Focus on better outcomes

Leading for Innovation and Creativity Workshop

A Leading GM Workshop

Truly inspirational and a great kick up backside for those of us who too often seem to coast along in our comfort zones! Excellent techniques identified on how to engage with front line staff and get them thinking outside of “the box” – Leading for Innovation and Creativity Workshop delegate

On 22 September Rene Barrett facilitated a new Leading GM Workshop on Leading for Innovation and Creativity. Held at The Studio Manchester, Rene guided 20 GM leaders through a range of theories and techniques designed to inspire innovation and creativity in their work and organisations, thereby fostering an environment in which both innovation and creativity can flourish. This workshop not only explored theories, but also provided our GM leaders with the opportunity to test creative thinking techniques on real issues in GM. Through this activity, some really innovative ideas on how to respond to these challenges were identified.

See some moments from the Leading for Innovation and Creativity Workshop:



Click here to access the Leading for Innovation and Creativity Workshop slides.

Keep an eye on the Leading GM website for news on future Leading GM Workshops, as well as on the @LeadingGM twitter account. If you are interested in attending another session of the Leading for Innovation and Creativity Workshop, or if you’d like to see Leading GM Workshops on any other topics, let us know by clicking here. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the Leading GM Leadership Programme Open House on 17 October!


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: 

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Images from Paolo Feroleto:

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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:
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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
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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:

Understanding Impact

“Uncertainty is a sign of humility, and humility is just the ability or the willingness to learn.” – Charlie Sheen

Who would have thought that Charlie Sheen had it right? Leading and focusing on getting better outcomes in complex systems is a huge challenge and if we are going to do it well we will have to become much more comfortable with the humility of not knowing the answers and a willingness to learn.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them'” – Einstein

Our default control centre approach serves us well when faced with both simple and complicated challenges, complicated systems have experts and blueprints and plans and algorithms. Houston was the control centre that put a man on the moon, the Consultant Surgeon has expert control over the brain surgery. The work can be controlled, measured, monitored, managed.

Leadership in complexity is different though, it has less certainty, and is focused on creating the conditions for emergence to happen

  • Disequilibrium state (edge of chaos)
  • Amplifying actions
  • Self organisation and recombination
  • Stabilising feedback

It focuses on the dynamic interactions between all individuals, explaining how those interactions can produce emergent outcomes.

Complex systems also have multiple connected parts but the control centre is ill equipped for the web-like interface of interdependencies that are constantly adapting to their turbulent surroundings. Of all places, the Washington Post gives a neat simple explanation of the difference between complicated and complex:

‘But we just need to do a bit more of that control centre stuff’, I hear you say…well it’s not that simple…have a quick look at a demonstration of a complex system in action.

On the face of it the group made the task look relatively easy, but the question at the end was great…”What if we had put someone in charge?” “What if we had tried to lead this? To direct it? To monitor distance? To measure performance?”

What if the group were less compliant? If one member was feeling rebellious, or put out, or selfish? What would happen if one part of the system didn’t play along and did their own thing? What happens when one of the bits of the system has to move?

More control, more management, more measurement won’t get us our system outcomes in this complex system, but what will?

Leading complex systems means creating the right conditions and environment for the movement to happen and for the system to continually flourish by doing these things:

  1. Challenge habits and rituals
  2. Increase information flow
  3. Issue unconventional challenges
  4. Connect to core purpose
  5. Ask “what if…?”
  6. Promote contentions
  7. Understand you are a custodian, not in control
  8. Foster diversity
  9. Facilitate connections & conversations in the system
  10. Look for emergent unbidden patterns
  11. Have audacious ambition

Commissioning for outcomes

This is all great in theory but how do we actually put some of this into action? Richard Selwyn’s Leadership Handbook connects the theoretical to the practical and challenges us to behave radically differently.

“Outcomes & Efficiency is a must for all of those…who are trying to move beyond talking about the need for radical change to actually doing something about it.”  – Mark Rogers, Chief Executive of Solihull Council,

Whose impact, whose outcomes?

The Health Foundation also challenges us to collaborate and co-produce with our communities, facilitating the emergence of outcomes from the dialogue we engage in with the community.

And it’s not just in the public sector that collaboration and connection are the powerful drivers behind change, Seth Godin has some great ideas about how our ability to connect to communities (or Tribes as he calls them) in our disconnected age can lead to social change. He calls on us to:

  1. Tell a story
  2. Connect a tribe
  3. Lead a movement
  4. Make a change

What else should I read?

Where is the conversation happening?

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

Integrated Services in Wigan

wigan-dealWigan have already shared a great deal of their stories about The Deal and whilst these documents could sit with the deal they can also stand alone as insights into the  place based integration work that they are undertaking.

We have a detailed presentation from Stuart Cowley outlining how they are working together to deliver a financially sustainable local health & care economy and an interesting paper detailing innovative improvement work planning and delivering a perfect week.