Add to favourites

An introduction to Leading for the Future.

What's involved in Leading for the Future?
LFtF timeline

We describe Leading for the Future as a ‘package’, because it comprises several flexible learning and development elements.  The emphasis is on enabling leaders to put theory into practice by applying it to their live leadership challenges.  This is in line with latest thinking about how we should be developing and sustaining the development of leadership across the system.  

The package of learning and development comprises three core elements over a 10-month period, as well as optional elements, as outlined below:

Online resources

The first element of the package are these online resources which can be used both to support personal development as well as develop management/leadership skills. You will be able to identify your own areas of development and to work through these at your own pace.

There are 6 e-Modules which are recommended pre-work for the programme. These provide a useful introduction to 6 Leadership Capabilities which underpin integrated delivery for best public value across our system of social work, social care, health and related organisations.

There are core online resources which have been designed specifically for participants of Leading for the Future to complete in preparation for each of the 5 modules, the induction and the skills development workshop. A copy of the slides from each of these will be provided here, and optional supplementary materials for afterwards are also provided. 

You will also find a range of other resources available to you via the Leadership and Management Zone which may be useful in developing your leadership and management practice.

Development workshop and masterclasses

The second element of the package comprises one skills development workshop, two masterclasses and a final consolidation event.  These are intended to provide participants with the opportunity to: 

  • share learning with a more diverse group of peers from across the cohort
  • practice their leadership skills further
  • hear from and engage with leadership experts

Through participation in Leading for the Future, there will also be access to other national events, such as master classes included in other national leadership development programmes. Participants are recommended to check out Leadership Links for details of further national development activities and events which might be of interest.

Modules and learning sets based on adaptive leadership theory and practice

This third element will enable participants to learn with others, to share work experiences, and to network with people from other professions and geographic areas.  Each participant joins a cross-organisation group for five half-day modules over a period of seven months during which each group will work with their facilitators as a whole group as well as in their separate adaptive learning sets.

The modules provide a blend of theory input, group dialogue, skills practice, and adaptive learning. The learning format is highly experiential.  In each module, participants are introduced to concepts, such as “adaptive leadership” (see note 1), and then encouraged and supported, through adaptive learning sets, to work through their ‘live’ work-based issues.  Participants are expected to bring their live complex (“adaptive” or “wicked”) challenges into the facilitated adaptive learning sets and to put their learning of the theory into practice back in the workplace.

The cohort is split into smaller groups which has 12 or 18 participants from across the participating organisations, which previous participants found has added value to their learning.  In each group, there are two or three adaptive learning sets each comprising six people and each working with one of the facilitators.

Note 1: The theoretical content of the programme is based on the work of: Ronald Heifetz, Keith Grint, Mark Moore, John Benington, Irwin Turbitt, Chris Argyris, and Peter Senge, amongst others.  We would like to acknowledge the contribution of Malcolm Young in developing this programme and, in particular, in shaping the theoretical foundation.

Optional elements

Participants are encouraged to complete a 360º feedback tool based on the 6 leadership capabilities.  This will offer a useful benchmark for participants to consider how their colleagues experience them and think about what a development plan might look like for them in the context of participating in this programme.  For more details on completing this tool, participants should speak to their local organisation contact or

Accessing ongoing 1:1 development

Access to 1:1 coaching may be available through your local organisation.  Many organisations have developed their own internal register of trained coaches, accessed through your Organisational Development or Learning and Development departments.  This is an optional element of the programme which may serve to complement participants’ learning and development on and beyond the programme. 

Preparing for Leading for the Future

To make the most of your experience on Leading for the Future, there is some preparatory work for you to undertake before you attend your first module. This will be sent to participants in a welcome email before the programme begins. 

Throughout the rest of Leading for the Future, it is expected that participants will continue accessing these online resources and keep a record of their learning and reflections along the way. See the learning log.

Next Steps

Go to Induction