An Above Difference Leading Inclusively with Cultural Intelligence Programme for Leaders Across Medical Directorates in NELFT



My name is Jennifer Izekor and I am the CEO and Founder of Above Difference Limited, one of the most innovative and fastest rising Inclusive Leadership and Cultural Intelligence consultancies and Top 10 Inclusion & Diversity Providers in the UK today.

Our approach is unique. We believe Inclusion is about everyone or it is about no-one so we work across the whole inclusion agenda. We want to enable leaders to lead all their people well, irrespective of where they come from or what specific barriers or challenges they may face.

We think Inclusion is a leadership challenge and on this programme our aim will be to create psychologically safe spaces in which you can develop a range of evidence-based tools, techniques, skills and capabilities to help you lead all your people well and be at the forefront of providing services that make all people feel valued, seen and heard.

For us it’s never about a single interaction or training session, its about a journey of personal and professional transformation that helps you become a better leader for all, while also building your resilience and professional toolbox.  

We have been really excited and honoured  to work with NELFT over the last two years as part of the organisations commitment to embracing  a Just and Compassionate Leadership Culture. Our unique “Leading Inclusively With Cultural Intelligence” leadership programme is designed to enhance your leadership skills and make you a more confident, inclusive and culturally intelligent professional and leader.

Below you will find some details about the programme and your journey as a participant. Please do not hesitate to contact us at if you have any questions and I really look forward to meeting you.

Chief Executive and Founder

Above Difference Limited. 


Why is a Cultural Intelligence and Inclusive Leadership Programme important for our Doctors in NELFT?

We find ourselves working in a multicultural society and in multicultural staff groups. The fact that we have multicultural staff groups is extremely important, as research indicates better outcomes when you have staff groups culturally representative of the client group.

This however raises important cultural issues within our client group and our staff groups.

All of this is very important for our Doctors, for several reasons. Doctors have been trained to remain “non-judgemental” of any aspects of their patients, but this is not always focussed on when referring to colleagues. We also very often in interviews find that doctors find it very difficult to express the concept of Equality and Diversity.

As senior leaders. many staff look at doctors as role models, and therefore it is important that doctors fully understand the concept and be able to work and lead effectively across diverse teams and cultural contexts.

In terms of patients, we are still seeing a lot of service and health inequalities in terms of individuals with certain protected characteristics and Doctors need to be able to understand the root causes and where possible, address these through accessible patient care.

It might come as a shock to you, but recent research shows that discrimination is still rife in the NHS, especially when it comes to staff. It is very important that our doctors as senior team leaders are leading Inclusively with Cultural Intelligence, to allow cohesive team working and a sense of value and belonging for all staff.

I would strongly encourage all our doctors to undertake this training. I have done this training, and it has provided me with a much better understanding of all the cultural aspects we are dealing with.

This training also underpins the Trust’s vision to deliver a Just and Compassionate culture for all of us to work in.

Dr Vincent Perry

Medical Director
Appraisal Lead & Deputy Responsible Officer
Mental Health Payments & Outcomes Lead
Consultant Psychiatrist


Why have you been invited to be part of this programme – what is it about?

In 2021, North East London Foundation Health Trust (NELFT) solidified its commitment to Just and Compassionate Leadership. This mission has been a priority for the board, aiming to equip leaders with robust Cultural Intelligence and Inclusive Leadership capabilities. Despite the challenges posed by the global pandemic, the “Leading Inclusively with Cultural Intelligence Leadership Programme” has proven successful, with more than 250 leaders from across NELFT participating.

However, due to pressing system demands, leaders from the Medical Directorates could not engage with the initial programme roll out. To address this gap, Dr Perry and the NELFT Leadership and Development Team, in partnership with Above Difference, have commissioned and designed specific sessions to cater to Doctors and Leaders within the Medical Directorates.

This customised programme will :

  • Introduce dynamic theories such as Cultural Intelligence, Intentional Inclusive Leadership, Change Management, and Value Driven Leadership.
  • Enhance your Cultural Intelligence and Inclusive Leadership skills, enriching your capability to engage with and lead a diverse set of peers, colleagues, patients, and communities.
  • Deepen understanding of how personal preferences and biases influence your leadership style, and provide you with a range of proven tools and techniques to cultivate inclusive and compassionate workplaces and services.
  • Immerse participants in the principles of a value-driven, strength-based approach to Inclusive Leadership, and equip them with the skills to create positive dialogues around inclusion, manage challenging conversations, and foster teams and departments where everyone feels valued, seen, and heard.
  • Offer practical opportunities through a series of interactive workshops to apply and test out the newly acquired skills, followed by a series of workshops designed to reinforce and enhance the learning.

Programme Approach

I’ve done Cultural Awareness Programmes before, what’s different about this one?

This programme is a bespoke one developed by the Award-Winning Above Difference. It draws together 4 Models:

  • Cultural Intelligence(CQ) which is the capability to work and relate effectively across diverse cultural contexts
  • Value Driven/Strengths based Leadership which focuses on values, behaviour and attitudes while building internal resilience
  • Inclusive Leadership
  • Change Leadership

These carefully curated elements are designed to help you achieve your full potential as a leader and an individual.  We will explore issues of leadership, influence , culture and personal effectiveness.  Together you will learn new principles but also have opportunities through the workshops to apply these to specific challenges for inclusion in your workplace.

Programme Approach:

Your programme will consist of:

1-day In-person Masterclass Programme
Individual CQ Assessments
Change, Planning and Implementation Virtual Workshops

The Journey

At Above Difference we have developed a learner pathway transformational journey that is designed to equip you with new skills and capabilities and then offer you the opportunity to practice ‘flexing your CQ and Inclusive Leadership Skills’ in a safe learning environment. These are our design, dream and apply’ workshops which will help you become real change makers.  The journey will differ slightly for each programme but at its heart is a tried and tested pathway that is designed to go beyond a ‘training programme’ and create a unique journey that will challenge, change and transform each participant.  

Your Participant Journey

Your CQ Assessment and Course Materials

In the week commencing August 21st, 2023, you will be provided with a link to complete an online Cultural Intelligence Self Assessment. This link will originate from the CQCenter (please check your junk folder if you don’t receive it by the end of the week) The CQ Pro Assessment is the only academically validated method of evaluating your current CQ levels. This assessment is not performance-based, and the results will remain confidential to you. The process should take only 20 minutes, after which you will be able to download and save a copy of your report immediately. Please rest assured, any unclear aspects will be clarified during the programme. Ensure that you complete the assessment prior to your Masterclass and bring an online or printed copy of the feedback with you.

The “Leading Inclusively with Cultural Intelligence” Leadership Masterclass

This one-day, in-person event will be held at The CEME Centre. Joining details will be sent to you by the NELFT L&D Team. The Masterclass will introduce you to the unique Above Difference Model, providing you with an opportunity to reflect on your Assessment Scores and to develop a deep understanding of your own CQ, Cultural Values, and Preferences and how these influence your leadership of the Inclusion agenda. There will be two evenly split cohorts to accommodate 80 participants.

The “Leading Inclusively with Cultural Intelligence” Change Planning and Implementation Workshop

For this part of the programme, you will be placed into smaller groups where you’ll have the opportunity to work with peers to apply some of the theories you have learnt. This will also provide a space to explore Value-based leadership and Change Management principles as they apply to the Inclusion agenda.

Programme Schedule

Please find below a schedule of our sessions together. Please note you will be placed in a Cohort by the Learning and Development Team for the Masterclass. Unless agreed by the Team and Above Difference it will  NOT be possible to swop as the numbers are evenly balanced. 

07 September 
Cohort A– In-person

CEME Centre

9.45 am – 5pm

(Please aim to arrive at 9.30 am and remember to bring your Assessment Report and your Course Materials with you. )


12 September
Cohort  B – In-Person

CEME Centre

9.45am – 5pm


(Please aim to arrive at 9.30 am and remember to bring your Assessment Report and your Course Materials with you. )

14 September
Virtual Planning and Implementation Workshop (Cohort A1)

9.45am – 2pm

(You will receive a MS Teams link to your email from ADProgrammes)

28 September
Virtual Planning and Implementation (Cohort A2)

9.45am – 2pm

(You will receive a MS Teams link to your email from ADProgrammes)

03 October
 Virtual Planning and Implementation (Cohort B1)

9.45am – 2pm

(You will receive a MS Teams link to your email from ADProgrammes)

05 October
Virtual planning and implementation (Cohort B2)

9.45am – 2pm

(You will receive a MS Teams link to your email from ADProgrammes)


If you have any questions please contact Finbar Stapleton ( or Flora Dele-Ojo (

Programme Resources

Resources to support your journey will be uploaded throughout the programme. You may also receive resources prior to the programme and will be provided with a pack on the day with stationary. 

What’s Your CQ 

Where are your Cultual Connections?

“Incredibly insightful session. It has completely opened my eyes in new ways, I feel far more confident to advocate for others and respectfully challenge inequity both inside and outside of work. My passions have been ignited, I feel stronger and more competent in my role as a result of these sessions”.

The Above Difference Programme Team

Lead Facilitator

Jennifer Izekor 
Founder and CEO, Above Difference

Senior Associate Facilitator

Andy Bennett QPM 
Executive Leadership Coach


Kehinde Alisha Rees
Director of Operations

Programme Projects & Contracts Lead

Flora Dele-Ojo
Programme Delivery Manager

Corporate Relations

Neyma Mildred Ali
Corporate Relations Manager