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Systems Leadership

Systems Leadership Webinar March 2020: Leading when you are not in charge

The 'Leading when you are not in charge' masterclass completed our very popular Systems Leadership Masterclass Series 2020. This online webinar was delivered by Debbie Sorkin, National Director for  Leadership Centre and saw 49 NHS, local authority and third sector staff joining in. For more information and to view the recording of the webinar click here.


Our offer on Systems Leadership

Click here for the Leadership Academy in the South East (KSSLA and TVWLA) STP ASSET STOCKTAKE 2019. 

This stocktake has taken place via a series of telephone interviews with key players in each of the STPs across the TVW/KSS patch. It is intended to provide a summary of the excellent work  that is underway in the people & organisational development arena in order that others may be sighted on this and good practice and learning spread more widely. It is not intended to provide the reader with the full detail of each project, more, key information and follow up contact details so individuals can explore more as desired.


Click on the image below to view a presentaion on our offer for Systems Leadership for STP's and ACS's


Traditional solutions to the complex issues facing our health and social care organisations have focused on delivering interventions often in isolation from other parts of the system. For some time, clinicians, managers, patients and policymakers have seen the limitations of focussing on single organisational performance and regulation and have begun to build and experiment with ideas, plans and mechanisms to build joined-up integrated health and social care systems. This work has been further supported by the vision described in the Five Year Forward View (2014), The Care Act (2014), and the GP Forward View (2016). This groundswell of opinion and policy direction demands that organisations and individuals work together across patient pathways and within new models and frameworks of care that are no longer linear and boundaried. Furthermore, they demand a more inclusive approach and full engagement with patients, communities, citizens and staff to truly create a far more equal relationship between those who need services and those who provide them.

It should not be underestimated how huge the challenge of integrated health and social care is, nor the opportunities that it brings. Through the development and implementation of Sustainability and Transformation Plans, local systems will be driven towards more collaborative, diverse, inclusive, outcome focused approaches whilst maintaining quality, compassion, financial balance and effective individual performance. Such is the nature of the transformation ahead of us; it is naïve to believe that any one organisation will achieve it without the help and support of others and achieving such ambitions will demand a different kind of leadership than that established and required to run single organisations.

This brochure describes a way of understanding ‘Systems Leadership’. It aims to be the starting point of a conversation between those charged with bringing the Five Year Forward View (FYFV) into reality via the implementation of the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) and the Leadership Development Partners (LDPs) of the NHS Leadership Academy who can support developing the capacity and capability of leaders needing to work across organisational boundaries in a complex and ever-changing environment.

Please Note: The contact details listed in this brochure are no longer valid, a new version of this brochure is currently being produced and will be uploaded to this page when it becomes avaliable.

In the interim, if you do have questions or would like to contact us about Developing Systems Leadership please e-mail

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We know that the NHS and care systems are facing the biggest challenges in their history. Across the NHS, the local systems will have differing requirements. We know that systems are multi-faceted and multi-agency. Through leadership and system development, we will be working with you to support and address some of the Five Year Forward View Challenges (5YFV).

Systems leadership interventions play a wide-ranging, dynamic role. They help people build robust relationships and trust; share leadership where necessary; and have difficult conversations about complex issues with a view to obtaining real progress. They can include:

  • Building capacity for analytical thinking about a local system
  • Applying models and insights to support behaviour change
  • Framing debates in ways that motivate people to take action
  • Coaching and mentoring people to strengthen their leadership capacity
  • Connecting different parts of the system, including citizens, patients and service users
  • Creating deeper understanding of shared issues
  • Bringing people together to work differently

Systems leadership interventions provide bespoke, tailored support to help people in places move from planning to bring about sustained, and sustainable, change.

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