Go Back New Public Leadership | A masterclass with Jeremy Heimans

In a masterclass with Jeremy Heimans, CEO of Purpose and co-author of New Power, senior leaders across the North West explored strategies to blend old and new power values.

On Thursday 4th July, leaders from across the system attended a New Public Leadership masterclass organised by the Collaborative Masterclass group, with partners Mersey Internal Audit Agency (MIAA) and Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA). Watch this short event film, featuring highlights from the day.

Jeremy began with the choices we have on how to exercise power as an individual or as an organisation, in the new world. The masterclass explored two ways to think about power and the building blocks of old and new power.

Using the example of Tetris vs. Minecraft; blocks are the units of both games. Tetris is a ‘top-down’ model where the player has no control over the blocks and play is limited, with fixed elements that cannot be influenced. Minecraft is a mass-participation, collaborative world built by many using blocks, from the bottom up. Players learn by example, essentially teaching a new generation about the building block of this world.

Delegates were introduced to the concept of currency and current when exploring old and new power. In his next scenario, Jeremy shared how Harvey Weinstein’s power acted as currency to preserve his place as the top of the hierarchy, to reward and to punish. Compare this to the power of the #metoo movement, which acts like a current. No one can hoard or control the direction of #metoo, the power is made by many and there is no single leader.

However using examples in healthcare, there was recognition of where there is no doubt we need old power, "we don’t want surgery to be crowdsourced". And in an emergency, there isn’t the luxury of time for sourcing collaborative input.

Jeremy shares examples of when new power and old power values clash. And how those who protect their expertise are confronted by new power. Understanding how to blend new power thinking with traditional old power hierarchy and expertise is the key. Jeremy challenged leaders to explore strategies of when and where to use new power to mobilise the least powerful, from compliance to participation, and achieve transformational change.

New Power Compass

Using the ‘New Power Compass’, leaders were asked to plot where they are now, and where they would like to be, as an individual and on behalf of their organisation – a key activity in understanding the shift to a new power mind-set.

Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 13.56.38.gif

Courtesy of Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms


New Power Leadership Framework

Leaders were asked to discuss what changes they would like to make to their own leadership approach to shift towards new power values. Next, three tangible actions or behavioural changes they commit to, to shift their leadership approach and enable a new power dynamic when back in the workplace.

https://www.thegeniusworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/new-power-leader.jpgCourtesy of Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms.

Jeremy also explored the dynamics of a team and the implications of what this learning means in the new world and for the future of public leadership. He believes the key leadership skills in the 21st century are to identify and invest in the ‘solution seekers’ who are constantly working to find solutions to problems, the ‘shapeshifters’ who are symbols of change, the ‘bridges’ who practically combine old and new power and the ‘super participators’ who are the collaborators. 



Leaders are urged to take the frameworks back to your teams to guide the conversations - where do fit and where do you want to be in five years? Become your own practitioners in new power thinking.



  • TED Talk, 2014 | What new power looks like with Jeremy Heimans. Watch here
  • Talks at Google, 2018 | Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms on New Power. Watch here
  • NHS NWLA, 2018 | Jeremy Heimans keynote at the Festival of Leadership 2018. Watch here 
  • Harvard Business Review, 2014 | Understanding New Power, by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms.
  • Read here
  • The Guardian, 2018 | Interview with Jeremy Heimans. Read here
  • This is New Power, visit the website here

Watch this short event film featuring an interview with Jeremy Heimans.

Find out more about the North West Masterclass Collaborative and upcoming events here.

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