Developing collective leadership skills to navigate ‘wicked problems’ in health and care

March 12, 2024


For several years at the Health Innovation Network South London, we have run national Communities of Practice (CoP) Leadership Development Programmes in partnership with the Health Foundation’s Q Network,  focusing on supporting participants to develop collective leadership skills that are essential for effective cross-system change and improvement.

CoPs include a wide mix of participants from across health and social care, as well as people with lived experience. These communities and networks have proven inspirational and effective in addressing “wicked” challenges that are typically beyond the scope of any individual, profession, or organisation, through collective wisdom and shared learning.

In January, we held an in-person celebration event to mark the end of the third programme we have delivered. This event was designed and organised by the CoP Leadership programme’s participants and was attended by our Health Foundation colleagues and a range of stakeholders, including some of the participants’ organisational sponsors. It offered participants an opportunity to share key successes and learnings acquired from the programme.

A report has been written, to share insights about the participant experience of this year’s programme. It provides a summary of the key learning emerging from the programme and highlights some recommendations for future programmes.

Report Summary:

The outcomes of the report reflect a predominantly positive sentiment from those who participated in the communities of practice leadership development programme. The feedback highlights how much the participants benefited from the knowledge, networks, and resources shared, leading to a significant increase in their confidence to work collaboratively with others.

Participants particularly enjoyed the interactivity of the programme, which allowed for the sharing of ideas and the formation of connections with peers in similar roles. This aspect of the programme was frequently mentioned as a highlight, offering a valuable space for like-minded individuals to learn with and from each other. Furthermore, they appreciated the diversity of both expert speakers and learning styles, that enabled them to not only develop new ideas but also to practically apply them at their place of work.

The leadership development programme has been highly successful in achieving its goals, effectively providing valuable knowledge on how to develop and grow communities of practice, fostering meaningful connections between participants, and facilitating an environment where innovative ideas and open conversations can thrive.

“I'm delighted by the overwhelmingly positive responses from our participants. It's heartening to see the significant impact the programme has made on them, empowering them to do things differently within their Communities of Practice.” Cleo Butterworth, Associate Clinical Director, Patient Safety and Experience

Download the report

Access the Communities of Practice Leadership Development Programme final report.

Download the report