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Visit to Sheffield – Doing things better together, relational leadership in action

Q Visit to learn about how Sheffield is working with relationships across complex systems to bring about improvement.

21 Nov 2018


This visit was hosted by five GenerationQ fellows (Helen Crimlisk, Jennifer Hill, Steve Harrison, Ruby Smith and Fiona Kew) who each work in different parts of the system within Sheffield, including acute care, housing and mental health. The visit focused on how relational leadership across the area can be used to bring about improvement and tackle some of Sheffield’s difficult challenges.

The visit was a mix between showcasing examples of co-production, peer support and building dialogue through feedback, combined with practical workshops to improve relational leadership skills.

Why should you attend?

We often focus on the technical, process side of improvement without paying due regard to the “human element”. Improvement is 80% human factors and only 20% technical. By attending this visit, you’ll learn about the many human aspects of improvement work including making mistakes, having conversations, struggling with relationships and you’ll participate in practical workshops covering some of these themes. You’ll also have an opportunity to hear what it takes to bring about change in a complex environment and how senior leaders in health managed to build effective relationships for change.


  • To gain insights into the relational leadership challenges faced by five Health Foundation alumni working across the complex health and care system within Sheffield
  • To learn new skills and techniques for engaging people in quality improvement
  • To provide opportunities for personal development and reflection on relational leadership
  • To support participants to build connections with other improvement leaders as part of their personal development


10.00 – 10:45 Session 1. How interesting I made a mistake – personal stories from Gen Q fellows of lessons from trying and failing. Asking for reflective sharing from the audience (aka Schwartz rounds).

11.00 – 11.45 Session 2. Something I learnt along the way
– delegates chose from a number of 10 mins taster sessions eg. Using stories, check ins and icebreakers, changing meetings, thinking environments, coaching conversations.

12.00 – 12:45 Session 3. Unbreak session  / thought for the day – speaker / patient /poem followed by time for reflection, either alone or in small groups.

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14:00 – 14:45 Session 4. Whose line is it anyway?
– improvisation exercises  in small groups – listening and being in the moment – eg. yes/and, links with appreciative inquiry.

15:00 – 15:45 Session 5. With a little help from my friends – speed-dating by themed discussions of interest Eg. Appreciative enquiry, coaching, co-production, changing meetings, followed by a longer conversation with one buddy on chosen topic. Choosing theory to take home and explore further.

16:00 – 16:15 Final thoughts. Discussion about what we have gained by working on this together.

40 spaces are available for Q members with a limited number of plus 1’s for your non-Q colleagues.

Please book your place via the button below.