in one part of a circle always influences and impacts the rest of the circle. Organisations work in much the same way in that our aspiration was that each and every person should be able to exercise leadership. A sphere also represents a unique form in nature (think of the moon, sun, earth) which captures our desire to think about and remind ourselves about the difference we are seeking to make in every contact we have with people.
While we initially focussed on three industry sectors (banking and finance; professional service firms and healthcare), we were grateful that our clients advocated for us because of the results achieved. This meant that we were soon working in diverse areas such as government, mining, infrastructure and utilities to name a few. Today, we work hard to understand the unique context of every organisation we work with. Over 10 years, we have ‘stuck without knitting’. Creating more effective leaders, teams and cultures drives performance as well as people’s sense of fulfilment and self-worth. Today, we remain 100% committed to this notion.