Meet Philippa White, Founder and CEO at Leadership Development Programme: The International Exchange (TIE)

TIE is a CPD accredited leadership development programme that creates conscious leaders who are shaping the future of their industries and companies.

Through the simple means of disrupting comfort zones, TIE exposes people to global challenges, and creates the space for them to find their distinctive power to make meaningful change. I believe that to profoundly change the world, we need people to connect with their potential.

To me, where we were is very different to where we are going. TIE’s ultimate aim is to help create better people, with better companies, in a better world, and we do this by helping people discover more about themselves and what their distinctive power is.


How did you come up with the idea for the company?

If I really think back to where it all properly started, it was probably inspired from being at my uncle’s celebration of life in South Africa in 2004. At the time I was working in advertising in London.

He was one of the most inspiring people I knew. He was Nelson Mandela’s doctor when he came out of prison and started negotiations with the apartheid government. He fought against apartheid, he went into the communities and worked closely with the locals, and embodied humanity, purpose and the ability to challenge a system.

It became clear to me, to be the best you can be, and an inspirational leader, you can’t stay in your bubble. You need to meet people you wouldn’t normally meet, push through boundaries, be brave, dare to be different, and be constantly curious.

To get the sector and everyone within it working in the way they need to, the way the world needs, I wanted to help develop those competencies. We need to create smarter, braver, more confident, empathetic and culturally intelligent professionals that have a contemporary world view and know how to lead their companies into the future.

We need people to get out of their comfort zone and to embrace diversity, sparking the idea for TIE.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

When Covid-19 hit, like so many others around the world, it hurt businesses big time. With borders shutting, and no international travel, it meant our business model, which used to simply be immersive global experiences, simply crumbled.

Then, floods of emails started to arrive from our NGO partners around the world, requesting help. Despite the pandemic, professionals around the world, more than ever, wanted to BE more and DO more so we found innovative ways to make what we do possible in the new normal.

In July 2020 we launched our first virtual programme. By digging deep and drawing on much of what we teach on TIE, we made it possible to expand our transformative reach and have created new programmes that impact more people in companies, with real ROI.

What can we hope to see from TIE in the future?

There are two exciting new plans on the horizon for TIE.

First, we are creating a line-up of workshops and TIE Jam impact-opportunities for larger groups at companies that are looking for a taste of TIE. These opportunities will be less intensive than our 6-week programmes, but the objective is to create eye-opening experiences that get people thinking differently and seeing themselves and their capabilities in a different light.

Second, we’re also in the process of developing the next stage of TIE, for professionals that finish their TIE programme, and are looking to both continue the momentum, but also find solutions to turn inspiration into action and potential into reality.

This is rooted in culture change and working closely with TIE alumni who have unlocked their purpose and have the confidence to break and challenge systems – and make it possible within the company they work at. This will be a group of sessions that help them find actionable steps to be intrapreneurs within their companies.