Are you are a senior or emerging leader who wants to enable better cross-system working? Do you want to bring about change, and learn how to do it? Do you want to know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of your leadership?


Intersect is a leadership development programme which will empower you to:


  • Explore what it’s like to be on the receiving end of your leadership
  • Discover the qualities and skills you need to grow
  • Learn the skills that will enable you to bring about change in the system


We use personal and group work to explore:


  • Inequality
  • Social exclusion and conflict
  • The need for leadership that goes beyond the superficial to make a tangible difference


For more information on the programme, please contact Linda Wallace.


Participant experience: Kerry Jackson, Chief Executive, St. Gemma’s Hospice



Intersect is a leadership development programme like no other. There are no short cuts.


Systems change only at the speed of trust. As a systems leader, you need to be a person who inspires trust in you and who works trustfully with others. There is no room on Intersect for anyone who is not open and willing to spend a year taking the deepest possible look into themselves to discover what it’s like being on the receiving end of their leadership and the qualities and skills they need to grow. The programme uses methods of close-up face to face group work to enable this deep dive.


Intersect complements this profound personal work with immersion in and engagement with whole systems. It engages with the realities of inequality, social exclusion and conflict and the need for leadership that can go beyond the superficial to make a tangible impact.


If what we do is sincerely care for the pathways of the local citizens as opposed to merely protecting our own organisations, we have to develop the human capacity of systems leaders to become trustworthy, trusting people who are adept at human relationships and who people want to trust and follow. This programme will help to bring about that change.



Nicholas Bradbury
Senior Associate
NHS Leadership Academy


  • The opportunity to be at the forefront of leading edge thinking


  • Increased confidence to be able to establish meaningful and productive relationships


  • A deeper understanding of the psychological forces that underlie human behaviour, feelings, and emotions, and cross sector dynamics


  • Engagement with participants from other sectors to understand behaviours, practices and processes outside your organisation


  • Increased emotional intelligence and self-awareness


  • The self-awareness and self-knowledge fundamental to successful systems leadership


  • Clarity on what it’s like to be on the receiving end of your leadership


  • The personal authority and relationship skills needed to co-create systems leadership networks which are integral to the future of our public sector


Alan Higgins, Director of Public Health, Oldham Council

Alan Higgins, Director of Public Health, Oldham Council
Alan Higgins, Director of Public Health, Oldham Council

Alan Higgins is Director of Public Health at Oldham Council and is a current participant on the Intersect Programme.   The programme has already made an impact on Alan’s leadership style and behaviours and he talks about how he’s putting this into action.


How does your experience of the programme compare to what you expected? Did anything surprise you?

I was surprised by the focus on personal qualities and emotions of leadership and the process during the course of enabling participants to find out what aspects are dominant for them, suppressed by them and through that finding a comfortable, safe core from which to practice leadership. It is a welcome surprise!


How have you changed as a leader through the programme? How would you describe yourself in three words before you went on the programme and 12 months after?

I have already become more reliant on my personal qualities to inform my system leadership rather than the technical skills acquired over many years. I can’t attribute that to any particular aspect of Intersect but it is not a coincidence that I have developed such reliance during the period I have been active in Intersect. In three words? … enthusiastic, technical, deliberate. And half way through the programme; open, strong, sociable.


How did the programme/your learning impact on those you lead? On patients? On your team/organisation?

By having an impact on me it is inevitably having an impact on those I manage and work with.  I share reports and other material picked up through the course with colleagues.  I have run a session on systems leadership and talk to colleagues at length about the course and systems leadership in general.


Do you do or think differently about patient care as a result of your experiences on the programme? How?

Direct patient care is not a day-to-day issue for me although I do think differently about the sphere in which I do work i.e. that of influencing the work of the health, social and local government system to secure better health outcomes with people.  I have a very different approach with regard to conceptualising the whole as a system.  This has been prompted by material I have become familiar with as a spin off from the programme and through the weekly provocations provided by facilitators and participants. Of equal importance, and as a direct consequence of experiences in the programme, I have become aware of my tendency to close off parts of the system owing to difficult relationships or my own defaults and expectations and I am now consciously opening up aspects of the local system that consequently appear as new resources.


Do you have plans for further development upon completion of the programme?

I plan to write my next annual report as a description of the system that gives rise to the health and wellbeing of my borough and suggest how the system could change to produce better health and wellbeing.  I also want to develop more room for me to practice system leadership.


What would you say to someone who is considering the programme themselves?

Do it! I wish I had done it an earlier stage in my career but it’s been the most significant development programme I have undertaken in my career. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.  You need to be open to investing your whole self in the programme and doing the work between formal sessions, but go for it!


Who is the Intersect programme for?