One way of understanding system leadership is that of working beyond organisational boundaries on challenges of mutual concern that cannot be solved by any one person or institution. The system is no longer focused on operating as sole organisations and calls for a collaborative approach across a variety of new boundaries. We recognise the complexity of these challenges upon the system and ask of leaders across the health and care system to embody future focused, inclusive leadership qualities.
System leadership emphasises particular leadership qualities required to effectively work across boundaries with diverse groups of people, patients, citizens and staff. It involves leaders working in a system and, at the same time, acting as change agents within that system to improve its overall performance, focused on improving the health of the local population. It should not be underestimated how huge the challenge of integrated health and care is, nor the opportunities that it brings in encouraging an inclusive approach with system-wide engagement.
The need for greater partnership working in a multi-agency approach has been developed primarily within the NHS, though it is essential that other agencies (including public, private and third sector bodies) are included. This is of particular importance when creating the leadership climate and culture that lay the foundations for transformation across networks of organisations and health and care systems. The approach must be inclusive of all stakeholders when considering local communities and the wider determinants of health.
We work with our members and the wider system to recognise who the right people are, identify priorities, in what place and for what purpose, bringing clarity to the planned intervention or offer.
Through the development and implementation of sustainability and transformation plans (STPs), local systems will be driven towards more collaborative, diverse, inclusive, outcome focused approaches whilst maintaining quality, compassion, financial balance and effective individual performance. Such is the nature of the transformation ahead of us, it is naïve to believe that any one organisational will achieve it without the help and support of others. Meeting such ambitions will demand a different kind of leadership.
“We have far more in common than that divides us”
There are four domains which have been identified that create the conditions for good system leadership:
- Individual effectiveness: resilience of individuals and their roles in the organisations and the system. Individuals aim to develop new behaviours and ways of working that promote a collaborative approach
- Relationships and connectivity: creating the right kind of relationships with communities and partners with people coming together for a purpose. Place based system, service or pathway led and aiming to develop consistency of approach or to tackle complex issues collectively
- Innovation and improvement: creating new ways of thinking, experimentation and discovery. Applying improvement methodologies, testing, learning, spreading and adopting better ways of doing things
- Learning and capacity building: creating a learning system with a culture of transparency to share and enable the awareness of best practice and development of common understanding
Leadership Programme for Senior Leaders in Federated Practices
Co-designed with input from local CCG and GP Federation leaders, this innovative leadership developm...
Festival of Leadership
A unique annual event providing an immersive space for our members to connect, celebrate and be insp...
The North Regional Talent Board
Regional Talent Boards (RTBs) were established in 2017 to develop and improve leadership c...
Videos & Podcasts
Festival of Leadership 2019 | Keynote Jaz Ampaw-Farr
Watch the keynote, Jaz Ampaw-Farr, at the NHS NWLA Festival of Leadership 2019. Jaz is...
Festival of Leadership 2019 | Highlights
Highlights from our Festival of Leadership 2019 at Aintree Racecourse. The Festival of...
Toolkits & Documents
System Leadership: Collaborative co-creation to explore System Leadership Behaviours for the future of the public sector
News & Blogs
Leadership for Empowered Communities and Personalised Care Programme – recruiting now!
The highly acclaimed national Leadership for Empowered Communities and Personalised Care Programme (...
Developing a 'System Mind-set' to Build a Culture of Innovation and Improvement | A Masterclass with Matthew Syed
In March 2019, working collaboratively with Mersey Internal Audit Agency (MIAA), Advancing Quality A...
System leadership for emerging leaders
Melissa Surgey, Managing Consultant at the NHS Transformation Unit and North West GMTS alumna,...