A leadership development program created by researchers at The University of Queensland (UQ) is set to create impact for organisations around the world.

Informed by two decades of world-leading research led by Professor Alex Haslam AM in the UQ School of Psychology’s Social Identity and Groups Network (SIGN), the 5R Leadership Development Program has been licensed to Brisbane-based consultancy firm Identify Leadership Pty Ltd by UQ’s commercialisation company UniQuest.

Professor Haslam said that 5R recognises that leadership is a group process that centres on leaders creating inclusive, high-functioning and healthy teams.

“The traditional focus of leadership is on developing the aptitudes, characteristics and skills of leaders as individuals,” Professor Haslam said.

“5R focuses instead on the importance of leaders working as group members to create, represent, advance and embed a sense of shared social identity in the groups they lead — what we refer to as identity leadership.”

“By showing how leaders can help to craft and advance this ‘sense of us’ (shared social identity) 5R translates insights from social identity theorising into a structured intervention that has been shown to deliver tangible benefits.”

Identify Leadership founder and Director Blake McMillan said organisations across all industry sectors are grappling with new operating models, new technologies, and unprecedented workforce pressures, and in response are seeking practical leadership interventions informed by sound evidence.

“We need to improve leadership practice and expand our thinking about leadership. But most importantly, we need to recognise that organisations with poor leadership practices are making people sick,” Mr McMillan said.

“5R makes healthier teams, accessible to all.”

UniQuest’s Senior Director and Head of Social and Behavioural Sciences Anne Bannister said it was pleasing to see the translation of UQ research into a practical, adaptable tool for organisational change.

“Not only is 5R underpinned by UQ’s cutting edge scientific research, it’s also a customisable program that can be adapted to suit any organisation’s needs and can be delivered in a range of formats,” Ms Bannister said.

The 5R Leadership Development Program is suited to high-reliability organisations (HROs) – those that avoid catastrophes which might otherwise arise as a consequence of operational failure in a complex task environment.

Over the past seven years more than 250 leaders have participated in the program at HROs including the House of Commons (UK), Airservices Australia, Fletcher Building, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, Metro North Hospital and Health Services and South East Queensland Water.

The exclusive worldwide licensing agreement will enable Identify Leadership to expand the reach of the program globally by creating a dedicated online technology platform and establishing a 5R practitioner accreditation framework.

Under the agreement SIGN will continue to undertake important leadership research utilising the 5R leadership development program and maintain ongoing industry trials with their partners.

Enquiries: Blake McMillan, Director Identify Leadership, blake@identifyleadership.com.au, +61 403 640 776.

Media: UniQuest, Esther Haskell, e.haskell@uniquest.com.au, +61 409 767 199.