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What are the leadership behaviours and skills required for System Leaders across the Public Sector?

Recognising the essential role of strong system leadership in delivering integrated, place-based services across the public sector, the NHS North West Leadership Academy (NHS NWLA) is currently collaborating with Impact, Pace and Aspire to understand the key behaviours and skills needed from our future system leaders.

The thirteen behavioural themes for system leadership presented below have emerged from a recent cross-sector stakeholder event. We are keen to gather a broad range of views from citizens, colleagues and communities to build a picture of what system leadership behaviours and skills are required in the future public sector.

To model the behaviour of ‘collaboration and co-creation’ please join the discussions by voting and commenting on these themes, adding in anything we might have missed, and sharing this page across your networks. If you would like to continue the conversation on social media, please tweet us @nhsnwla #transformtalent.

Thank you for your participation.


saved

The tricision was completed. Here is the result:

Authenticity
Demonstrating openness, honesty and real-self
 
Learning & Transformation key attribute
2
 
Developing relationships through building trust with system leaders is a key foundation to influe... more
by Triona Buckley
13
 
I get this and my point is more of an implication rather than an argument against... Does this as... more
by Daniel
4
 
Good point Daniel about the difference of knowing or ignorance around self. Whose responsibility ... more
by Paula Whylie
1
 
This is about skills and behaviours. I think it needs re-working to prevent circular discussions ... more
by Matt Saunders
1
 
Agree with Matt's point about avoiding rehashing age-old conversations on this. How do we truly e... more
 
Totally agree with this point and one that I personally feel is at the heart of true leadership. ... more
by Julie-Ann Bowden
50

Karen Shawhan, Sharon Adams, Mark and 47 more

Further ideas

Ideas
Pros and cons
 
Votes
Collaboration/Co-Creation
by NHS NWLA
Leaders who are inclusive, putting people before organisations, bringing people together and lear... more
 
Being inclusive requires curousity, self-awareness and purpose that enables individuals to both a... more
by Emma Dawkins
7
 
Inclusive leaders work across difference to build more inclusive cultures that recognise power an... more
by Emma Dawkins
6
 
Understand the direction of travel . Equality & Equity. Willing to speak up for inclusion/highlig... more
1
 
Collaboration across organisations is essential (e.g. GM devolution) this idea of collaboration t... more
by Kirsty Hood
3
 
One paper put it really well having a mindset that understands "if I lose, we win" and being able... more
by Triona Buckley
3
 
Inclusive leadership critical in times of largescale transformational change. Valuing individual ... more
by Safina
1
 
Important for Leaders to ensure co-production with patients and carers is not tokenistic and that... more
by Merry
 
How do we tackle/remove those who refuse to collaborate and move into the "new world" of system w... more
 
We need emphatic leaders who can work within ambiguous landscapes where multiple cultures may col... more
by Rebecca Murphy
2
 
In relation to second point, sometimes it is enough or even necessary to accept the benefit to th... more
by Mark
44

Harris, Timothy, Martin Sheridan and 41 more

Relationships & Advocacy
by NHS NWLA
Leaders who build relationships and engage with others across the system, person-focused, recogni... more
 
It is also important to think about the network aspect of this - both formal and informal spaces ... more
2
 
Reflecting on what i have heard recently (m heffernan / j stodd) and what has worked for me - the... more
by Peta Stross
4
 
Relationships take time ...willingness to wait to curate
1
 
Relationships are becoming more important as organisations and infrastructure becomes more complex
by Laura Beresford
2
 
Much of the available literature around systems and place based leadership points to the overarch... more
by Triona Buckley
1
 
It is important that those leaders who are effective at building relationships are mindful and fo... more
by Triona Buckley
1
 
Empathy is an important attribute in relationship and partnership building, although I would pref... more
by Mike Leaf
1
 
Equality and diversity means recognising that others may have difficulty, or a cognitive disabili... more
 
Need to encourage system wide relationship building at all levels, not just senior leaderships
 
Reasonable adjustments to enable people to achieve their full potential at work is very important... more
by Lynne Wyre
 
The ability to build effective relationships with other partner agencies is critical in order to ... more
by Bill McMahon
43

Karen Shawhan, Sharon Adams, Harris and 40 more

Ownership & Accountability
by NHS NWLA
Leaders who are accountable and give others the power to make decisions, rather than being defens... more
 
I think its essential that leaders create an environment where people can grow, develop and learn... more
by Nadia Baig
1
 
Taking responsibility for failures as well as successes creates learning opportunities and can ea... more
by Laura Beresford
 
This is crucial. We will never change the culture of 'hierarchy' and stop some of the 'bullying' ... more
by Sally
 
There's an element of maturity and confidence for a leader to let go of control and facilitate ot... more
by Phillip Chalmers
1
 
This really needs to come top down (as in nationally) to drive behaviour change. As long as we ar... more
34

Sue Jones, Sharon Adams, Mark and 31 more

Brave/Courageous
by NHS NWLA
Leaders who challenge, take calculated risks to try something new, accept failure and change.
 
This is so important when working in a complex adaptive system and allows leaders to stay in the ... more
by Emma Dawkins
1
 
Courage is key we will not move forward unless we are willing to take some brave steps. Resilienc... more
by Helen
3
 
I think it is important to cross boundaries, organisational, professional and virtual, therefore ... more
by Alison
2
 
Given the absolute need for system leaders to challenge the way things have always been done they... more
by Triona Buckley
2
 
Yes I agree that system leaders need to be able to take risks and make difficult decisions. They ... more
by Taravandana Lupson
 
NHS leaders face impossible contradictions, but I don't think I have ever heard one say "we are n... more
by Carla Burns
1
 
Senior leaders need to empower all staff to be brave, not just a select few
 
In order to be courageous org cultures and systems need to role model it! Its a paradox when regu... more
by Steve Keyes
 
Leaders need to be able to see failure as a means of improving services to the public. Constant ... more
by Bill McMahon
 
I would add tenacity to this too. Systems working involves difficult conversations, we need to wo... more
by Suzanne Hamilton
33

Sharon Gruber, Timothy, Suzanne Hamilton and 30 more

Leading Others/Enable Others
by NHS NWLA
Leaders who empower and support others and actively listen to others, showing compassion rather t... more
 
Moving towards Compassionate Leadership within an organisation further supports authenticity, ope... more
2
 
In order to do things differently and build on the assets within any system enabling others to le... more
by Triona Buckley
 
I think a lot more work needs to be done on building the capacity and capability of leaders to re... more
by Taravandana Lupson
 
Agree this is important. The art of true leadership is not to resort to "command and control" whe... more
by Lynne Wyre
1
 
More than ever we need compassion for ourselves and others
by Rebecca Murphy Wigan ICO
1
 
A key trait of a good leader
by Bill McMahon
 
...is to cede their perceived 'power' - to let go and support others to achieve. This is particul... more
by Sue Jones
31

Sue Jones, Sharon Adams, Sharon Gruber and 28 more

System Influence
by NHS NWLA
Leaders who get rid of boundaries and make connections across the system and are visible in the c... more
 
Working across boundaries, focusing on 'doing the right thing' and systematicaly building connect... more
by Peta Stross
2
 
Leaders need to be visible to their staff, their partners and the community and able to build eff... more
by Bill McMahon
30

Mark, Harris, wendy burton and 27 more

Builds Trust
by NHS NWLA
Leaders who create the conditions for a trusting environment, by showing others how and why decis... more
 
This is crucial in the current public sector environment, and needs vulnerability and authenticit... more
2
 
Empathy is an important quality in building trust
by Mike Leaf
 
Developing trust is crucial for a number of reasons. without it - we stifle any innovation
by Sally
 
Communicating why decisions are made no matter how difficult is core to a leaders integrity
by Rebecca Murphy, Wigan ICO
28

Sharon Gruber, Karen, Jasmine Clarke and 25 more

Personal Leadership
by NHS NWLA
Leaders who are self-aware, show honesty, are willing to admit to mistakes and reflect on and lea... more
 
Vital for self development and to building collaborative, constructive relationships, for me
by Peta Stross
1
 
If a leader cannot do this, or hides from this -they are not a leader, no matter what grand title... more
by Phillip Chalmers
 
This is essential and requires long term commitment and investment in personal development and aw... more
by Taravandana Lupson
 
A learning organisation led by able and self-reflective leaders is critical to building strong te... more
by Bill McMahon
27

Mark, Harris, wendy burton and 24 more

Visionary & Shared Direction
by NHS NWLA
Leaders who create space to think about change, share knowledge and a common vision with others.
 
Sharing knowledge and experience and developing a shared vision are key all part of leading by ex... more
by Nadia Baig
2
 
we know this is a key factor to success evidenced by NH NWLA recent and on going strength based c... more
by Kay WC
 
The ability to provide clarity, being clear to staff and other stakeholders about the 'what' (vi... more
by Elizabeth Bradbury
27

Mark, Harris, Timothy and 24 more

Doing Things Differently/Trying Something New
by NHS NWLA
Leaders are who creative, open to new ideas, feel comfortable with uncertainty and are not afraid... more
 
I think there is something important in this which is linked to ownership and accountability; we... more
by Peta Stross
4
 
I agree with Peta Stross and would add that it is also extremely important to have the support of... more
by Debbie Massey
1
 
I am not sure whether this could be re-phrased to focus more clearly on something like "welcoming... more
by Triona Buckley
1
 
If I could vote 100 times for this I would. System change will not occur without this.
 
I would support Triona's point and as with a number of the ideas there is a great deal of 'cross ... more
by Sue Jones
16

Sharon Gruber, Bill McMahon, Karen and 13 more

Community/Holistic Thinking
by NHS NWLA
Leaders who take a strengths-based approach and who involve, empower and seek to understand the c... more
 
Taking asset based approaches, not taking ownership of things that belong to communities and citi... more
2
 
Leaders often miss a golden opportunity in working with community/third sector groups. Its foolis... more
by Merry Leslee
15

Harris, Andrew Spooner, Jasmine Clarke and 12 more

Knowing your team
by Alan Shaw
Know that each member of your team is different. Whilst they may need to have a common goal - how... more
 
Important to understand personalities, preferences amongst teams. There are some great models for... more
by Lynne Wyre
1
15

Timothy, rosalie, Jacqui Baines and 12 more

Mind-set
by NHS NWLA
Leaders who remain curious and open-minded to change, thriving in chaos, inspiring others and sho... more
 
I struggle a bit with the idea of thriving chaos (i think because we have too many operational ma... more
by Peta Stross
4
 
Growth mindset and appreciate Chaos as a theory for transformation
by Gilly lee
1
 
Is chaos is right word 'behaviour is so unpredictable as to appear random'? or do we mean ambigui... more
by Daniel
1
 
population focus
 
Thriving in chaos might work in a fast-growing software company or advertising agency but not so ... more
by Peter Munday
 
Might an alternative way to frame this be the ability of system leader's to juggle a focus on ra... more
by Elizabeth Bradbury
 
Remaining open-minded in terms of change management and being a flexible, agile leader is critica... more
by Bill McMahon (UCLan)
14

Sharon Adams, wendy burton, Bill McMahon (UCLan) and 11 more

Delivery
by NHS NWLA
Leaders who take action and translate visions into reality, using resources wisely and using an e... more
 
I think there are a three separate things here: 1) Translation is an essential skill for lead... more
by Daniel
12

Victoria Shore, Gill Rose, Hilary Baker and 9 more

Personal resilience
by Triona Buckley
In the face of increasing complex and ambiguous ways of working outside of traditional hierarchie... more
 
If we cant look after our selves how can we look out for others
by Kay WC
 
This is increasingly vital. Leaders are having to make difficult decisions and potentially be cas... more
by Mark Drury
1
 
Essential but it doesn't mean stiff upper lip or complaining that people are resistant to change.... more
by Taravandana Lupson
2
 
Absolutely essential skill for NHS Leaders - I have seen too many decisions made or people treate... more
by Carla Burns
 
It is also about team resilience. There is an increasing evidence base of the impact of team resi... more
by Wyn Jones
11

Karen Shawhan, Mark, wendy burton and 8 more

Calmness in the storm
by Optima-life
I like to think that the 21st Century leader is the eye of the hurricane that is modern day work... more
 
To lead by example I think providing calm is key, supporting others to think about how they can u... more
by Nadia Baig
2
 
Able to be comfortable with Ambiguity and behave and communicate in a way that reassures those w... more
by Kay WC
 
I'd connect this to personal resilience also - calm in a storm certainly but with the outcome bei... more
by Mark Wilkinson
 
As long as the calm isn't actually emotion coldness or alienation. Mindfulness and awareness of s... more
by Taravandana Lupson
 
We need more than calm leaders. They need insight into the reasons for the storm Ines and a metho... more
by Andrew Spooner
1
10

Mark, wendy burton, rosalie and 7 more

Welcoming\tolerant of failure as an opportunity to learn
by Triona Buckley
Unless we engender a culture that to "fail" is okay as long as we learn from it, people will not ... more
 
one of the complexities of integration and systems leadership is the conflicting demands of diffe... more
by Triona Buckley
2
 
This sounds laudable but the NHS works on the basis that every plan must succeed, no harm must be... more
by Mark Dury
 
Should talk about "avoidable/unavoidable" failure - was everything done that should have been don... more
9

Bill McMahon, meryl cuzak, Jacqui Baines and 6 more

Empathetic
 
Playing devils advocate - there is not a lot of evidence that empathising with service users impr... more
by Anon
2
 
Empathy is crucial in the development of partnerships, relationships and collaborations, and is c... more
by Mike Leaf
1
 
Walk a mile in my shoes, would you want this care, treatment, attitude
by Lynne Wyre
1
8

Bill McMahon, Claire Roberts, Rebecca Murphy Wigan ICO and 5 more

Being Bold, brave, getting out of organisational/sector silo thinking/think across whole system, doing the right thing for your communities and the people you are serving and be prepared to continually challenge existing barriers that have historically hampered this.
by Grenville Page
 
As a lead clinician for I &D it is important to engage with local communities and citizens to und... more
by Lynne Wyre
 
If we want real leadership and change with integrated care, then everyone who is part of that mus... more
by Oliver Rackham
 
Courage to tackle really knotty problems, to try new things and to take personal or group risks i... more
by Elizabeth Bradbury
 
A prerequisite to good leadership is connecting to the people you are their to serve.
by Rebecca Murphy Wigan ICO
 
Leaders need to drive innovation within and outside their organisation and be bold in terms of br... more
by Bill McMahon
7

Mark, Bill McMahon, Claire Roberts and 4 more

Compassion towards your team members will increase team effectiveness and work engagement through which will positively impact on patient care and the culture of the Organisation. Compassion needs to role modelled throughout an Organisation.
by Lucy T
 
I agree. And this includes compassion towards oneself and role modelling this to team.
by Taravandana Lupson
 
If there was one thing I could change in NHS organisations it would be for leaders to routinely s... more
by Bethany
1
 
I'd suggest re-phrasing this as compassion at all levels of the system rather than just at organi... more
by Elizabeth Bradbury
6

wendy burton, rosalie, Tina Daniels and 3 more

Leadership which places public candour over institutional reputation management. The need for this was highligted by Glenfel Tower events and the NHS Fransic Report into Mid Staffs Hospital events
by Dominic Harrison
 
I think this would slot nicely in a category on professional integrity with some aspects of the p... more
by Matt Saunders
1
 
The phrase "speak truth to power" seems more apt than ever. There are more and more adverse even... more
by Ged Murphy
 
Personal professional integrity is something that can often be career limiting, where the corpora... more
by Phillip Chalmers
5

wndy burton, Hilary Baker, Julie Riley and 2 more

Vision and Values
by Andrew Spooner
Leadership should start with this. It takes time and effort to create and agree. Once in place it... more
 
Once in place professionals can appraise and comment, patients can review the change requested. I... more
by Andrew Spooner
 
Values-led leadership, which is demonstrated through a Leader's interaction with staff and the pu... more
by Bill McMahon
 
Vision and values are fundamental qualities of leadership. Yes they may be embedded in most of th... more
by Timothy Lubinda
5

Mark, Gillan Southgate, Timothy and 2 more

Developing Leadership skills in those you are leading and respecting them
 
The ability to inspire and develop leadership in others is critical in order to develop effective... more
by Bill McMahon
4

Bill McMahon (UCLan), Lynne Wyre, Peter Munday and 1 more

Taking responsibility
by Peter Munday
Responsibility is a quality I rarely see in the discussion of leadership. Power without respons... more
 
I fully support this idea and would suggest that the interface between responsibility and power s... more
by Julie-Ann Bowden
 
This is often overlooked as it is assumed all leaders know how to take responsibility and be acco... more
4

rosalie, Tina Daniels, Melissa Surgey and 1 more

The leadership is ultimately for patients
by Andrew Spooner
All that we do is to improve the lives of people. Therefore we should prioritise populations over... more
 
If we consider which interventions are best for patients we can create a prioritised list. We can... more
by Andrew Spooner
1
 
Most interventions and plans at present focus on service, organisations or dominating patients to... more
by Andrew Spooner
1
 
There must be room indeed for the application of population based decision making tools that supp... more
by Timothy Lubinda
4

Karen Shawhan, wendy burton, Timothy and 1 more

System over Sovereign
by Paul O'Neill
For the forseable future we will need to live both with a 'sytems mindset' but be accountable for... more
 
I agree. Unless we can develop the system mindset the temptation for leaders can be to 'draw in' ... more
by Suzanne Hamilton
1
2
Gill Phazey
Suzanne Hamilton
Cope with ambiguity
 
At a recent session for GMTS and fellows this was a significant theme. Managing uncertainty and f... more
by Wyn Jones
 
Leading in the midst of complexity
 
Suggest linking this with the mindset comments above
by Elizabeth Bradbury
 
People differ. Allow diversity as patients want different things. There is no single answer. This... more
by Andrew Spooner
1
Vicki Howarth
No more confabulating - time to act rather than talking about it
by Richard Deacon
 
Would be interesting to see how this sits with the other suggestions of system working and relati... more
 
There is a challenge for management - being evidence based against taking time to gather evidence... more
by Wyn Jones
1
Andrea
Escape... from behind your desk.
by Snake Plissken
 
Model respectful curiosity in understanding how things work in health and care and other sectors ... more
by Elizabeth Bradbury
1
1
Andrea
Emotional intelligence and emotional self-regulation
by Karen Shawhan
There is substantial evidence that the ability to know oneself emotionally and psychologically, a... more
 
I would wholeheartedly support this idea in that it underpins many of the ideas submitted here. ... more
by Sue Jones
1
Sue Jones
Capacity/Prioritisation
by Wyn Jones
Not sure if it is a true skill/behaviour but there is a real challenge to support systems in term... more
0
Leaders who retain humility and lead for the greater good rather than for organisational or personal gain.
 
Humble leaders are often the most empowering and recognise the skills and attributes as a whole.
by Gillian Southgate
0
ability to provide incentives to encourage the right behaviour in the interests of Population Health
by Phil Meakin
All that matters is that we improve care for the populations we serve. I think that the changes ... more
0
The word integrity should follow honesty and openness
0
Reflective leadership and self-awareness
by Sharon Adams
It's hard for some leaders to understand what it is like for others to be led by them, especially... more
0

Comments

Rachael Rogers

The behaviours above all connect to the Healthcare Leadership Model and the original personal qualities of the LQF (predecessor to HLM) which are supposed to be intergrated into the model. Wouln't it be simplier and easier to communicate the one model instead of developing another one.

Tue, Aug 8, 2017

http://www.tricider.com/brainstorming/3IReImcdNTh