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Greater Essex Leadership Collaborative Class of 2016-17

In September 2016 more than 40 leaders from across public services and the voluntary sector in Essex came together as the first ever Greater Essex Leadership Collaborative.

The 12 month programme was designed around what we call Public Value Propositions (PVPs), which are real 'wicked issues' requiring collaborative work. The PVPs gave the participants the opportunity to apply their learning to issues such as homelessness and school readiness, to develop their leadership skills together and equip them with the collaborative leadership skills and behaviours they will need to operate across organisational boundaries; and to improve the lives of citizens.

The programme kicked off with a day-long launch event – the Launch Pad, designed to promote thinking, stimulate activity and enable the participants to connect, talk, and build relationships,  reflect on their leadership values, meet key influential stakeholders and engage in critical conversations with them; hear, meet and explore the voice of the citizen, and have an opportunity to think about the significance of collaborative work and the possibilities of change.  

During the  programme participants attended masterclasses and facilitated group sessions with experts such as Keith Grint, Matthew Taylor, Eden Charles and Margaret Heffernan, and applied their learning by working on a range of issues such as reducing violent crime, strengthening communities, addressing loneliness and social isolation and boosting skills and productivity - real challenges facing Essex. You can find out more about the masterclasses here.

In between masterclasses, participants were supported by coaches and half-day learning sets to provide the space and time to work with colleagues, to get critical feedback and challenge, and to help participants move forward.

The programme had its own portal, where knowledge could be shared, learning deposited, and challenges placed.  

This collaborative was a new programme for 2016-17, and feedback from the first participants has been very positive, with participants saying that the programme has boosted their confidence and skills to deliver whole system working, and has given them a better understanding of other organisations and their cultures.

A number of the participants have shared their experiences with us. Hear from David Sollis, who became CEO of Healthwatch Essex during his participation in the Greater Essex Leadership Collaborative. Read David's blog here. 

Simon Morgan, Head of Communications and Public Engagement for Suffolk and North East Essex STP, shares what he learned on collaboration, read Simon's story here.

Paul Ashworth, works in Economy, Localities and Public Health at Essex County Council and discovered a number of like-minded leaders in his time as part of the Collaborative. Paul tells us about his project work and how the Collaborative network has helped in his role.

As a programme sponsor, Sam Hepplewhite, Chief Officer North East Essex CCG shares her view on why developing collaborative leaders will better equip us to meet the future demands of our service users and transform people's lives. Read Sam Hepplewhite's blog here.

Emily Oliver, Head of Commissioning People Essex County Council, and Suzanne Harris, now Community Safety & Reducing Reoffending Manager, Office of Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner, reflect on their participation in the Greater Essex Leadership Collaborative 2016-17 in a short video captured during the celebration event September 2017. Hear how the group created a lasting network.

The 2018-2019 Leading Greater Essex programme will open for recruitment soon, find out more here.