Leading in a volatile world: four dimensions of complexity

Why are we running this course?

Public services face growing volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Add to that economic challenges, and transformation leaders need better understanding to navigate their teams and organisations.

What is the course?

In leading in a volatile world, you will understand the four dimensions of complexity:

  • the problems we have to solve are complex;
  • the organisation is a living thing;
  • we are part of a whole system of partners and suppliers; and
  • how people think is often as important as ‘the reality’.

Based on fifteen years of experience in complex service delivery and consultancy, this powerful course addresses the four dimensions of complexity to help service organisation leaders gain vision and clarity in order to navigate their organisations with confidence.

What will you learn from this course?

Management and transformation challenges can no longer be met by direction, leading from expertise, and situational authority. In this one day course, we support public service and transformation leaders to understand how they can effectively lead their system to deal with the complexity inside and outside the organisation. As an attendee in this course, you will:

  • learn about organisational complexity;
  • learn from real examples of how instinctive human reactions in complex organisations can challenge working collaboratively;
  • learn about tools and approaches so others respond positively by default to collaborative working;
  • learn about experiences of ‘having’ and ‘not having’ responsibility;
  • learn through real experience on how you ‘show up’ as a manager in dealing with complexity, and learn a series of techniques to help you manage situation when nobody ‘knows the answer’;
  • learn about how leadership shapes culture in your organisation and how you can ‘manage from the minds of your followers’ to predict and shape positive responses;
  • learn about a clear vision of what people need today to work effectively in complexity.

How will you benefit from the course?

This is a highly interactive experience to demonstrate how leadership can be provided in complex conditions. You’ll be able to distinguish between technical (complicated) and adaptive (complex) problems – and be able to adopt different leadership styles to deal with the problems. You will leave with several ideas and a concrete plan on how to apply these tools and techniques to measure the impact of your leadership

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for senior leaders, service managers and team managers who lead teams in delivering services. This includes services from local government, healthcare, probation and housing associations

About the course facilitator

Benjamin P Taylor

Benjamin is the chief executive of the Public Service Transformation Academy, a not-for-profit social enterprise which has been awarded the Cabinet Office Commissioning Academy concession, and a founder and managing partner at RedQuadrant. He studied philosophy, politics, and economics at Oxford University before becoming co-ordinator of a youth development charity. He has worked in public service transformation since 1998, with seven years at the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham as Adviser to Leader, eGovernment Manager, and procuring a strategic partner. At PwC and Sector, his work included customer strategy for Birmingham City Council and advice to the Government of Armenia.

Benjamin speaks at the commissioning academy and is a leading thinker on system leadership, service design, service transformation, and the ‘commons’. He holds a lean six sigma black belt and is an accredited power+systems trainer. He is a visiting lecturer in applied systemsthinking at Cass Business School, City University, and has lectured at Nottingham Business School and Oxford Said/HEC Paris.

RedQuadrant is a network consultancy working to change public services ‘from within’ by giving them the skills and capacity to transform.