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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Early evening today I caught up with the brilliant Morgan and Jenny. I initially met Morgan through my involvement early on in OneTeamGov and she’s one of the most impressive civil servants I’ve ever met. Jenny I’d only known through Twitter (until today!) but we’d been trying to meet — and now that they’re both working together it was a reason to meet as a three.

They are developing a really interesting new organisation about public sector leadership, linked to government, which I won’t go in to as they will be announcing more soon. I did think though that having done a bit of a download to them about who (from my vantage point) is doing what, where, in the fields of “systems leadership” or “collective leadership” (or maybe more simply — developing leaders for the future) it could be useful to write it up for others. Especially as I gave a very similar download to someone from Acumen last week as they scope out the prospects of setting up some social sector leadership programmes here in the UK.

I won’t have remembered everyone who is creating good and relevant content, but my download or scan of the (UK) field included the following —

Graham Leicester at the International Futures Forum — they’ve just prototyped a “Policy-maker of the Future” programme with my Point People colleague Cat Drew. As well as another programme for leaders “of tomorrow.”

Anna Randle and the team at Collaborate have been running a Systems Leadership programme with local government Chief Execs. I love Anna’s post about it here.

Jennie Winhall (another Point Person) and Charlie Leadbetter and the Alt/Now programme they initially developed in Banff, and are now delivering it in the UK. Jennie is also doing some interesting work linking up systems innovation and research in her new role at the Rockwool Foundation.

(Dr!) Anna Birney and her team at the School for Systems Change. Anna has also written a practical book on cultivating systems practice.

The brilliant DRIFT — The Transitions Institute who do research on and for institutional transitions.

Andrea Coleman at Bloomberg Philanthropies. One of the things Andrea does is lead on their Government Innovation programme which includes this City Leadership programme in partnership with Harvard.

Jennie McShannon (another Point Person!) and her team at Tavistock Consulting.

Charlotte Miller and Ayeisha Thomas-Smith at NEON who are both experts in Movement Building. And Charlotte coaches leaders (and develops materials and content for them) through the Org Builders programme.

The Finance Innovation Lab team — I had breakfast with Marloes today — and learnt about some of the new tools and content they’ve been developing around systems change and values-driven leadership.

Nesta’s States of Change programme (which I’m excited to be joining as a Faculty member).

The Human Systems Dynamic Institute, introduced to me by the brilliant Laura Billings.

Rowan Conway and the work she is developing in partnership with the Institute of Innovation and Public Purpose around public sector entrepreneurship.

And some individuals like Orit Gal and her work in complexity and social acupuncture. Suncica Getter and the ORSC community. The Point People’s Systems Canvas that Cat and Jennie have been using with the Skoll Foundation, and Sam Rye and all the materials he developed for his Phd.

Overseas I’d look at the work people like Millie, Giulio and Frances Westley are doing.

The conversation with Jenny and Morgan ended up as a discussion about public attitudes towards leaders, and wondering what people want from such senior public figures.

How do we want them to behave, to act, to be? And if we introduce leaders to new ways of thinking and ask them to embody new ways of being, then how might we also need to shift public expectations so the conditions are more favourable for that? How can we make the public more aware of the tradeoffs that leaders have to make?

I ended the evening having dinner with (the ever-inspiring) Alastair Parvin where amongst many other things, we talked about the need for some new and different leadership. I’m really excited to see what Jenny, Morgan and the wider team create.

I did write a blog about different kinds of leadership here “The difference between Networked Leadership, Systems Leadership and Digital Leadership ?”

Written by

Senior Head, UK Portfolio at The National Lottery Community Fund & Co-founder of the Point People. Previously Strategic Design Director at Doteveryone.

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