What is the National Leadership Centre?
We help leaders work together to improve public services.
Public services are vital to the functioning of the country, and public servants play an essential role in our lives. Their efforts to provide safety, health, education, transport, housing and welfare are not always immediately visible, but they have a direct and lasting impact on the public.
The mission of the National Leadership Centre is to do all we can to support leaders as they work together to improve the public services they lead.
Why were we set up?
The National Leadership Centre was launched by the Chancellor in 2018, following the recommendations of the Public Services Leadership Taskforce. The Taskforce was established in 2017 to advise on the scope for a new organisation to support the most senior public service leaders.
The Taskforce report highlights that the scale and complexity of demands on our public services continue to grow. Modern society is becoming more diverse in its needs; technology is evolving at an accelerating rate; and the UK is striving for greater productivity within an increasingly complex world.
Although the Taskforce was clear that public service leadership is not a silver bullet for these challenges, they found that bolstering public service leaders does make a difference. The Taskforce also found that many leaders are struggling with the strategic complexity of the services they lead, while experiencing a sense of isolation amid the challenges that come with becoming the most senior individual in a public service organisation.
In response to the Taskforce report, the Government has established the National Leadership Centre as a three-year pilot.
What will we do?
This year the Centre are providing practical support through a flagship leadership programme, a network of peers, and innovative research. We will bring public service leaders together, working across organisations, services and geographical boundaries to develop leadership interventions that will have an impact across the whole public service system.
To do this successfully, we need to work closely with others to take the best available evidence, building a deeper understanding of the complex links between leadership, productivity and outcomes in public services. We will use this understanding to build meaningful tools and interventions to help senior leaders.
Most public services are represented by an academy (such as the College of Policing, NHS Leadership Academy or Civil Service Leadership Academy) that have developed models of leadership for their specialism. We will not duplicate their good work; rather we will focus on what will help the most senior public service leaders to be even more effective.
We are taking a highly iterative approach, seeking out the best evidence about what works, learning from others, and listening carefully to the senior leaders who we work with.