We are about creating big and sustainable movements of change in public services for the benefit of citizens. The sort of seismic shifts in cultures, behaviours and ways of thinking and working that will bring about a different set of results: transforming complex services to meet the challenges of the contemporary world and its citizens where traditional approaches have come unstuck. We are public service devotees, the sector’s very best critical friend, and we’ve made it our mission to make lasting change happen for citizens and society.

We run several leading place-based bespoke interventions curated by members of our core team and our world-class enablers, as well as other place-based support as part of the Systems Leadership Alliance. We also run critically acclaimed cohort-based leadership development programmes, co-designed with participants, that reflect the new interdependent world in which the public sector operates.

In 2016, we wrote to all current and previous programme participants – public, voluntary and private sector – specifically asking them to feedback on their experience of the work of the Leadership Centre. The findings of the survey were overwhelmingly positive, showing that not only were the interventions having the desired effect, but that areas of focus were progressing positively. You can look at the full results of the survey here.

A core set of beliefs

It’s all about ‘place’
and because every place is different, our interventions are entirely bespoke.

Politics matters
because the public sector is an intrinsic part of a political system – local and national.

Leading is about relational skills
because today’s most intransigent problems are multifaceted and need a multi-stakeholder and multi-solution approach.

The citizen is central
because it’s never been harder or more important to engage people, to create better communities and enable more meaningful lives.

a blend and constant iteration between theory and practice.

Our approach

Our approach is based around the specific context in which public service leaders operate:

It’s about leadership, not just leaders
We develop leaders within the systems and places in which they function because in today’s complex, uncertain world, leaders operate beyond organisation, authority, geography and even what they know – frequently leading virtual, collaborative teams into the unknown.

Leadership is of the place, not just the organisation
Leading a public service in today’s interdependent world is about working collectively across multiple stakeholders and multiple sectors in order to benefit the whole place and its citizens. We help leaders to learn to work together in different ways.

Respect difference
In today’s complex world, where traditional approaches to solving complex multifaceted challenges have come unstuck, leadership development must take place within the contemporary realities of the place, and the systems and cultures that operate within it. Our interventions are wholly bespoke because every place is different.

Leading means telling a story
Stories engage the heart and emotionally connect with people in a way in which budgets, policies and strategies cannot. They elicit connections with citizens and staff that are deeper, more meaningful, worthwhile and fulfilling. We help leaders to tell stories so they go beyond communicating and start connecting.

Leading requires ‘reading’
Leadership changes things. It requires ‘reading’ the situation, having a range of responses and tailoring them. Our approach is to equip leaders with the behaviours and types of thinking and ways of being that will help them to confidently ‘feel’ their way beyond what they know.

Politics matters
In this increasingly interdependent world, public services are delivered within political systems – local and national. We are unrivalled in our approach to working at this political and managerial coalface.

Show, don’t tell
In today’s complex world, where challenges are multifaceted and require a multi-stakeholder, multi-sector and multi-solution approach, there are no off-the-peg solutions, no best practice, no blueprints, and no correct answers to give. We support leaders so they can confidently explore new territory and find different ways to create lasting change.


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