Pioneering Collaborative Leadership

The Pioneering Collaborative Leadership Programme offers facilitation support to leaders who are working together on complex issues.  Facilitation is offered in real time on real issues using an action inquiry model, where learning and action are brought as close together as possible.

We’re all expected to work in partnership with others – with staff in other organisations and with the people that use services. Change is a constant feature and in the midst of the pressures of delivery, well-intentioned efforts to take time for learning can too easily evaporate. The Pioneer Programme aims to find simple ways to learn from and with others – in the course of our everyday work.

Our focus is on core knowledge, skills, behaviours and approaches which support the development of collaborative leadership. Participants will experience tangible benefits of working collaboratively and will have an explicit role to demonstrate and support the development of collaborative working in their own organisations.

We’re committed to using action research to throw light on the puzzles and paradoxes of the systems in which we work. This offers a deeper way of understanding and explaining how things are and the possible pathways to how things might be otherwise.

Effective whole system change has to be underpinned by a systematic approach to inquiry, drawing on multiple perspectives, testing out new ways of acting and learning from experience.

There are three key ways to get involved in Pioneering Collaborative Leadership.

Become a Pioneer Site

Participants will:

  • Learn collaboration by collaborating
  • Work closely with our team of facilitators to collaboratively address a complex issue
  • Join a Peer Learning Network to meet colleagues across public services who are keen to learn about collaboration and develop learning together
  • Help us to gather evidence, in partnership with “What Works Scotland” on the things that will enable collaborative leadership for Scotland for the future.

Join the Peer Learning Network

The Peer Learning Network offers members of the Pioneer Community a chance to meet with one another and hear from the Pioneer Sites about the difference the programme is making to their work. All network events are open to anyone with an interest in Pioneering Collaborative Leadership.

Join the Facilitation Pool

The Facilitation Pool offers a unique opportunity to practice and develop facilitation skills by working with colleagues to support public service organisations in a collaborative setting. Facilitators are a vital component of Pioneering Collaborative Leadership and we are currently looking to recruit to the pool in order to expand the reach of the programme.

We also offer a Facilitators Network to help support and develop facilitation skills.

If you are interested in joining our Facilitation Pool, please email

If you would like to get involved in the Pioneer Programme, Facilitation Pool or Peer Learning Network, please register your interest here, or alternatively email Karen Lawson, Programme Manager –