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Researching leadership development in the social sector

The recent government Civil Society strategy and Julia Unwin’s Civil Society Futures inquiry have emphasised the increasingly important role that social leaders have in a complex and changing world. For us to meet the challenges of the future, the social sector will need a cadre of resilient, effective and ethical leaders, who can enable the creation and delivery of collective solutions.

In 2019, with support from the Big Lottery Fund and others, Clore Social will be exploring opportunities for growing and promoting social leadership in our sector. At the start of this process we are undertaking a deep dive analysis of leadership development in the social sector. We are seeking to better understand current debates about leadership, to identify the enablers and inhibitors of leadership development and opportunities for improvement.

To inform this analysis we are in the process of speaking to 50 senior leaders from across the sector, and beyond. This sample includes service delivery organisations, leadership development providers, funders, academics and infrastructure bodies. These organisations have been drawn from a range of small, medium and large organisations across the sector.

The responses to our requests for interviews have been very positive and people have been generous with their time. These conversations have demonstrated a real strength of opinion about the importance of leadership development and a desire to be part of the conversation about what might be done to grow and promote social leadership in the future.

We are excited about what these conversations are identifying and how they can contribute to a robust dialogue about the future of leadership in the social sector and the solutions that may emerge.

We will publish the outputs of this analysis as a report in late March 2019. The outputs will inform how Clore Social approaches the challenges related to growing and promoting social leadership in the sector. This will include further dialogue with organisations that share a vision for improving social leadership about what this analysis identifies, what it is missing and about how we can respond as a sector to what is emerging.

To add further to the evidence base, we are interested in hearing from you. We have designed a short survey, which covers the questions we are exploring through our interviews.

We would be grateful if you could spare a few minutes to share your reflections with us. The survey will be open until Friday, 8th February. All the responses will be factored into the findings in our report.

Complete the survey by 8 February

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