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16th February 2018

Building Leadership: An NHS Case Study

Future Leaders Programme for NHS Finance, Informatics and Procurement Networks

Challenge

Following the successful delivery and positive evaluation of the programme in 2014/15, Impact were recommissioned to deliver a second programme of workshops in 2016 to support a new cohort through the Future Leaders Programme. The programme was designed to help members of the NHS North West Finance, Informatics and Procurement networks develop their leadership skills and realise their full potential.

Action

22 members were interviewed and selected to join the second cohort – which consisted of some truly engaged and enthusiastic people. The masterclasses were part of a broader offer including coaching and action learning sets that formed the overall Future Leaders Programme. We collaborated with other providers to offer a seamless programme, including co-facilitation with the Programme Lead.

We designed and facilitated the following workshops:
• Personal Leadership Impact
• Thinking Differently
• Engaging Teams
• Leading Change
• Collaboration, Conflict Resolution and Negotiation
• Accountability, Power and Politics

A celebration event was held in November 2017 at the end of the programme, where delegates shared their learning and reflections over the 18 month programme.

Outcomes

Delegates enjoyed the balance of theory-based workshops, masterclasses and guest speakers that the wider programme offered, which catered for different learning styles. Feedback indicated that the Thinking Differently workshop, designed to apply different techniques for thinking creatively and solving problems was particularly helpful. Many delegates commented that they have used the practical tools and techniques immediately with their teams to solve problems. Workshops which helped them to understand their personal leadership style including how to build effective working relationships, were also reported as very useful in their leadership development journey.

Almost everyone who completed the programme reported that they had either been promoted (internally or moved organisation) to a higher grade or had their portfolio expanded. Many attributed this, at least in part, to undertaking the programme.

Our learning from the feedback that was gathered during the evaluation of the programme was that delegates would have liked even more integration of theory and practical application across the workshops and masterclasses offered by the wider programme. In particular, suggestions to combine theory led workshops with guest speakers who shared their real-life experience, in order to bring leadership concepts to life in an inspirational and motivational way, were particularly welcomed.

Comments from delegates:

“I wasn’t looking forward to the session on ‘Creative Thinking’ as I am naturally creative. However, this was one of my most enjoyable and rewarding sessions of the entire course. I found the practical theories of generating ideas e.g. A-Z extremely useful. I have used this model in several work settings both individually and as part of leading a team.”

“I have learned that I do enjoy applying theoretical techniques in a practical setting. Previously I might have thought that they’re “not for me” or too abstract to apply in a real life setting.”

“Leadership Style and Emotionally Intelligent Leadership – I’ve used this on a regular basis when having difficult meetings to recognise that any issues are likely coming from different leadership styles rather than an underlying problem. As a result of me recognising this it’s now easier for me to adapt my behaviours to work towards a successful outcome and minimise conflict.”