Locally accountable arrangements encompassing community, political, clinical and professional leadership which transcend organisational boundaries, are collaborative, and are where decisions are taken at the most appropriate local level.
In practice, systems leadership, or place-based leadership, is the coming together of organisations to collectively solve problems which no single body can do on its own. Systems leaders exhibit personal characteristics which enable them to work across boundaries with greater degrees of uncertainty. The NHS Leadership Academy has defined these.
Frequently asked questions
What approaches support cross-sector understanding?
- Working together on a collective problem supports greater understanding, helping to build a common language and set of objectives, and overcome cultural and organisational barriers
- Place-based strategies such as health and wellbeing plans, integration programmes or joint needs assessments provide a basis for a shared place-based view of a local population's needs to underpin systems leadership and shared goals
- Effective partnership governance arrangements can greatly facilitate system leadership locally
Case studies and examples
- The journey to integration: Learning from seven leading localities offers lessons to be learnt on leadership, pp51–54
- The Leadership Centre: The revolution will be improvised part II: Insights from places on transforming systems draws on insights from nearly forty Local Vision places, along with Leadership for Change teams, to show what was the result when they applied Systems Leadership approaches.
LGA support and resources
- The Health and Wellbeing Systems Improvement offer provides training, mentoring, bespoke support and resources for health and wellbeing boards and their leaders
- The Highlighting Leadership programme provides support for councillors, officers and specifically for leading transformation
brings together learning, from research and from practice in places around the country, at both organisational and systems level.
Selected tools and resources from our partners
- The King's Fund: System leadership Lessons and learning from AQuA's integrated care discovery
- The King's Fund: The practice of system leadership: Being comfortable with chaos draws on the experiences of 10 senior leaders to look in depth at the skills needed to be a system leader
- The King's Fund: Making integrated care happen at scale and pace: the steps that need to be taken to make integrated care a reality
- The Leadership Centre, a collaboration of national health and local government agencies, provides a range of training or support options
- NHS Leadership Academy: Leadership Development Support Offer for STPs in partnership all NHS bodies and local government
- NHS Leadership Academy website: NHS programmes and resources.