Systems Leadership Symposium - The challenge of doing ‘the right things’

Monday, 7th October, 2019 9:00am to 4:30pm

Systems Leadership Symposium -

‘The challenge of doing the ‘right’ things’


In a complex system is there even such a thing as the ‘right thing’ or ‘right way’? How do we navigate and lead in this space? As system leaders, how do we authentically and honestly move forward on critical system decisions? - especially when it can often seem that perverse incentives are stacked against making what we believe to be the ‘right’ decisions for our patients and communities, whilst also improving service quality, and delivering better value for money.


The NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) sets out an expectation for health and care organisations to work more closely to achieve meaningful long term health outcomes for a diverse and ageing population in the context of limited resources; moving care where possible from Acute hospital provision into communities; and shifting our focus from treating illness to supporting wider action on upstream action to prevent avoidable illness, to help people stay healthy and moderate demand on the NHS.  


In each footprint this means creating an ICS which is a true collaboration between all stakeholders. How are you going to build these pivotal relationships? How will you make your ICS inclusive and collaborative? How do you secure meaningful engagement, for example overcoming challenges such as ensuring good meeting attendance, working through the difficulties inherent in even just starting crucial and perhaps difficult conversations, and collectively holding one another to account?


This 1 day Symposium, in partnership with Public Health East Midlands, creates a space for leaders in complex systems to consider how they develop and apply System Thinking approaches to meet the challenges of doing what we can assume are the ‘right’ things, especially in meeting the challenges of collaboratively implementing practical actions to support and embed focus on improving upstream prevention, and helping people to improve their own health.


Using Public Health as our live example, the aim will be around helping leaders in complex health and social care systems to gain transferable skills, so they can work confidently with these and other system dilemmas, exploring:


  • How do we deal with polarities of focusing on both the future and here and now; short term outputs and long term outcomes; me and we?
  • How do we on the one hand work towards a long-term aim of delivering the upstream prevention agenda when resources and processes are geared towards managing ill health?
  • How do we deliver the aims of the LTP for more connected, collaborative planning and delivery, at the same time as maintaining funding for acute ‘treat and cure’ service provision?
  • What could the impact be if every System leader during the course of design, delivery and review of their services explicitly embedded the prevention and public health agendas?

The event format integrates behavioural psychology and systems thinking to help participants create small nudges individually and collectively towards helping the whole system take action. By focusing discussions on what is possible in what can seem like impossible situations, the aim is for every participant to walk away with one piece of clarity and one piece of action to support a system movement.




Belinda Weir

Belinda Weir is a highly experienced leadership coach, facilitator, academic and consultant who has designed and directed successful leadership interventions for thousands of senior leaders in all sectors. Belinda has a particular interest and expertise in systems leadership and in developing collaborative partnership working across boundaries, and has written and taught extensively on these themes.


Belinda is Director of Systems Leadership at the newly-launched Centre for Health & Social Care Leadership and a senior fellow at the University of Birmingham Health Services Management Centre. She was a NED and deputy Chair of Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust for six years, and in her earlier career was the Chief Executive of a mental health community services provider.


Debbie Sorkin

Macintosh HD:Users:adrianpiggott:Desktop:VH32Ny7Q.jpegDebbie Sorkin is National Director of Systems Leadership at the Leadership Centre, a UK-wide charity specialising in strengthening leadership across public services, including with the NHS, local government, housing, public health and social care. Debbie’s work is based around building collaborative leadership capacity in places, using Systems Leadership approaches to support people working in uncertain and complex situations.  She has been responsible for a National Systems Leadership programme which has worked to join up health and care systems, and support population-based health approaches, in some 60 places around the country, and has had demonstrable impact. 


Most recently, her work has focused on supporting system-wide approaches in Urgent and Emergency Care, and in strengthening systems leadership capacity within Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships and Integrated Care Systems, including in the East Midlands. Debbie speaks and writes extensively on Systems Leadership.


Who is it for: This is for any health and social care leader working on a STP/ICS workstream project.


To maximize impact, we are asking people to invite at least 1 other colleague who is working on the same System workstream. Learning together with allies working with us will enable us to turn classroom concepts into deliverable realities.


What do I do if I want to know more?

To find out more about this exciting opportunity or to discuss your application in more detail then please contact or call 0115 748 4277.


This workshop is free to staff employed in NHS funded organisations within the East Midlands. 


Cancellation Policy

Our full cancellation terms and conditions have been outlined in our policy.

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Trent Vineyard

Easter Park, Lenton Lane, Nottingham, NG7 2PX
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