Pointers for Leadership Practice

Having co-created the story of the GM Moving journey, and identified some of the value it has created to date, the Revaluation team was asked to pull out a set of principles which could help create more of that kind of value in future – in GM Moving, across other parts of GM, and for people working in complex systems in other places. The result was a series of ‘Pointers for Leadership Practice’, summarised below.

GMM Moving Presentation Graphics AW Feb 19 V27

The pointers are principles for whole system working. They aren’t instructions as such, but implications for leadership practice, flowing from the storyline of GM Moving to date, and how it has created value.

Taking the learning and ensuring that it informs practice, across the system, is vital to the success of GM Moving, and has wider relevance for public service reform in the city region.

These Pointers for leadership practice will help us to lead in ways that get to the heart of the challenges of system change. We will be sharing them, developing them, reflecting on them and using them to guide our work from here.

The Pointers will be of wider relevance outside the GM Moving system, across GM and beyond: potentially for all kinds of practitioners adopting whole system approaches.

But that is not to say they are complete: other systems and storylines will generate other pointers. These GM Moving Pointers aren’t universal, though they could have universal applicability.

The Pointers have cumulative value: that’s to say it’s not a case of ‘pick one’. They all apply, in different combinations and proportions, at any one time. And that means there will be tensions within and between them. These tensions will be worked out on the ground, in practice.

The Pointers apply to all of us. For as long as we work in the same system, learning together, we are all in the system and we are the system. If they have value, they have value for all of us.

They are very big lessons and we need to constantly revisit them. They are not easy. They are easy to pay lip service to but not easy to live by.