This week we are joined by expat, Philippa White.
Philippa is the Founder and CEO of The International Exchange (TIE), a comfort zone disruptor. Passionate about growth and development, she has created a unique programme that exposes people to global challenges to ignite their humanity, ingenuity, and purpose. She believes that to profoundly change the world, we need to connect with our emerging self. In her mind, where we were is different to where we are going. And everyone has the power to take us to the future – the key is unlocking it. Born in South Africa and having grown up in Canada, Philippa has always prized her position as a global citizen. Following an exchange programme in Thailand, she moved to the United Kingdom, where she worked in advertising.
Reframing how you see workers is the first step in building a more human culture. Instead of simply being cogs in the wheel, see them as citizens of the organisation, says Philippa White.
Companies are looking at their workforce the wrong way. Employees aren’t robots – they have passion, creativity, self-awareness, empathy and a thousand other capabilities that have complex needs and, if supported, bring complex and powerful benefits.
If organisations viewed their people as part of a greater whole, working towards a common goal and purpose, they could feel the benefits of a unified community. And what if those who worked with or for the organisatiation were seen as the customer of a company? Imagine they were the primary focus of the company, rather than seen as the force who served the organisation?
There is so much talk on leadership. Host leaders. Servant leaders. Purpose driven leaders. Conscious leaders. Participative leaders. And the dreaded authoritarian leader.
One wonders which box one fits into.
Good leadership really comes down to a few simple ingredients: Inspiration, enthusiasm, commitment, and selflessness.
These traits are what a purpose driven leader is defined by. When you lead with purpose, you know what you’re working towards. You radiate an energy and passion for the work. You have the drive to make the impossible, possible. You stay focused and committed in the face of adversity.
The tricky part is unlocking this purpose within people.
Reframing how your see workers in the first step in building a more human culture. Instead of simply being cogs in the wheel, see them as citizens of the organisation, says Philippa White.
What if companies viewed their employees as citizens and not consumers of jobs? What if they saw people as part of a greater whole, working towards a common goal and purpose? Or, what if employees and collaborators were seen as the customer of a company? Therefore, being the primary focus of the company, rather than the other way around? And why do we need to force ears to the earless?
We work in many of the world’s least developed countries and the importance of giving autonomy and financial independence to women in those countries cannot be overstated – either for the women themselves or for their countries.
One example of this comes from Malawi, often known as the Warm Heart of Africa. It is also one of the poorest countries in the world. And to add to the challenges that the country faces, the pandemic has pushed the children’s and human rights movements back by at least 30 years.
Schools being closed has meant that young people have been at home, or on the streets, and as a result, so vulnerable. Abuse of all kinds increased exponentially because of the pandemic.
Did you know that to tackle the gender equality challenge in countries around the world, boys and men are a vital part of the equation?
Most of us are uncomfortable with being uncomfortable.
But, pushing yourself in new ways unlocks new thinking. You end up seeing the world from a different perspective, and as a result, your true potential and purpose starts to shine through.
As one of our clients, Lauren is an Account Director at a large advertising agency in New York. Through her agency, she was chosen to engage in a professional development programme with The International Exchange (TIE) whose focus is to disrupt the comfort zones of seasoned professionals, with a view to impact them, their companies, and the world.
Did you know that to tackle the gender equality challenge in countries around the world, boys and men are a vital part of the equation?
Of course they are. It’s impossible for women to tackle this alone. Boys and men must be a part of the solution.
And, to achieve such equality, we must disrupt the comfort zone that society has created around men and age-old styles of alpha leadership. Both because men have dominated most corporate hierarchies for too long and because the qualities and values associated with successful leadership are often revered in male leaders and criticised when exhibited by female leaders.
The status quo and erroneous belief about the superiority of males over females needs to be shattered from early on. And a new “diversity comfort” level needs to be created.
It’s International Women’s Day – a time to uplift the voices of women everywhere. International Women’s Day is the perfect time to reflect on the progress women have made around, whether that be socially, economically, culturally or politically. With that said, this International Women’s Day we asked these inspiring women to share their life lessons and what they wish they had known.
This International Women’s Day, this is what I wish I had known…..
There are plenty of opportunities out there to step out of our comfort zones – the trick is grabbing hold of them.
You see, we are all so busy in our professional lives, it’s often difficult to make that jump to do something different; to grow, and to push ourselves.
Our comfort zone is just what it says: a place where life just feels pretty good. There’s no anxiety, we only have to use a limited set of behaviours to perform, and we feel very little sense of risk.
But, living and working within our comfort zone doesn’t really offer much incentive for us to be the best we can be. It simply doesn’t force us to achieve higher and different levels of performance.
It’s all about being comfort zone disruptors.
If you want better people, better companies and a better world, you need to combine the three. You can’t work with any of them in isolation. Companies and individuals need to step out of their comfort zones to be the best that they can be.
In 2011 Alice Hooper spent 30 days in Brazil working with the Comunidade dos Pequenos Profetas (CPP), a children’s rights NGO based in Recife, whose mission is to improve the quality of life of children and adolescents in disadvantaged urban areas through their reintegration into civil society and job market.
It’s hard not to notice that the world is dramatically being reshaped. From digitisation to the repercussions of the pandemic, to all of us gaining a greater understanding of the bigger global issues out there. There is a lot to get our heads around, but the result is that people are looking for more from life.
However, society is slow to adapt to these changes. Schools create people to fit for jobs, and then they are promptly pushed specialisations. People aren’t meant to be painted into a corner. People not only need to be able to bridge different areas, network with different people and respond to different challenges – they are yearning for it.
More than ever the learning and development community needs to refocus to find the training strategies that companies need to help them move forward in this moment of profound disruption.
The competitive edge will belong to those companies who have the vision of empowering their employees to both think and feel, encourage them to find comfort in ambiguous situations, remaining flexible and empathetic; companies that give their people the autonomy to use their own skills and criteria to create meaningful change – giving them permission to become transformational leaders.
As ‘purpose’ continues to gain momentum, with businesses across the world increasingly committing to ESG, equality and doing wider good, the issue of human rights is also being incorporated into far-reaching investment strategies.
“There is a realisation now that ESG is not just about the E,’’ says Mirek Gruna, Chief Commercial Officer for IQ-EQ in Jersey. “The social and governance areas are hugely important too.” Gruna, like many others in the field, says environmental initiatives often take precedence when businesses are focusing on ESG. But while it’s difficult to argue against decisive action on climate change, awareness is growing across the finance sector that all areas of ESG can also be linked to human rights
Individuals, businesses, and communities all want to realise a purpose, be the change we want to see in the world, and simply do and be more. But we’re so busy in our daily routines, that we rarely get around to doing something that we need to do to grow. Philippa White explores a possible solution.
Today we are facing tremendous global, environmental, economic, and organisational challenges, and as individuals and organisations we want to do our bit, but many don’t know where to start. The wave of topics at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) 2021, is pushing many world leaders to take actions to fight the worst impacts of Climate Change, but how can the expertise and resources of individuals, organisations, businesses, and investors drive this change is a big question to answer.
The reason for ‘The Great Resignation’, writes Philippa White, is people are looking for a change, and a way to find renewed purpose in their lives. But is leaving a job the way to do it?
My 7-year-old invited me for a movie night on the sofa the other night. Her big sister was out at a friend’s house and this was a chance to do something together. There was a Disney movie she really wanted me to watch called Encanto.
My goodness – what a beautiful illustration of how powerful it is to find your purpose.
The movie talks a lot about magic. And although Disney’s magic involves a little more theatre, the magic created once a purpose is discovered, is not dissimilar. I have seen this regularly in the 16 years of working in growth and development.
With so many opportunities out there to step out of your comfort zone, the real challenge is grabbing hold of them.
As we have become increasingly busier in our professional lives, it can be hard to make that transition to try something different, step away from what we know, to truly grow and to push our own personal limits.
We feel very little sense of risk in our comfort zone, it’s a place where life feels pretty good without anxiety as we only have to use a limited set of behaviours to perform.
However, existing within that comfortable space, that comfort zone, can be very limiting and doesn’t really offer much incentive for us to be the best we can be. It involves no risk, and simply doesn’t push us to achieve higher and different levels of performance in different aspects of our lives.
As part of my interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Philippa White.
She is the Founder and CEO of The International Exchange (TIE), a world-leading international leadership programme for commercial professionals looking for personal and professional growth through experiential purpose-driven learning.
Following a hugely successful career in advertising working for some of London’s biggest agencies, Philippa launched CPD-accredited TIE in 2006. Philippa is passionate about bringing out the best in people — their humanity, their ingenuity, their mojo — as she believes it will lead to a better world. TIE cohorts receive experiential learning, helping to effect tangible change by working directly with NGOs globally.
Through Philippa’s inspired course design, alumni expand their horizons and push their boundaries. They learn how to step out of siloed thinking, work collaboratively, communicate more effectively, discover their purpose and newfound confidence.
The past two years have been, without a doubt, some of the hardest moments that many people have faced. In their lives and in their businesses. But what you learn when times get tough is often what makes you so much better.
“Necessity is the mother of invention” is a very popular and widely used phrase, illustrating how constraints, the limitations that impact our ability to do something, can be sources of opportunity.
Philippa White is founder and CEO of The International Exchange (TIE), a world-leading international leadership programme for commercial professionals looking for personal and professional growth through experiential purpose-driven learning
So, how can the obstacle become the way? And how can the restriction of certain conditions increase our creativity and innovation? In this article, Philippa gives 5 tips that aim to help you make the most of a tough situation and aid in reigniting your creative thinking.
How do you create a diverse team, while also getting the talent you need? What are the risks to your business in having a team made up of the same types of people and do you know the difference between dyspraxia, autism and dyslexia?
Fantastic guests on this episode – We have a Chief Exec and author of four HR books on diversity, a former chair of the Institute of Directors and a CEO who trains leaders.
After years of feeling disillusioned working in the advertising industry, Philippa White founded The International Exchange (TIE), which combines the expertise of communications professionals in the private sector with the needs of NGOs to create sustainable change. Listen as she talks to Gaby and Shaila about new projects and the remarkable family member who inspired her to start TIE.
While the past two years have been hugely challenging, remember that what you learn during tough times is often what makes you better. The ‘crucible moments’ in our lives – the heat and the pressure – can be hard. But know that heat and pressure also create diamonds.
With every challenge there is opportunity. And the obstacle is the way forward. A chance to learn, grow, and improve. You must think on your feet and get creative. As a result, you discover untapped resources and potential. ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’, as they say.
Creativity is key to helping you find the resources to turn life’s proverbial lemons into lemonade – and thriving as a result. Amplify your creative thinking and you can be more open to opportunities and ready for challenges.
Try the following tips to discover your untapped potential.
In this episode of What the Fundraising Podcast…
I talk to Philippa White, Founder, and CEO of The International Exchange and a true believer in the power of business and leadership to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.
The International Exchange (TIE) is a personal and professional leadership development program that uses global social challenges to bring out the best in people. By connecting the social world with the commercial environment they create a catalyst for change.
“The quality of our output is influenced by the inspiration we seek”. And there is only so much inspiration in our comfort zones. We need to open up to different people, unfamiliar environments, and leave our silos behind in order to actually make a change.
We are living at a moment of profound disruption. It has changed the way we work and created unique demands on leaders.
Everyone is adjusting and looking for their role to respond.
Skills that companies previously overlooked, are now essential.
We need professionals who can both think and feel. They need to have direction and vision butmust remain flexible and open to change. Because we know that the fundamentals of the system have to change for a sustainable future to be possible.
What does that future look like? It must stem from our humanity. Our innate sense of right and wrong.
Now, more than ever, we need leaders capable of meaningful change.Leaders who are able to step out of their silos, andbe comfortable with ambiguous situations. Leaders who will challenge the way things are, and fight for more human and responsible business practices.
Meet Philippa White, the Founder and CEO of The International Exchange (TIE), a world-leading international leadership programme for commercial professionals looking for personal and professional growth through experiential purpose-driven learning.
– Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I was born in South Africa and having grown up in Canada, I have always considered myself a global citizen. Following an exchange program in Thailand, I moved to the United Kingdom, where I worked in advertising.
In 2005, after deciding that those in the private sector are often unable to access their fullest potential when it comes to being both successful members in their field and constructive members of the global community, I moved to Brazil and launched a business on a mission to solve that problem: The International Exchange (TIE). TIE aims to unleash the truest potential of leaders through self-discovery and experiential learning in ways that also positively impacts communities around the world. And I’ve been running the business since.
Do you, like many others, have a niggle that just won’t go away? There is something that doesn’t feel right, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.
You think about changing jobs, maybe trying a new hobby, or perhaps even go back to school. You see yourself doing more, but nothing seems to add up.
You feel as though you’ve lost your mojo.
But what is the answer?
Let me explain.
As a result of the pandemic, the landscape of business has changed.
Where we were is different to where we are going.
But how can we create this future that we know is possible, but hasn’t arrived yet?
Leo Burnett has reignited its partnership with The International Exchange (TIE), which links the world of commerce to social initiatives, to develop a new brand and video for the VIPLA Foundation, previously Save the Children India.
The charity rebrand will launch today (24 September) across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, as well as on the VIPLA Foundation website. The organisation’s new brand identity comes with a new colour palette and tagline: “Grow, learn, flourish.”
The name change to VIPLA Foundation was already planned before the involvement of Leo Burnett and TIE.
The DO Lectures is an ideas sharing event run out of an old cowshed in Cardigan Bay, Wales. In this series of DO podcasts, Gav Thompson chats to people about how they have achieved their amazing levels of success, as well as uncovering some of the despites that they have had to overcome to get there.
In Gav’s words:
Gav chats to Philippa White. In 2004 Philippa left a career “flogging shit” in advertising in London to set up a social enterprise, The International Exchange (TIE), in Brazil. A leadership program where business leaders from the developed world can help tackle some of the bigger problems in the developing world. The story of TIE is a major amazing achievement that Philippa is rightfully proud. TIE was doing very well and growing nicely. And then Covid struck, and the idea of business people travelling across the world to help developing charities on the ground became impossible. Facing the potential end of her life’s work with TIE, Philippa managed to swiftly pivot the organisation and rebirth TIE as something new and brave (and potentially bigger).
Perhaps more than ever any other time in history, employees – especially Millenials – are looking for a more meaningful work experience. Conscious of environmental and other social issues as never before, they struggle with trying to do well but also to do good. This is a challenge to employers, who typically meet this need by supporting social values as a company or go further by allowing employees free time to work on charitable enterprises.
However, the job comes first and all good employers offer training in the required marketing skills and, to some extent,
leadership. But as all research in this area has shown, the best way of providing leadership training is to experience it in a real setting.
Hot Topics Contributing HR Editor and former Kantar Millard Brown CHRO Karen Rivoire explores how people and businesses can learn from the approach being taken by Philippa White.
Philippa tells us about The International Exchange. After a successful career working with some of the best advertising agencies including Leo Burnett and BBH, Philippa created TIE in order to leverage the skills of professionals in the communications and marketing industry and put them to use for the benefit of non-profit organisations, often based in developing countries, and help them make a difference in the world.
There was a time, not too long ago, when the people who ran advertising agencies had usually worked in such agencies for their entire careers. The same was true in PR, media, research, and design companies. Agency leaders tended to be lifers, who were masters of their discipline.
More than 20 years ago, Martin Sorrell (he was not yet Sir Martin) predicted that in the future, such people would be regarded as dinosaurs.
What’s it like to swap an advertising job for a role at a non-profit education programme in Africa? Hanne Haugen tells her story.
Leaving your desk job is never easy, but if taking a sabbatical to work with an NGO in a foreign country means you come back a fresher, stronger marketer, then nothing should hold you back from the experience, writes Sarah Walker.
Philippa White, Founder and CEO of The International Exchange. Click the image for the high-resolution file. And click here for Philippa’s bio.
TIE believes in connecting the private sector with the social sector to make lasting change
We link future leaders from the commercial world with social initiatives across the globe and provide a unique platform that is a catalyst to exclusive Leadership Development, whilst creating endeavours that impact organisations, their beneficiaries and local communities.
We love that every professional comes away from our programme with a greater understanding of their purpose and what drives them in their work, seeing the true potential in their abilities, and feeling proud of their profession and the skills they have worked so hard to develop.
Since 2007 we have been developing conscious leaders who are shaping the future of their industries and companies and helping to find revolutionary solutions to some of the world’s most intractable problems.
Our goal is to create better leaders. Better companies. And a better world.