System Leadership

Non-urgent advice: Welcome to the System Leadership page

Aerial view over the iconic Cotswold village of Painswick, with its honey coloured limestone cottages deep in the bucolic countryside of Gloucestershire, UK, framed by vibrant green patchwork fields and clear blue summer skies. ProPhoto RGB profile for maximum color fidelity and gamut.
Aerial view over the iconic Cotswold village of Painswick

System Leadership

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. In response to local need, we have developed a suite of priority offers to support our South West leaders.

See below for System Leadership offers available to you from within and outside of the NHS.

Non-urgent advice: Cross-Functional Leadership: Integrating Perspectives in Health and Social Care

This introductory and the following four workshops are designed by the London Interdisciplinary School to support anyone involved in collaborative, integrated working in Health and Social care. You might be leading a multi-disciplinary team, partnering with other providers, or working across services and sectors.

An opportunity to join a standalone session for participants to be introduced  tools and techniques that will help with integrated or interdisciplinary working.

If you would like a deeper understanding to support system projects/work you may be involved in then you may wish to apply for the full programme (overview in the link below).

By attending this event you will be able to:

Gain new ways to identify the challenges of integrated working (working in multi-disciplinary teams or cross-sector collaborations)

Understand the type of conceptual thinking and changes in communication that can help you to tackle these challenges, in time-pressured contexts

Practise applying at least one tool.

Click here to find out more

Non-urgent advice: System Convening – Masterclass

This masterclass is for people who are involved in complex initiatives and are looking for tools and perspectives for making a difference across multiple boundaries or silos of practice, institutions and geography. The goal is to help you think through a strategy for dealing with your project in its broader context of often-competing initiatives, perspectives, expectations, and politics.


An understanding of the systems convening perspective

A wider range of possibilities for taking a systems convening approach to move initiatives forward

Specific examples of how to do this work

Click here to find out more

Non-urgent advice: Leading transformation for Integrated Care 2022/23

Colleagues working in health, social care and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector are welcome to join us for our new series of 90-minute, virtual sessions.  We have different topics for you to choose from which have been co-designed with the seven Regional Hubs of the NHS Leadership Academy and will be hosted by our delivery partner, Tricordant.

So what is this series about?  Based on insights and experience drawn from work with a number of Integrated Care Systems across England these sessions will explore what partnership working looks like across teams and organisations. 

What does this mean for leaders?  It is co-designed with input from local representatives to understand their current challenges and opportunities. The aim is to enhance participants’ capability to think and act as leaders within systems. 

This series is for anyone involved in change and transformation, delivery of new integrated care services, organisation development and partnership development working in health and social care systems across England.

Click here to find out more

Non-urgent advice: We are all leaders – developing an ‘Outward Mindset’ for positive relationships in tough times Masterclass

The number one challenge of NHS and other care organisations is retaining and attracting colleagues in an already stretched service.  One overlooked solution is ‘interpersonal resilience’. This is the resilience we gain from the quality of our work relationships and our levels of civility in the way we interact with others.  Everyone can play their part by adopting an Outward Mindset that drives respectful relationship building behaviour

Click here to find out more

Non-urgent advice: The School for Change Agents November 2022 – NHS Horizons

The School for Change Agents returns on 7th November! Sign up for the skills, confidence and community to make a difference.

The School offers anyone who works in health and care the opportunity to take their desire to see change happen and make it a reality.  Greener NHS also shares stories of change to show how we can use our change agent skills to address the environmental challenges our world faces.

There are five interactive sessions to complete:

Change starts with me  


Using power to make a difference  

Using stories to create change 

Making sense of complexity 

School is free to join, and to take part in. All you need is an internet connection.  The sessions are arranged into ‘bite-sized’ chunks so that you can complete them in your own time. So, whether you’ve got 10 minutes or an hour, you can still get involved!

Click here to find out more

Non-urgent advice: Foundations in System Leadership; collaborating for health and care (National Programme)

A Leadership Academy programme primarily designed for those working in health, care, local authorities, the voluntary sector and other partner organisations who are curious about understanding what systems are, how they function and how to lead effectively within them.

Click here to find out more

Non-urgent advice: Leadership Learning Zone (LLZ) – System & Relational Leadership Modules

Various Systems & Relational Leadership video modules, including links to practical tools and approaches, as well as opportunities for more in-depth study and learning.

Click here to find out more

Non-urgent advice: Leading for System Change

Providing practical, place-based support to help build collaborative leadership thinking across all areas of Integrated Care Systems (ICS). The programme supports cross sector teams that are working on complex issues relating to ICS strategic priorities.  

Click here to find out more

Non-urgent advice: System Leadership Behaviours Framework

The shift towards a system wide approach to address population health requires leaders to work in a different way. A significant system wide piece of research was undertaken and tested with a wide range of cross sector colleagues resulting in a deeper understanding of the kinds of behaviours needed to enable effective system leadership across the public sector.

The approach enabled the exploration of what this different kind of leadership might look like, acknowledging the scale, diversity and complexity of the system and the importance of collaboration and co-creation. The research identified four overarching themes, each underpinned by a series of supporting behaviours in a System Leadership Behaviours Framework.

Click here to find out more

Non-urgent advice: Coaching & Mentoring Opportunities

Coaching is one of the key approaches through which leadership within organisations can be developed. Coaching is a method of developing an individual’s capabilities in order to facilitate the achievement of organisational success.

Mentoring is a developmental relationship in which one person (the Mentor) – usually someone more knowledgeable (though ‘peer’ mentoring can be as successful) helps another (the Mentee) to discover more about themselves, and develop their potential capability.

Click here to find out more

Non-urgent advice: Leadership in Systems – Leadership Academy

Whether we realise it or not, the teams and areas in which we work within the NHS are all part of and linked to wider systems. The work that we do in our own teams and areas often has an impact on other areas of the wider healthcare system and having awareness of this is essential as a leader. 

In this short bitesize learning course, we’re going to look at Leadership in systems

Click here to find out more

Non-urgent advice: System Thinking Practitioner Apprenticeship – Level 7

The System Thinking Practitioner Apprenticeship supports decision-makers in strategic and leadership roles to understand and address complex and sometimes even ‘wicked’ problems through provision of expert systemic analysis, advice and facilitation.

Click here to find out more

Non-urgent Systems thinking for civil servants

Guidance – How to use systems thinking to drive improved outcomes in complex situations.

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Non-urgent advice: Project M

A place and space for team leaders and managers to connect, share and learn together. Providing practical tools, resources and guidance for effectively leading their teams during challenging times.

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Non-urgent advice: Executive Suite

Supporting executive and senior leaders across health and care to meet the challenges of leadership over the coming years and to deliver the ambitions of the NHS People Plan. 

Click here to find out more

Click here to view our Systems Leadership Resources