Developing a community of leadership practice across Norfolk

Jul 4, 2009

In the summer of 2008, plans were afoot to undertake a piece of work to make a different sort of difference in Norfolk. By October 2008 the local government community, police, health and the national park authority were round the table, each prepared to commit time, energy and resources to change the way Norfolk worked. Improvement East, the regional improvement and efficiency partnership, match-funded the combined resources of local partners and the Leadership Centre led as the design and facilitation partner.

The overarching aim was to bring about a shift in the way that the public sector organisations in Norfolk worked together and with their communities to ensure improved outcomes for local people. We set out to develop a community of leadership practice which brought together around 200 senior managerial leaders. We named it LEAPP: Lead, Engage, Aspire, Perform in Partnership. The short video below explores the aims behind the Norfolk LEAPP work.

A key principle of LEAPP, and of the Leadership Centre’s work as a whole, was that the programme was about both learning and doing: doing work that mattered to the area and would lead to some tangible outcomes while at the same time developing shared understanding, stronger relationships, new approaches and common language. We structured our work around five challenge themes which emerged from discussions about key issues facing the county and its public services.

The challenges started in late January 2009 on the themes of the Economy: Recession and Growth; Better Lives for All; Children and Young People; Social Capital; and Transitions. Within each challenge were phases of learning, working together, fieldwork and sense-making. The aim was to generate new insights which could then translate into different approaches.

At the Big LEAPP event in May 2009, all five cohorts came back together with the chief executives, facilitators and Leadership Centre team to share their work, learning and insights. At the closing world café everyone involved in the programme worked on the key question of ‘what next?’ This produced the blueprint for the next phase of the journey.


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