Local Government Association

Local Government Association: Leadership Essentials Course​


For the past two years, Ken has been working with the Local Government Association as a keynote speaker on the Leadership Essentials course. Working in partnership with the LGA he has redesigned the second half of the course to be more focussed on practical applications of systems leadership approaches. Ken’s practical knowledge of approaches to systems leadership, his first hand experience and engaging facilitation and speaking style puts him in a great position not only to design system leadership courses but also to facilitate and lead sessions.​

Barriers & Challenges​

  1. One of the key challenges with this piece of work has been trying to lead change from a typical presentation style delivery model to a more interactive collaborative learning experience. Existing course facilitators favoured a more traditional approach and were reluctant to move and adjust. However, by modelling more interactive approaches, over time the team became more open to changing the course style, and engaged Ken to lead a larger part of the content. ​
  2. One of the barriers to effectively developing leadership skills of participants was helping them to translate theoretical approaches such as the ‘balcony and the dancefloor’ into a practical understanding of what they would actually go and do following the course. We overcame this barrier by focussing on developing content and activities that centred on practical applications, system approaches to leisure facility development, practical behaviours for leading change, and core behaviours for building effective networks.​


Covering eight cohorts, Ken has worked with more than 240 participants across a range of active partnerships, local authorities and leisure trusts. These relationships and the learning that has resulted from the interactions, stand Ken in good stead to support and lead the development of leadership work in Pennine Lancashire.​

Several places have since connected with us to learn more about our approach to system based and place based working including Cornwall, Bury, Oxford, West Lancashire, Lancashire FA, Sefton and others. The programme has also influenced the Sport England Uniting the Movement Strategy with the emergence of leadership as a key theme and in particular place based leadership. ​

Kens work on the leadership programme led to our engagement in developing the “People and Places: The Story of Doing it Differently” document which has been widely circulated and used by partners across the system to reflect on their leadership practice and approaches.​

More of our work

On behalf of Sport England and the LGA we designed and delivered a two-day 'Introduction to Systems Leadership' programme.