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Leadership, Executive
Education & Strategy

World-class Leadership, Executive Education and Strategy Solutions

Do you want a senior team that can seamlessly predict and manoeuvre through imminent and distant strategic challenges? Are you seeking assurance that your leadership is not just managing but truly excelling amidst ever-shifting business landscapes? Every successful company requires a team that not only possesses agility and versatility but also the adeptness to inspire and mobilise its workforce.We champion world-class strategy and leadership cultivation.

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We champion world-class strategy and leadership cultivation.

Why the Military? It’s simple:

  • Renowned globally for its visionary approach, the UK Military is pivotal in setting strategic directions for the entirety of HM Government.
  • Our courses, esteemed by military, government, and industry frontrunners from over 55 nations, bring together strategic leadership wisdom.
  • Customised Support: We craft solutions attuned to your unique requisites.
  • Grounded in solid theory and abundant hands-on experience, we offer not just a service, but a lasting partnership geared towards securing your competitive advantage.

What We Offer:

  • Executive Development: Whether it’s a corporate retreat or comprehensive preparation for strategic roles, our programme scales to your needs.
  • Strategic Leadership Workshops: UK and international retreats for top-tier executives, integrating team-building with valuable strategic insights from historical precedents.
  • Strategic Assistance: From strategy formulation to leadership during crises, and talent nurturing throughout career trajectories.
  • Operational Expertise: Dive deep into operational logistics and planning with our seasoned professionals.
  • Training for Commercial Organisations: We offer a range of courses bespoke to a client’s specific needs. These are built around the following modules/subjects:
    • Strategic Education and Thinking
      • Strategic Leadership: Understanding strategic challenges, opportunities, and drivers for innovation and change.
      • Strategic Thinking: Developing, designing, and implementing strategy through:
        • Understanding challenges, environment, and desired outcomes
        • Developing strategic options
        • Selecting the best strategic option
        • Refining and implementing the strategy
        • Reviewing and adapting the strategy
    • Leadership
      • Career Leadership Training: From tactical roles to strategic board positions, focusing on talent development.
      • Identifying and Developing Leaders: Preparing the next generation of strategic leaders through:
        • Assessing leadership talent
        • Setting leadership foundations
        • Growing leaders
        • Personal leadership journeys
      • Leadership Styles: Understanding different leadership styles for various business levels.
      • Delegation and Empowerment: Enabling initiative and innovation.
      • Building High-Performing Teams: Focusing on roles, company ambitions, and personal priorities.
      • Self-Assessment: Exploring leadership and personality traits through interactive sessions, including psychometric testing and 360-degree reviews.
      • Understanding Personality Traits: Improving productivity through understanding team aspirations, with an emphasis on equality, diversity, and inclusion.
      • Planning: Problem-solving and understanding PESTLE, SWOT, and SMART objectives in your company's context.
      • Risk Management: Syndicate sessions on company risk, business resilience, and continuity.
    • Media Relations and Training
      • Media Relations and Training: For improving media interactions and skills.
    • For the Security Sector
      • Wider Security Context: Operating within a broad security framework.
      • Surveillance/Counter-Surveillance: Utilising geospatial surveillance, AI, and drone technology.
      • Security Staff Training: Including emergency call responder, team member, and team leader training.

These comprehensive courses are designed to enhance strategic thinking, leadership, media relations, and security training within commercial organisations.

Empower your business leadership with UDSS – your blueprint to crafting a future-ready and resilient enterprise.

Executive Development Programme

Download our brochure about our Executive Development Programme.

Unlock your executive team's potential with UDSS's comprehensive Executive Development Programme. Ideal for corporate teams, our scalable programme ranges from single-day corporate retreats to extensive training for future strategic roles.

Download our detailed brochure now and embark on a transformative journey with your executive team.


Meet Our Experts

Duncan Potts
Duncan L Potts CB UDSS Director & Executive Education Lead
Duncan led capability development for the Royal Navy and has commanded at 1 & 2* level for NATO, EU and US led coalition operations.

Duncan served as Director General Joint Force Development until 2018, responsible for ensuring the single Services can integrate on operations both with other Government Departments and internationally. This included articulating trends out to 30 years and providing individual through-career education and collective training to meet contemporary challenges. Previously he led capability development for the Royal Navy and has commanded at 1 & 2* level for NATO, EU and US led coalition operations.

Duncan served as a Royal Navy officer for 39 years. Originally a surface warfare anti-submarine officer, he commanded 3 major warships on operations, principally in the Middle East. He commanded the US led Coalition Task Group in the Northern Gulf as a Commodore and as a Rear Admiral led NATO’s High Readiness Force (Maritime) and commanded the European Union’s counter-piracy operation in the Indian Ocean at the height of the scourge of piracy. On his watch piracy was defeated. Also, as a Rear Admiral he was head of capability for the Royal Navy, Chief of Staff overseeing HQ reorganization, was an executive director on the Navy Board and was head of the surface ship fighting arm. More widely he has worked in the Ministry of Defence in resource programming and capability planning and as Military Assistant to the Vice Chief of Defence Staff. He has a strong background in Joint operations, notably as the 1* head of planning at the UK’s National Joint Operational HQ (PJHQ) and on the Joint Forces Command Board as Director General Joint Force Development and Director General of the Defence Academy of the UK. He is a graduate of The City University (Systems and Management), a fellow of The Windsor Leadership Trust and a Younger Brother of Trinity House.

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John Kingwell
John Kingwell CBE Head of Strategic Education & Executive Development
John has considerable operational and MOD experience. He has had 4 sea commands including the Task Group that delivered maritime strike into Libya in 2011.

John has considerable operational and MOD experience. He has had 4 sea commands including the Task Group that delivered maritime strike into Libya in 2011. He also served 4 times in the MOD. As Head of Finance and Military Capability (Navy) he was the maritime advisor to the MOD’s finance director and provided analysis on the Navy’s financial performance and where appropriate the reapportionment of resources. In 2005 he was the first senior advisor to the newly established head of the Iraqi Navy in Baghdad.

As a Rear Admiral John was the Director of the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC) – the MOD’s independent strategic think tank providing impartial and objective advice to highest level policy makers in defence and across government. In addition to delivering all UK joint doctrine he oversaw the strategic trends programme (Global Strategic Trends and the Future Operating Environment) which set the long term context for policy makers.

He was then the Deputy Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies and in his final role before leaving the Service was the Commandant (2019-2020). RCDS is responsible for preparing the next generation of strategic military, civilian and industry leaders from the UK and 55 other nations.

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Paul Nanson
Paul is a senior leader with extensive expertise based on operations, leadership development, recruiting, training, personnel, infrastructure and resource management. A qualified coach and recent best-selling author in the area of leadership and life skills. Paul spent 34 years serving in the British Army leading and operating in a variety of roles and operational environments. His final post was Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Director Leadership for the Army, and senior officer responsible for Army recruiting and training. This appointment involved leadership through a period of significant transformation, including the creation of an individual leadership development pipeline, the opening of the Army’s first Centre for Leadership and, most recently, the optimisation of Army recruiting.
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Craig Lawrence
Craig Lawrence CBE UDSS Advisor
Craig works with public, private and voluntary sectors develop the strategies and senior leadership skills they need to succeed in today's dynamic, uncertain and competitive operating environment.

Craig Lawrence was commissioned into the British Army's Gurkhas in 1983. After studying engineering science at Durham University, he joined his regiment in Hong Kong and then spent the next thirty-three years either serving with Gurkhas or filling a variety of appointments in various military headquarters, including the Ministry of Defence. Whilst in the Army, he completed numerous overseas tours and commanded his Gurkha battalion on operations in the Balkans and in Africa. His final operational deployment was to Afghanistan as the Director of the International Security Assistance Force’s (ISAF's) Election Support Cell, where. working with the Afghan authorities and the international community, he led the development and implementation of a strategy to reduce risk to the 2014 Presidential and Provincial Elections. He left the military as a major general in 2016 to join the staff of the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) in London, where, until recently, he was the Course Director and Director of Strategy and Strategic Leadership.

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