Leadership and management in the public and voluntary sectors: a systemic perspective

Course overview

In today’s changing and uncertain political and financial climate, a practical and theoretically grounded course in leadership and management skills is essential for being able to manage change and the uncertainty this brings, reshape services and maintain motivation in the workforce.

The course is designed with a focus on action learning. This consists of:

1)  Two modules, made up of blocks of 6 half-day sessions, with a mixture of formal staff input, small and large groups and experiential exercises. The modules constitute an integrated package, and both must be attended.

Module 1: A Systemic Leadership and Management Task

a. Theoretical overview, drawing from a range of systemic ideas including a whole systems approach, coordinated management of meaning, social constructionism and narrative ideas.

b. Understanding participants’ organisations and positions within these. Participants are able to observe and reflect on ways of communicating and the range of possibilities available to them in their practice.

c. The task of leadership and different leadership styles.

Module 2: Leading and Managing Services

a. Leadership: Throughout the course participants develop skills in taking up an ‘observer position’ in relation to their own behaviour and actions and those of others to effect change.

b. The Political and Social Context and Organisational Culture: Systemic ideas are used to help make sense of the contradictions and complexities that occur in a variety of organisational cultures both within and between these and external environments.

c. Management of Change: The challenge for leadership is how to manage and lead organisations that will survive but maintain their core values and identities within new contexts.

d. Application of systemic thinking via skills practice with opportunities to apply systemic ideas to work situations and receive systemic coaching and feedback.

2) Between the modules, participants will be asked to complete a project of writing up a management task or activity that they are engaged in. They will be able to consult course members and course tutors to help in this task.

This course aims to:

  • Provide professionals, working in voluntary and public sector organisations, with a theoretical framework within which to reflect upon and prepare for the processes of leadership and management
  • Develop leadership and management skills that facilitate the effective delivery of the outcomes required
  • Develop a systemic framework and understanding of organisations with the focus on relationships, taking into account the context and cultures in which people are working and the various levels of meaning which shape our abilities to act
  • Enable participants to reflect on practices of power in their organisational contexts and take up an active anti-racist stance in addition to attending to other aspects of diversity
  • Explore the processes involved in carrying out leadership and management tasks, reflecting on participants’ own experiences and common concerns arising in the workplace
  • Facilitate the process of applying knowledge and skills from the course to participants’ daily work via project work and consultation

This course will appeal to those moving into leadership positions and those who have recently taken up, or are considering, senior management posts as well as existing managers who would like the opportunity to enhance their skills.

Participants will be expected to have some basic knowledge of systemic ideas which you will asked to outline on pre-application background form.

Places are limited so early booking is advised.

Karen Partridge:

Karen Partridge, PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons), AFBPsS, C Psychol, Dip ST, UKCP and HCPC Registered, is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Systemic Psychotherapist currently working as Trust  Head of Systemic Psychotherapy at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and in private practice.

She has worked for over 35 years in the NHS, beginning her career in learning disabilities and adult mental health where she carried out PhD research into organisational change in hospitals. She explored the effect of staff training and organisational interventions in long stay hospitals for people with learning disabilities from an ecological and systemic perspective. This led to an ongoing commitment to staff training, in which she remains passionate about finding ways to honour the individual client and staff member and resist institutional practices.

She completed systemic training at the KCC Foundation where she worked as a Tutor for many years and latterly as Co-Director. Karen trains and supervises health and social care professionals across a wide range of settings and client groups. She works with children, families, couples, work groups, organisations  and in the community. She teaches and supervises professionals and is interested in consultation and training in staff groups and organisations and in the interface between therapy, community and organisational interventions, action research and social justice.

She is an Associate Member of the Taos Institute. Karen's  interests include narrative approaches and social constructionism, discourses in training and supervision, reflexivity and positioning, art, music, Buddhism, mindfulness and the application of systemic ideas in organisational settings.

Esther Usiskin-Cohen

Esther Usiskin Cohen  BA (Hons) MA MsC has over 30 years of wide ranging experience working with adults, families, couples, young people and children both in the criminal and family courts and in the community as a probation officer and Children’s Guardian.  She is HCPC and UKCP registered and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

She has a clinical practice as a consultant systemic psychotherapist, AFT accredited supervisor and trainer. As an experienced systemic family psychotherapist, she works with a comprehensive range of adult, child, adolescent and family and couple issues, and has done so in GP practices and schools. She is a fully qualified EMDR practitioner, so is particularly responsive to symptoms of trauma and uses her Level Two Mindfulness Teacher Training alongside EMDR, in individual and group work. She is currently developing a multi-family mindfulness programme to offer families in the community.

Esther is passionate about training and enthusing the next generation of mental health professionals.  She loves her teaching, training and development role here at the Tavistock and feels privileged to continue to contribute to the learning and development of such a wide variety of students and trainees.

She has been a member of the Association of Family Therapy accreditation committee and brings this experience into her role of training manager for the systemic portfolio. 

This course will be delivered remotely using Zoom. This is very easy and safe to use regardless of your level of IT skill.
You will need a device with a microphone and camera together with a suitably fast internet connection. Although mobile devices and tablets can be used, we recommend the use of laptop or desktop PC for the best experience. Some devices provided by employers may have restrictions in place. Please use this test link (https://zoom.us/test) to check your set up before booking.

You will be sent joining instructions including all the necessary login links, passwords and guidance on how to use the relevant functionality about a week before the course start date.

Should you have any concerns about the accessibility of remote delivery please contact us at CPDEvents@tavi-port.ac.uk to discuss how we can best help you.

Fantastic course – I have learnt so much and feel very energised, thank you.

Very rich learning with clear guidelines in which to find my own creativity.

The course has been enjoyable and provided lots of opportunity for dialogue, experiential learning and theory into practice.

The current cohort has now closed for applications. If you are interested in joining a future cohort and would like to be alerted when the next course dates are available, please complete this form.

The current cohort has now closed for applications. If you are interested in joining a future cohort and would like to be alerted when the next course dates are available, please complete this form.

Included in your course fee, you will receive online membership of the Tavistock’s internationally-renowned library for the duration of your course. 

Our friendly and knowledgeable library team will help to support you through your specialist CPD course, whatever your level of professional or academic experience. You will have access to an extensive range of eBooks, online journals, all the relevant key databases and our specialist audio-visual collection, plus reference access to all our print books. Our Information Skills Trainer has made lots of material available on Moodle to help you navigate our comprehensive electronic collections. PCs and photocopiers are also available for your use (charges apply for printing and copying).

Library staff curate various online resources, such as Audio/Video Playlists, and regularly share helpful news and research on Twitter and Facebook. Find out more on the Library website: https://library.tavistockandportman.ac.uk

Certificate of attendance
Theoretical approach:
Admission status:
Course lead:
Karen Partridge

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