In 2016 Wellcome Sanger Trust, one of the world’s leading genetics and genomics institutions tasked Talking Ape to create a different type of leadership programme. Their focus was to create a programme that helped their scientific leaders build new habits around accountability, collaboration, influencing, team dynamics and communication. They wanted those new habits to be sustained over future years. Talking Ape experimented with something different. We focused the programme on five key leadership areas underpinned by “vertical development” and self-awareness. We then put as much focus on the post-course elements and habit change as the content.