The CBS is committed to contributing to solving a global problem; the discrepancy between ideas and action. Knowledge and strategies are necessary but the critical problems of organisations are caused by the lack of implementation capability, by the lack of competence and commitment of 'leaders' at all levels to take action to deliver output based on their strategic intent. One of the primary causes of these two problems is the inability of leaders to learn from their experiences, from their mistakes and successes.
Our answer to these problems is to deliver customised, in-company, in-ministry, in-project Action Learning, capacity building programmes designed to optimise the implementation capability of public and private sector organisations. Our aim is to create a 'critical mass' of leaders able to deliver a "renaissance" in performance in their organisations. The renaissance was a time of innovation, creativity and learning. In many organisations these characteristics are not present because their managers have not learnt from their mistakes, from reflecting on their experiences of trying to improve their performance. Our programmes focus on how this can be achieved.
Over a 25-year period the faculty of ICOM which was renamed CBS have conducted 66 action learning programmes each lasting between 1 and 3 years in companies such as Shell, British Aerospace, National Power, Cummins, Swan Hunter, Massey Ferguson, Costain, Wates, Indonesia and Singapore Telecom, in Malaysia's major ports and in the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority and Police Force.
Programmes conducted in the public sector include those conducted in the UK Civil Service and National Health Service and in the civil services of India, Botswana, Barbados, St Lucia, Ghana and in the Asian Development Bank. The Chairman of CBS, who was one of the original VSO volunteers when he was 17 years old, reviewed the whole Civil Service of Malawi over an 18-month period and also created and edited the International Journal of Public Sector Management. Many of these programmes have led to diplomas accredited by the Universities of Oxford (UODLE) and Cambridge (UCLES) and the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and MBA and Doctoral level accredited by the University of Bradford Management School.