Essential Skills for Leading Change Repository

Introductory Learning Material

Programme Overview

This short video introduces the programme overall, explaining the purpose, giving an overview of the full curriculum, explaining how the peer-led sessions will work and setting out how we will learn together.

Theme A: The foundations of systems leadership

This theme is about exploring what it means to think through a systems lens, and to understand the particular system you are trying to influence; the mindsets and approaches suited to exercising leadership in this context; and your role in leading change.

Module 1  – Thinking in systems video

This module lays the foundations for system leadership. It asks: What are systems? What is systems change? How should we engage with complex challenges? What do we mean by systems leadership? We are joined by Jason Fergus, Director of Active Essex, about why is increasing levels of physical activity a system challenge, and the role he and his team have played in addressing it in Essex.

Module 2 – Your role in leading change video

This module is to enable you to gain a deeper understanding of your role within the system you are seeking to change. It asks: What is the difference between the persons you are and the role you play? How does your role affect how you act? How does your role give you authority you can use to exercise leadership? And how can you exercise leadership beyond your authority? We are joined by Jo Turton, Chief Fire Officer for Essex, who shares her insights about how she has combined the formal authority she was given through her title with the informal authority she has built by modelling the values she believes in.

Additional Resources

Module 3 – Understanding your system

This module helps you to gain an understanding of the system you are seeking to change. It asks: What do I need to know about the system to be ready to think about action? How can I broaden my view of the system? What types of patterns and trends am I looking for? How can I work out where to focus? And how much mapping is enough mapping? We are joined by Damien Smith and George Cull, both heads of development at North Yorkshire Sport. They share insights about how they have acted beyond their authority to create change across a complex local system, focusing on the importance of strengthening relationships and cultivating advocates for their work.

Chris Boardman compares cycling in Holland and Britain

Theme B: Becoming a system activist

This theme is about developing the skills and behaviours you need to become more effective in creating systemic change.