Past Guru Events

out-innovateOn Saturday 3rd November 2012, we brought you an exclusive one-day master class with Rowan Gibson – the International Thought Leader on Innovation – Live and in Person.

Innovation is now recognized globally as the core driver of growth, strategic renewal and long-term business performance, the “last frontier” in differentiating your organization. Leaders everywhere acknowledge this fact, but in most organizations, innovation is still more of a buzzword than a core competence. Very few companies have so far managed to build a corporate-wide capability for innovation that consistently creates new wealth and competitive advantage. Indeed, turning innovation from rhetoric to reality remains one of the greatest leadership challenges of our times. What today’s senior executives need is a practical guide to “Innovation Excellence” – a program that explains exactly how to build and sustain a deep, enterprise capability for innovation. The Rowan Gibson Innovation Masterclass was an exclusive education program – in association with Training Solutions Limited – that was designed to meet this pressing need.

Drawing on the market-proven lessons from his groundbreaking bestseller “Innovation to the Core”, international thought leader Rowan Gibson provided a blueprint for transforming the way companies innovate. His unique masterclass, filled with cutting-edge tools, processes and practices, equipped the event attendees to build a corporate innovation system that actually works. The practice of what was taught will position will position any organization to to out-innovate the competitors, generate new growth opportunities, and make innovation an enduring way of life inside your organization.

About Rowan Gibson
Rowan Gibson is one of the world’s foremost thought leaders on business innovation. The media have labeled him “Mr. Innovation”, “the Innovation Grandmaster”, “the W. Edwards Deming of innovation” and “a guru among the gurus”. He is the internationally bestselling author of two major books on innovation and strategy – Rethinking The Future (1996) and Innovation to the Core (2008) – which have been published to date in over 20 languages. His latest book, Innovation to the Core (Harvard Business School Press), explains – for the first time – how to build and sustain a deep, company-wide innovation capability that drives continual growth and strategic renewal

Over the years, Rowan’s international clients have included some of the world’s largest and most successful organizations: Accenture, Ahold, Apple, BASF, Bayer, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemicals, DSM, General Electric, Haier, Heinz, Henkel, IBM, Mars, Metro Group, Microsoft, NCR, Nestlé, NOKIA, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Roche, Royal Bank of Scotland, Shell, Siemens, Steelcase, Unilever, and Volkswagen.

He teaches companies how to seize new growth opportunities, create new markets and even transform entire industries by recalibrating their whole organizational system around the paradigm of innovation. His company also has successful joint ventures with several leading organizations in the USA, Latin America, the Middle East and China.

guruevent2When companies fail to deliver on their promises, the most frequent explanation is that the CEO’s strategy was wrong. But the strategy by itself is not often the cause. Strategies most often fail because they aren’t executed well. Things that are supposed to happen don’t happen. Either the organizations aren’t capable of making them happen, or the leaders of the business misjudge the challenges their companies face in the business environment, or both.

According to Dr. Ram Charan, consistent practice of the discipline of execution results to an understanding of how to link the three core processes of any business together: PEOPLE, STRATEGY and OPERATIONS. Eight key words from his presentation helped paint a picture of what Effective Execution means: these words were coach, teams, engagement, simplicity, clarity, critical steps, milestones and accountability.

Dr. Ram Charan imparted a new understanding of the fact that execution is first and foremost the job of the Chief Executive.

The CEO and indeed every leader in the organization must roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. They must be deeply engaged in it, they cannot delegate its substance.Most often, the difference between a company and its competitor is the ability to execute. If your competitors are executing better than you are, they’re beating you in the here and now, and the financial markets won’t wait to see if your elaborate strategy plays out.

guruevent3The Values Based Leadership Seminar with Dr. John C Maxwell was yet another great success based on the feedback we continue to get from the participants. We at Training Solutions are passionate and committed to acting as a catalyst for change in leadership in Kenya and throughout East Africa.


What do Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa and Gandhi have in common? Ultimately it is the fact that these leaders led with moral authority and with authenticity.

They led with long term rather than short term interests in mind. An authentic leader is one who leads out of who they really are. They exemplify the values they promote.

An authentic leader wields tremendous influence. Their authenticity enables them to cause them to rally others around a cause that leads to positive transformation of organisations, communities and even nations. They lead others to sustainable solutions.

You may already have experienced or observed how emotionally and mentally draining it can be to sustain a front. An authentic, values-based leader is one who enjoys the peace of mind that comes from knowing that he/she has acted with integrity.

What is Values-Based Leadership?

Values-based leadership is choosing to lead your life based on the core values you hold dear. These core values serve as the code of conduct that guides our live.

Leadership is not limited just a singular measure of effectiveness – it is a multi-dimensional phenomenon. Values-based leadership is different from other modes in that it includes all the three factors:

  1. Effectiveness – measuring the achievement of the objectives
  2. Morality – measuring how change affects concerned parties, and
  3. Time – measuring the desirability of any goal over the long term

Values-based leadership is not simply about style, how-to, following some recipe, or even mastering “the vision thing”. Instead, it is about ideas and values. It is based on integrity, excellence, respect and trust. It is a way of making authentic decisions that builds the trust and commitment of employees and customers.

It is about understanding the different and conflicting needs of followers, energizing followers to pursue a goal than they had never thought possible. “In practical business terms, it is about creating conditions under which all followers can perform independently and effectively toward a single objective.”

Leadership is the willingness to put oneself at risk, it is about being dissatisfied with the current reality and taking responsibility to make a difference while others makes excuses. It is the readiness to stand out in a crowd with an open mind and an open heart; it is the integration of heart, head and soul. Above all it is courageous. This was the essence of the Values-Based Leadership seminar which was a resounding success.

We want to thank all our dear clients who made this seminar the success it was. It would not have been possible without you.

Impact Newsletter Issue 2 – Click Here to Download

guruevent4Catalytic. Insightful. Life changing. Mind expanding. Paradigm shifting. These are but a few of the words that we would use to describe our most recent guru event. Those who were present will agree with me that it was arguably one of the most if not THE most important guru event yet, from both a corporate strategy and national strategy perspective.

The sessions facilitated by CK Pralahad himself, and the insights shared by our guest speakers (Michael Joseph, James Mwangi and Vimal Shah) made us realise that it is not only possible but necessary, to adopt a completely new approach to strategy. We know of at least one person who said that they plan to leave their current position in twelve months to begin to implement what they learnt!

We at Training Solutions anticipated the importance of the event. In many ways, some subtle and some overt, we nudged you into recognizing that this was a guru event with a difference. From the opening moments when Eric Wainaina sang “Daima,” to the closing session when all participants joined in singing the Kenya National Anthem.

We therefore felt that it was important to provide you with a handy reference tool containing some of the key “nuggets of knowledge” that were gleaned from the event. Hence this newsletter. We intend for IMPACT to be a bi-annual product, issued after every guru event.

We have also set up a Blog to stimulate discussion on issues arising from the ideas and experiences that Pralahad shared. We sincerely hope that you will take part in, and benefit from, the Blog. As you read this first edition of our newsletter, and as you participate in the Blog, please bear in mind that our intention is not simply to refresh your memory. No. We want it to have such an IMPACT on you that you will be galvanized into action.

We look forward to receiving your feedback on the newsletter and the Blog.

Impact Newsletter Issue 2 – Click Here to Download

guruevent5Guru Sharma

Our first guru event of 2009 was on Saturday 7th March, during which we hosted Robin Sharma, author of The monk who sold his Ferrari. The theme for the day was: “Lead without Title”.

The anticipation in the air was palpable. The room had over 400 people already registered and seated by 8am waiting for the preliminary announcements and introductions to be dispensed with. You could clearly sense the excitement as the MC welcomed Robin on stage. Participants had been looking forward to this day for 3 months.

And as if that wasn’t enough, a live cheetah was ushered in to welcome Robin home in style – in a true African way. The entire TSL team joined Robin on stage and enjoyed a frolic with the cheetah. The audience was delighted when the cheetah walked off stage and took a quick tour of the hall, in their midst. The brave participants that were able to touch it were thrilled. The look of wonder and surprise on Robins face was clearly visible.

With the opening ceremony completed, Robin got into his presentation with a bang and what a stunning day it was. His message kept participants glued to their seats. From participants feedback, the learning and interaction with Robin and other participants that day was priceless, and the impact on their lives and leadership ability tremendous.

In addition to Robin, TSL presented four outstanding local pubic sector leaders who shared with the participants their lessons in personal leadership and what leading without title means to them. They were Ms. Njoki Ndung’u, Hon. Ndiritu Muriihti, Dr. Richard Leakey and Dr. Julius Kipng’etich.

TSL would like to thank all our clients who participated in the Lead Without Title Seminar. Your contribution to the success of this event goes without saying

guruevent6In 2008, we hosted “The Leadership Habits of East Africa’s Business Champions”, where participants had the opportunity to get UP CLOSE and PERSONAL with East Africa’s best – Jane Karuku, Martin Oduor-Otieno (KCB), Titus Naikuni (Kenya Airways), Michael Joseph (Safaricom), Gerald Mahinda (EABL), Richard Etemesi (Standard Chartered), Vimal Shah (Bidco), Mugo Kibati (Miliki Ventures), Richard Boro Ndung’u (KPMG East Africa), Patricia Ithau, Jonathan Ciano (Uchumi), Muthoni Kuria (Southern Credit Bank), Eric M. Kimani (Palmhouse Dairies Limited) and Isaac Awuondo (Commercial Bank of Africa).

In addition, live and direct, via satellite from the USA, we presented Gary Hamel, recently ranked as the world’s most influential business thinker by Wall Street Journal.

TSL would like to thank all our clients who participated on The Leadership Habits of East Africa’s Business Champions Seminar. Your contribution to the success of this event goes without saying!

guruevent7For the first time ever in Eastern Africa , close to 500 “ Captains of Industry” from Kenya , Tanzania and Uganda ; had a unique opportunity to interact face-to-face with Tom Peters on Saturday, 21st July 2007.

Multinationals, local corporate organizations, NGO’s and Government bodies, sponsored their leadership and senior teams, with some organisations sending as many as 20 participants to listen to Tom as he walked them through basics of leadership and excellence.

TSL would like to thank all their clients who participated on The Re-imagine! Leadership Re-imagine! Excellence seminar. Your contribution to the success of this event goes without saying!

guruevent8Despite all our gains in technology, product innovation and world marketers, most people are not thriving in the organisations they work for. They are neither fulfilled nor excited. They are not clear about where the organisation is headed or what its highest priorities are. They suffer from a loss of passion, feel disenabled in their jobs, are worn-out coping with low trust environments and feel bogged down and distracted. In short, they feel they have lost their voice.

In the Knowledge Worker Age, the real cost of failing to fully engage the passion, talent and intelligence of the workforce will have disastrous consequences.

As a leader, how do you meet these challenges? How do you access what your organisation needs to succeed in this new economy; your employees’ highest levels of creativity, motivation and productivity?

In a rare, IN PERSON presentation by Dr. Stephen R. Covey, business leaders in Eastern Africa had the opportunity to be part of this groundbreaking, next-level thinking on Saturday 18th March 2006 at KICC.

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