Connect with people

Immersion 2: Leading GM Leadership Programme

Following on from the first Immersion on 11 May, our second Leading GM Leadership Programme cohort regrouped on 22 June for their second Immersion event. Led by Mari Davis, Liz Goold, Joyce Redfearn, and Myron Rogers, the delegates continued to work through place based challenges with their GM colleagues. Ian Williamson (Chief Accountable Officer, Manchester Health and Care Commissioning) also joined us to open the day and share his story. Thoughts and learning that emerged throughout the day were captured by Paolo Feroleto, who created some fantastic images (available below). Through the two Immersion events, this second cohort of GM Leaders have identified some key issues in their place and developed tools and strategies to move forward.

As the second cohort continues moving through the Leading GM Leadership Programme, we are looking forward to their Reunion and Reflection event. To be held on 17 October, cohort 1 delegates are also invited to meet their colleagues on cohort 2 and share their learning and experiences. Cohort 1 and 2 Leadership Programme delegates can book their place here.

Some photos from the day: 

20170622_153900 20170622_153843 20170622_153910 20170622_120158 20170622_121921


Images from Paolo Feroleto:

1   3  6

5 4 Goldfish 7


Slides from the day: 


Social media story: 

Immersion 11 May for Cohort 2 of Leadership Programme

Our second Leading GM cohort began their Immersion programme phase on 11 May at the Salford Innovation Forum. This was an exciting and thought-provoking day, with our second cohort (and some of our first cohort) of GM leaders grappling with real challenges in their organisations, places, and across GM. Throughout the day, the group immersed themselves in this work, and also continued to build upon their relationship both within and across their places and cohorts.

For this cohort, their Immersions will be a two day programme, with the second day taking place on 22 June. Leading this cohort through their first Immersion were Chris Lawrence-Pietroni, Myron Rogers, Mari Davis, and Liz Goold. We were also joined by Maggie Kufeldt, Executive Director, Health and Wellbeing from Oldham MBC to open the day. We look forward to seeing everyone on 22 June as the group comes back together to continue to work and reflect on their challenges!

Some photos from the day:
20170511_100334 20170511_100345 20170511_100707 20170511_154739

Slides from the day:

Follow the day’s social media story as it unfolded:

Reunion and Reflection 25 April – Cohort 1, Leading GM Leadership Programme

Our first Leading GM Leadership Programme cohort reunited on 25 April for their final programme phase, the Reunion and Reflection event. Held at the Life Centre, Sale, this event was led by Rene Barrett, and provided this first cohort the opportunity to reflect on their learning and leadership journey to date. Some of the nominees from the second cohort also joined the group for part of the day to meet new colleagues and share their experiences more widely. Two delegates from cohort one – Gareth Hughes, GMP, and Shaer Halewood, Oldham MBC – presented a GM Leadership in Action Snapshot to the group, with Tony Cottam, Bolton at Home, also sharing new ways of working and leading from a housing perspective. We were joined by a range of speakers through the day:

Peter O’Reilly, County Fire Officer and Chief Executive, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
Dame Louise Casey DBE CB
Tony Cottam, Head of Employment and Enterprise, Bolton At Home
Ian Hopkins, Chief Constable, Greater Manchester Police

Carolyn Wilkins, Chief Executive, Oldham MBC
Charlie Norman, Chief Executive, St Vincent’s Housing Association
Yvonne Rogers, Strategic Workforce Lead, GM Health and Social Care Partnership
Eugene Lavan, QIPP Programme Director, Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Presentations from Rene Barrett, Gareth Hughes, and Tony Cottam

Notes accompanying Gareth Hughes’ presentation

Some photos from the day
IMG_5729 IMG_5730 IMG_5734 IMG_5742 IMG_5733 IMG_5752 IMG_5756 IMG_5758 IMG_5760 IMG_5763

Social media story of the day

Second cohort begins Leading GM Leadership Programme

On 7 and 8 March, the second #LeadingGM Leadership Programme cohort began their leadership journey at their Driving Place Leadership event. Across the two days, this second group of almost 100 GM leaders started a six month programme that will see them connect with each other, with their wider places, and with GM citizens. Throughout this event, we saw another group of enthusiastic leaders explore what it means to be a courageous and innovative leader in Greater Manchester through a range of sessions and activities. A number of inspirational guest speakers from a variety of sectors joined the delegates and explored the GM vision and what it takes to lead:

Day 1
Jon Rouse, Chief Officer, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership
Carolyn Wilkins, Chief Executive, Oldham MBC
Claire Norman, Associate Director Communications and Engagement, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership

Day 2
Katy Calvin Thomas, Director of Strategy, The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner and Interim Mayor
Neil McInroy, Chief Executive, Centre for Local Economic Strategies
Carolyn Wilkins, Chief Executive, Oldham MBC
Claire Galt and John Walker, Tameside South Integrated Neighbourhood services
Vickie Hollingworth and Andy Parkinson, Wigan MBC
Jim Taylor, City Director, Salford CC

On the evening of 7 March, this group took part in a Dinner with a Difference, participating in Street Wisdom sessions led by Julie Drybrough, or in outreach activities with The A Teams (at the Audacious Church, Salford) and Barnabus (at their drop in centre at The Beacon, Manchester). This inspiring evening was another great addition to the Driving Place Leadership event.

We look forward to the rest of this cohort’s leadership programme!

A snapshot of the two days is available below:
Day 1 group Rita Evans opening Jon Rouse day 1 Carolyn Wilkins day 1 Lunch Dinner with a Difference - Street Wisdom Dinner with a Difference - A Teams Street Wisdom Group photo Guest panel day 2 Bio cards 2

The slides from the two days are available below:
Main presentation

Wigan case study

Useful links:

October 2016: Stories Change the World: the power of public narrative

Ganz lecture on public narrative:

The social media story from 7 and 8 March:

System Leadership Workshops 22nd June

As part of the #LeadingGM collection we are delighted to share with you an innovative and interactive master classes taking place on the 22nd June.

Adaptive Leadership with Myron Rogers and Chris Lawrence-Pietroni

Book here

This masterclass will be delivered by field experts to give leaders across Greater Manchester insight into the latest thinking and share the great work that is already taking place.

The masterclass are designed as part of the package of support to develop a community of leaders who together can help to achieve the Stronger Together ambition

The masterclass will support the GM leadership expectations of leaders to:
1. Deliver the GM Ambition.
2. Lead from place.
3. Take an asset based approach.
4. Understand impact.
5. Be democratically astute.
6. Act collaboratively.
7. Build trust.
8. Connect with people.
9. Focus on better outcomes

Who are the masterclasses aimed at?

The masterclasses are aimed at leaders across Greater Manchester from the public, private, voluntary and community sector. They are free to attend* and all we ask is that you have an interest in the topic and a commitment to share your learning across your team, organisation, system or place.

Read on to find out about each masterclass and about Myron and Chris…

Continue reading

Asset Based Approach

Taking an asset based approach – recognising and valuing the strengths of people and places, enabling them to build on these to overcome challenges and make the most of opportunities.

You don’t know what you need until you know what you have” – Dr John McKnight

Taking an asset based approach demands a fundamentally different mindset and relationship with our communities to that which traditional public services has taken.

Central to this new relationship is a belief and understanding that the communities and individuals we work with have potential, are resourceful and have substantial assets that they can draw on to support their aspirations; individually, organisationally and within those communities.

Asset-based practitioners have a different perspective to most other health and care professionals. Fundamentally they ask the question, “What makes us healthy?” Rather than, “What makes us ill?”

What is assets based development?

Cormac Russell gives an explanation of asset based community development.

Angela Blanchard’s TEDx talk about what can be achieved by believing in people and communities.

Why is this important?

It is worth having a look at the Marmot Review which says (amongst lots of other fascinating things):

“There needs to be a more systematic approach to engaging communities by Local Strategic Partnerships at both district and neighbourhood levels, moving beyond often routine, brief consultations to effective participation in which individuals and communities define the problems and develop community solutions.”

What actually is an asset based approach?

The Health Foundation gives a great review of the conceptual evidence and detail of recent case studies in its Head, Hands, Heart publication:

They define asset based approaches as:

  1. Reframing thinking, goals and outcomes
  2. Recognising the assets available to achieve the change
  3. Mobilising assets for a purpose
  4. Co-production of services and outcomes by professionals and citizens.

There are a few must read papers that outline the value of asset based approaches in the public sector

Who is already working like this?

Here are some examples of places already working with an asset based approach (if you believe your work should be included here just let us know!)

Demand management

Managing demand is critical to the sustainability of public services. Drawing on previous work by Collaborate and the Leadership Centre, this paper looks at some of the approaches to demand management in public services currently being practiced, their underpinning principles and where demand management could be headed next.

 The art of change making

A collection of theories, approaches, tools and techniques for understanding the complex interactions between people and organisations and how to intervene to create meaningful change. These are used by current practitioners in developing systems leadership:

More reading

So you want to find out a little bit more? These links should take you to some interesting places

Where are the conversations happening right now?

On Twitter a good place to start would be to search the #ABCD hashtag or to follow Cormac RussellJohn Wade and Angela Blanchard

On Facebook you might want to check out The Centre for Welfare Reform as a starting point.

If you have any resources that you think would be useful on here just let us know.

Builds Trust


Builds trust – Has a deeply held sense of purpose and is able to share power in a way that supports citizens and others to create the best conditions for people to thrive.

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”- Steven Covy

What’s trust got to do with it?

“Everything is based on trust” – David Horsager believes trust is the most important leadership quality…and his research says that every time trust increases in an organisation or a team then every other performance measure improves too!

Steven Covy talks about trust, or rather lack of it as a tax

When we have high levels of trust it is like having an organisational “dividend”, a performance multiplier that allows us to connect and communicate better, to have more positive interactions, to make decisions more easily and to move with incredible speed.

Without trust we have what amounts to a performance tax that we have to constantly pay. Every activity we undertake falls under the shadow of this tax, it slows us down, drains our energy, makes us work harder for no extra benefit.

We spend time putting tax paying systems in place rather than doing work (what percentage of our policies are in place because we don’t trust people?) and the people that work for us spend more time covering their backs and abdicating responsibility.

So how do we build trust as leaders?

It isn’t simple because trust is in the eye of the beholder, so we can try and exhibit all the right stuff and still not be trusted. It is also a complex construct that includes elements of relationships and character.

We can trust and yet not be trusted and vice versa. There are lots of models, some will speak more clearly to us than others.

Here’s a few to get you thinking:

5 aspects of trust

  • Openness – do you share information freely or do you keep some to yourself?
  • Honesty – are you authentic and do you act with integrity?
  • Reliability – Can you be counted on?
  • Competence – Do you have the skill and knowledge to do what you are doing?
  • Benevolence – Are you here for our interests or yours?

Brene Brown talks on the power of vulnerability.

The trusted Leader

Steven Covy, typically pragmatic, breaks down what a trusted leader should pay attention to even further:

  1. Talk Straight
  2. Demonstrate Respect
  3. Create Transparency
  4. Right Wrongs
  5. Show Loyalty
  6. Deliver Results
  7. Get Better
  8. Confront Reality
  9. Clarify Expectation
  10. Practice Accountability
  11. Listen First
  12. Keep Commitments
  13. Extend Trust

The 8 pillars of trust

David Horsager has his 8 Pillars of Trust

  1. Clarity
  2. Compassion
  3. Character
  4. Contribution
  5. Competence
  6. Connection
  7. Commitment
  8. Consistency

And there are many more models of trust and leadership, each can prompt personal inquiry and self exploration as to how we trust and how we are trusted.

Building trust in tough times

So what about the world beyond the public sector? David Sachs Co-founder and ex CEO of Yammer, recently took over as CEO at Zenefits. It’s probably as far from Public Sector as you can get and he took over at a bit of a troubled time.

His opening letter to the organisation is a really interesting approach to building trust during tough times:

Sachs does 3 things

  • He is really honest
  • He is clear about the culture and values he wants
  • He finds a clear purpose and meaning for the organisation to rally behind

How do great leaders inspire purpose?

Do you know why you do what you do? I’m sure you can tell me what you do, and probably how you go about it, but Simon Sinek pushes us further and reminds us that great leaders don’t just say, “I have a plan” they say, “I have a dream”. Having a clear purpose is inspiring and inspires purpose in others.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it!” – Simon Sinek

Further resources

Place Based Leadership

To lead with a real sense of place means throwing away our certainty, because truly working on creating value for a place doesn’t come with a project plan, a tool kit or a nice set of outcomes ready to be RAG rated and performance managed. It comes with a belief that there is potential in that place, that the place and community can flourish and thrive and that we may have a role in facilitating that. We must let go of any any sense that we are in control or in charge. To lead with a clear sense of place we cannot be heroic saviours but must be humble custodians, understanding the community and place we are part of, what drives it, what it values, what it loves, what it hopes for and we must tirelessly in the service of that hope and aspiration.

“Are we willing to be insecure as we explore what it means to be in this together?” – Margaret Wheatley

Continue reading

Changing Citizen State Relationships – Dr Henry Kippin

Those of us who work in public services talk quite often about the relationship between citizens and state. It sits at the heart of everything we do: it is the social contract that underpins social policy and public service delivery. Now, in response to a rapidly shifting set of social, economic and political demands, we need to change it. But what does that mean?

Citizen-state relationships are complex and varied. Sometimes they are transactional, and sometimes high-touch. Sometimes they are voluntary, and sometimes enforced. Think buying a tax disc versus treating a long-term condition; applying for housing versus going to prison. Some state-funded services we experience individually (like seeing a GP), and others we experience collectively (like going to school). Some are provided by the state itself, and some are contracted out to others (charities or businesses) to deliver.

My old boss Sir Andrew Foster used to argue that public services are the “cornerstone of a civilized society”. They are, at root, things we do for each other that we couldn’t do alone. And whether your preferred social model is the U.S. or Sweden, there is consensus between most of our political class that we need certain public services not only as a form of protection, but as a way of building the human capital that will underpin our future prosperity and growth.

As a public we experience what is sometimes called ‘cognitive dissonance’ in terms of our relationship with the state. Almost 80% of those surveyed by Ipsos MORI for Collaborate in 2015 (1,000 adults UK-wide) said they expect the state to play a role supporting them if things go wrong. Around three quarters of us think the state has a role ensuring a good job, a decent place to live and to keep living standards low. But as Ipsos MORI’s Ben Page famously argued, we also want “Swedish welfare with American taxes”. Only a small percentage (14%) feel any stake in shaping the services they receive, and over one third of people say their preferences are never listened to by public service providers.

So when we talk about changing the relationship between citizens and state, we are wading into a complex set of relationships that have evolved over a long time, and upon which multiple dependencies and assumptions rest. So where do we start?

First, lets see this as a journey. William Beveridge’s visionary 1942 blueprint for the welfare state has endured, and for good reason. But even he was the first to note that, at worst, it unhelpfully positioned citizens as passive recipients of services designed and delivered by the state. By the 1980s, politicians were pushing back at this assumption. The rise of New Public Management and the emergence of quasi-markets in public services started to position the citizen as something else – a consumer. But this, too, is a very one-dimensional version of what we are.

In response, the idea of the citizen as ‘co-producer’ has slowly emerged (though with roots in Elinor Ostrom’s academic work during the 1970s). This is based on a simple premise: that value is created by a relationship – the interaction between the service and the user. To improve outcomes, both sides of this relationship need to be working well. We are still barely scratching the surface with this vision of ‘citizen as co-producer’ in public services. Yet the context we are in demands a further evolution still. As the size and scope of the state shrinks, citizens are being asked to do more for themselves – to run libraries, look after public space, care for ourselves and each other much more, and to take responsibility for many of the social outcomes that the state originally took upon itself to deliver.

Changing the citizen-state relationship is, to me, about re-dressing an imbalance in the way public services work – not about shunting more social risk on to communities. Our current system is unsustainable, as any cursory look at demographic or need-related demand will tell us. Public spending remains loaded towards acute interventions that address symptom and not cause. And as the Institute for Government has recently noted, we have failed to turn rhetoric into reality and join-up local public services in a way that fits with the lives of citizens over the needs of institutions.

A more active role for citizens is critical because meeting the future challenges we face is impossible without building a broader movement for reform that goes beyond public sector ingenuity. For instance, Greater Manchester’s health and social care reform programme is premised on a tangible shift in the relationship between citizen and state. Community resilience, prevention, social movement thinking and demand management all require a degree of behaviour change and risk sharing that needs both cross-sector engagement and a role for citizens that goes beyond being a grateful recipient of more integrated services.

It is critical that leaders in GM and beyond start to develop the building blocks for this new way of working. This is less about nudging and more about readiness. System change on a scale this profound doesn’t happen by accident, so building readiness for deep citizen engagement, real collaborative commissioning, asset-based working and co-production is vital. At Collaborate our work starts with understanding preconditions – the things that need to be in place for collaborative relationships across the sectors (and with citizens) to work. They are often not.

Changing the citizen-state relationship is, ultimately, about power. That is why real change is so hard to effect, and why even great engagement and dialogue often fails to influence the behaviour of commissioners and providers. Yet Greater Manchester has an opportunity. We are already seeing an openness to new ways of thinking about the role of citizens and communities, and the emergence of a policy and legislative framework that can support it. As the excitement of devolution becomes the reality of delivery, it is vital that we live up to this potential.

Dr Henry Kippin is Executive Director of Collaborate