Social Care Debate Review

At a Leaders Club event a couple of years ago, addressed by the chief fire officer of Manchester Fire Service, we were posed the question “Why are fire stations located, as they are, in city centres?”. We were able to offer at best a few guesses. We learned that whilst there have been massive technology increases in equipment and training, fire stations are located to best ensure they can quickly extinguish Hitler’s incendiary bombs!

Ian & Professor Stephen Smith fundamental proposition was that there is a significant parallel for the NHS; equipment, technology, training and procedures have enjoyed huge advances but the system that delivers NHS services hasn’t changed since inception in 1948 and is no longer fit for purpose.

Based on a paper that they have offered within the health community, the brothers led us through a series of statistics that illustrate the challenge and stretch the NHS is under. Whilst these may have been known to some degree by the audience of some 50 to 60, the diagnosis and prescription set the scene for the variety of contributions that followed from a diverse and well qualified panel.

Their presentation was the second part of the evening, which had enjoyed two presentations from two very different organisations, IBM and HB Villages houses. IBM have been pioneering, under their Dr Watson programme, the assimilation of medical data, particularly cancers, with a technology that can understand the information presented and replay it back to clinicians who have made searches for which that data may add understanding. A paper scanned in South America this morning is able to offer diagnostic and prescriptive advice to clinicians in Liverpool this afternoon. HB Villages houses described their hands on accommodation solutions for vulnerable adults who were a challenge to the system; providing them safe and secure accommodation utilising the best and newest in building technology to offer a highly cost effective place of residence for those the NHS was never geared up to manage. Excellent both.

Returning to that key second half, following the Smith brothers presentation, Sir Malcolm Thornton steered a diverse group with great skill, to give us a hugely informed debate with great contributions from the panel and some good audience involvement. A view that was expressed by many on the panel, in different ways and from very different perspectives, was the dual need to see the future as patient led and to find a way to abolish the dichotomy of NHS and LA provision. Patients are only patients whilst being treated by the NHS, if they pass to the LA they are service users – same people, same problems, but as patients with a health need the NHS provides care free at the point of need, move back to the LA and a whole other system kicks in. A capitated budget, one that provides monies across a geographic area and meets people’s needs, those needs being delivered wherever appropriate – NHS or LA – seems to offer a way forward, but how to achieve this, when central government is diverted elsewhere remains a local problem with those of good will doing their best.

We all felt suitable challenged.

Rebuilding ‘The Big Society’

TLC was privileged to hear from Sir Stuart Etherington – Chief Executive NCVO on his ideas for reinvigorating ‘The Big Society’ at an event at Holborn Bars London on 7 September 2016.

Sir Stuart’s premiss was that ‘The more the State does the less Society will do’ with three main participants The State, The Market and Civil Institutions all vying for position.
Sir Stuart went on to postulate six areas of Concern:

1. Fortification of Democracy – Recent issues of public concern, fuelled by the media, continue to dominate politics and the public confidence in democracy. Democracy is poorer if the Civil Society is not engaged.
2. Advancement of Regulation – has resulted in an abdication of Individual responsibility leading to risk aversion at all levels of Society.
3. Behavioural Economics – Nudge theory and how does Society move individuals to act for the betterment of Society. How might this be measured? GDP is a crude index of improved performance, are there other indexes which might better measure well being? What is the measure of success?
4. Network Society – The growth of retail companies without any shops (Amazon) taxi firms without any cars (Uber) hotel chains without any rooms (Airbnb) have changed the market and Society. Legal and regulatory frameworks are not keeping up with the change in the market.
5. Importance of Place – Where an individual is from not only shapes them but is extremely important to them particularly in terms of volunteering their time for the benefit of Society.
6. People are not self interested – Individuals today are often motivated to improve their environment and that of others but need to be harnessed with the development of a common will.

Sir Stuart went on to describe Michael Oakshott’s Enterprise and Civil Societies. In an Enterprise Society the State imposes some universal purpose on its subjects and in a Civil Society is a relationship in which laws impose obligatory conditions of action but do not require choosing one action rather than another. So what might a Bigger Civil Society look like? Sir Stuart talked about more mutuals such as Credit Unions in the USA, new ways of delivering public services and a move from private benefit to public benefit. He questioned the impact of technology and the erosion of jobs, the changing relationship between service deliverers and receivers resulting in a citizen dividend in terms of volunteering. So how does Society get more people to volunteer particularly across the generations? He mentioned recognition, tax incentives and asset transfer as potential models. In addition, he mentioned financing voluntary organisations with match funding from public resources with a variable ratio, funding circles and co-financing between the citizen and the State. His final point was that the larger charities of today were becoming closer to the market in terms of their methods, performance indicators and governance which meant they were less able to push forward the Big Society agenda.

Sir Stuart delivered an interesting and informative talk which provoked much discussion and debate.

Event Summary – Tim Stimpson

It seems likely that when Tim was about 5 his school report included the phrase “Tim is not a born leader, yet!”  Since then through his experience on and off the Rugby field, Tim has definitely become a leader and role model.  Rugby is probably the ultimate “team” game and it is by building high performing teams that you win matches.  We received a brilliant explanation of how through Leicester Tigers and the England squad this can be done. Whether it was through ensuring that everyone gets to play to their strengths, how important it is to “pass the ball” (no command and control here) or how much performing under pressure was all about emotional buy-in and trusting others, we saw how to do it.

I had never seen delegation and empowerment as important in a sporting context: now I understand why the parallels into corporate life as so close.  We must all understand that there is a cost to this approach and trusting those around you is a necessary given before teams can win.

Finally Tim made clear the importance of setting demanding goals but explained these must be progressive.  Perhaps the reason English rugby went into decline after winning the World Cup was that no one set the next high goal.

A great conversation with lessons that went well outside the sporting arena.

Event Summary, Ian Row

An accountant turned Atlantic rower!  Ian alleged that he was there to tell us a story of 6 ordinary people who got together to row the Atlantic.  Not a bit of it: this was a fascinating and deeply moving story of the personal journey of a man who had a vision: to row across the Atlantic in a record time.  This was truly an extreme goal which involved leadership and teamwork.  It took all the participants well outside their comfort zone and was a very human story of resilience and an ability to face ones fears.

Ian is a great story teller and some of the more graphic descriptions (of the yellow bucket which was the toilet, complete with a demonstration) brought home that this was no gentile experience. Sighting sea monsters and, perhaps even more bizarrely, an express train 2000 miles from land made the audience appreciate how much stress was involved.

Perhaps, significantly, they did not make it!  After completing 2,500 miles and with only 500 miles to go they capsized.  This was a near death experience and when they were rescued a sense of relief but disappointment.

I found Ian’s story a great example of leadership in adversity.  An ability to conquer ones fears and keep going in the face of both mental and physical extremes produced a great evening.


Luke van Beek CBE

Chief Operating Officer



A Trip for the Brave

The Leader’s Club centenary tour of The Somme

May 2016

Recently returned from The Leaders Club’s fascinating tour of the Western Front, led by Admiral Sir Trevor Soar our four day odyssey was at the same time a stimulating break with friends, historically informative and, for many of us, a deeply personal tribute to The Fallen.

Gazing across the verdant rolling valleys and lush copses that typify North West France, it’s difficult to imagine that 100 years ago this small geographic area saw unprecedented carnage during the Somme Offensive that raged from 1 July to 18 November 1916… Until, that is, you find yourself among myriad rows of carved white headstones in any of the 211 cemeteries for Allied Dead – or in stark contrast, any of only five locations that contain line upon line of multi-occupied German graves. The starkness of this 40:1 ratio disguises that both sides suffered over half a million fatalities in a period of less than five months and, as our superbly prepared guides Malcolm Sperring-Toy and Graham Stow observed, is a sad but understandable dimension of the oft-spoken adage, “to the victor belong the spoils”.

From our comfortable base at the Hotel-Restaurant Saint Claude in Peronne, over three days we criss-crossed the battle lines, gaining insights to the why’s, how’s and wherefores while our expert commentators wove in heart-rending tales of valour, courage and sacrifice.

Their statistics were relentless, harsh and staggering. For instance, we are told that over the 141 days of battle, a 6.5 mile Allied Advance cost 117 casualties per yard: incredible except that on the first day alone, the British lost 19,240 dead and 38,230 injured.

It both helps and hurts to break down these numbers down by Country or Town of origin; to Armed Service, Regiment, Battalion or Ship; or to consider individually defined relationships – husband, father, sons, brothers and childhood friends. I still feel raw emotion to write about the countless graves we visited… of soldiers, sailors and airmen; from boys to grandads, ratings to generals, farmhands to stockbrokers, and a feted VC hero buried as I recall in the very same block as a disruptive Aussie who was shot at dawn for desertion…

Somme 6Individual gravestones sometimes carry a cherished epitaph from bewildered loved ones left behind. In many places these are outnumbered by anonymous graves to “Unknown” Allies and French “Inconnu”, or those poor souls buried where they fell beside their foes, both now lying unmarked together among the preserved trenches and craters of Newfoundland Park, around the tranquil South African Memorial at Delville Wood, at the Lochnagar mine crater or with the Canadian contingent in the coniferous woods on the hill up to Vimy Ridge.

Tributes to sacrifice and heroism abound when, just as you think you’ve seen it all, the vast and majestic Thiepval Memorial reveals – in reassuringly alphabetical order by regiment – a further 72,194 names of Allied dead whose remains could not be identified and so are left here, commemorated only as one of many lettered details on immense edifice walls…

Somme 2If it seems trite to call this “a lost generation” it is also impossible to capture destruction on this grand scale. Hard too, to comprehend the unquestioning beliefs and reliance in loyalty, service, honour and obedience from a bygone age that, in a way, enabled and allowed such unprecedented losses to occur. Leadership blunders or blind heroics, one wonders if such devastation would be accepted let alone facilitated by today’s generation and social media?

I went to The Somme for its centenary year as a tourist; I return humbled, moved and very grateful for its incredible sacrifices, and that in my lifetime I have only ever known Peace. It is rare for me to find a trip both fulfilling and educational but this one truly was and I would heartily recommend it. Thanks to John Henry Travel of Stafford, for bringing it all together.


Julian Childs BA, MA, MCIM, RCDP
Senior Business Developer
Regent’s University London,

For more photo’s of the trip please visit the Gallery


Empowering Tomorrow leaders – May 2016

Matt Hyde, Chief Executive The Scout Association

The events started with Martin Goodwill welcoming the Emerging Leaders to the club. The Emerging Leaders initiative aims to provide a two way learning process for established members and guests and the emerging leaders. It also provides networking opportunities that Emerging Leaders may not easily find elsewhere, especially within their own peer group or work setting.

Martin then introduced Matt Hyde, Chief Executive The Scout Association

Matt has been Chief Executive of the Scout Association since 2013, and within this time the movement has seem huge growth in its membership. Iin fact the association has just seen its 11th consecutive year of growth. One in 4 of members are girls, and the association survives off the resources of 15,000 volunteers.

So, how does this sort of organisation, steeped in tradition and possibly stereotyping, keep active and grow in a digital age?

The Scout Association focuses its attention on the non-formal environment that can help to breed leaders of the next generation. Selection of Bear Grills as the “Chief Scout” has been a great move for the organisation, but it is not just Bear’s revere that is help the organisation grow. The leadership of Matt and his team, and how this is trickling through the organisation, is evident.

Matt has a strong and shared believe in the power of leadership to transfer organisations and economy. He has an honest and dedicated team around him, many of whom have worked with in previous careers. Matt shared his view with TLC that lifelong learning is key to leadership. He has a good foundation of academic learning mixed with experience in the charity and volunteers sectors as a leader, and take advice from those around him. A notable recommendation from Matt was for Steve Radcliff, Author of Future – Engage – deliver

Matt has had 360 appraisals throughout his career. This, combined with this absolute believe that Mentoring, Coaching Action Learning Sets and Support Team Champions have shaped his ability and to learn and grow as a leader.

The scout moment enables the countries it is active in to build social capital. It builds resilience and leadership qualities within its members. In fact, Matt classes the Scouts as the world’s largest leadership development programme! The weight of research proves that those that do activities outside of school are those that go on to achieve the most in life. The association also demonstrates its beliefs – 3 of the Board of the Scout Association are between the ages of 18 – 25.

Matt gave a truly engaging talk to members of TLC and I certainly came away with solid Leadership tips as well as more knowledge about a fascinating organisation. Many thanks for Matt in giving the Club his time and such an enjoyable talk.

TLC Networking
Networking prior to the event

Intrepreneurialism event: April 2016

Ever wondered what the word intrepreneurialism actually means? Or the impact if an organisation is full of intrepreneurialisms or indeed has none at all?

Yes, so had I until I attended a first class event hosted by Kerry Holt and Peter Haydock on Wednesday the 13th April at Holburn Bar.  Kerry and Peter took us into a world of what an organisation filled with intrapreneurs would look like having identified such people on a project they embarked on a few years ago.

To give you a brief definition:-

An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

An intrepreneur is a person who while remaining within an organization uses entrepreneurial skills to develop a new product or line of business as a subsidiary of the organization


Kerry and Peter talked us through real life experiences and a very interesting presentation, complete with a practical exercise which helped us identify the pros and cons of working with intrepreneurs, and identifying what makes them tick.

Whether we are aware of it or not, intrepreneurs are needed to take organisations forward and help them grow. They are forward thinking people with a constant need to achieve and perform well, they always want more. They are always thinking about the next big project. The down side to this is that they may not necessarily be completer finishers, often leaving the operational side of things to someone else, or indeed leaving the organisation for the next big challenge. They do not cope well with processes or structure, these are people that like to fly freely.  Now contrary to what I thought, education is not really a factor in these people’s lives. What I mean by that is intrepreneurs do not necessarily have degrees or qualifications as long as your arm. On the project that Kerry and Peter worked on, they found the people they interviewed had a big work ethic, they had come from  backgrounds in which they had worked from a very early age e.g. shops, markets, factories anything to earn money. Many had had varied careers working in large and small organisations in a variety of roles and they were happy to fail, because to them, failing is learning. These people thrive on stress, not bad stress but good stress. A stress that is ideal to their performance state. A too relaxed state (low stress) or too high stress (anxious) is not productive to them.  Look around you at work, do you know such a person? Does your organisation need some or indeed more intrepreneurs? You can’t go to a recruitment agency and ask for intrepreneurs as they don’t come with badges. The best way to find them is to ask around, ask your executives to look through their black books, look on LinkedIn and look for the traits I have described above e.g. lots of jobs with different size organisations.

The evening gave us food for thought and we all left wondering if we had or currently do work with intrepreneurs and did we know of any in our social life.  A very fascinating talk indeed.


Summary by Jane Stokes, TLC Board Member



About Kerry and Peter

Kerry Holt

Kerry is an HR Director and Organisation Development specialist. She has 27 years’ experience in a variety of industries including building supplies, media and advertising and, more recently, retail.

Kerry is an HR generalist with specific interest and experience in Organisation Development.  Her most recent role was as HR Director for Carphone Warehouse (now Dixons Carphone), where she worked for ten years.  Kerry’s passion is around building the right capabilities to enable the organisation to fulfil its aspirations. She has a BA (Hons) in Business Studies and is a Master member of the CIPD.  She has recently decided to focus her career in the North West and take a short career break before pursuing new opportunities as a freelance consultant.

Peter Haydock

Peter is a Leadership and Organisation Development consultant, having spent 20 years in industry in a variety of roles, many of them as a senior business leader.  He has worked in many functions from commercial, procurement and logistics to strategy and HR.  Peter’s experience as a consultant spans large and small organisations across different sectors, with widely varying governance models. Peter has a Masters Degree in Management Learning & Leadership from Lancaster University, has trained with the Tavistock Institute in the field of the psychodynamics of groups (exploring the relationship between leadership, power and authority) and is a certified practitioner in a number of psychometric and behavioural profiling tools.


12th April – TLC Liverpool. Professor Michael Parkinson CBE

How will we make the most of devolution?

Professor Parkinson is widely known and respected as the architect of Liverpool City Region – one of the big agenda items in the Northern Powerhouse debate. Michael gave a hugely entertaining and informative presentation to 23 TLC members and guests. Once again, the venue, 60 Hope Street, came up trumps and an excellent evening was enjoyed by all to make a highly successful and memorable meeting.

18th February – TLC Liverpool. Commodore Jake Moores DL OBE

Leadership Lessons from a life underwater

25 members enjoyed a tremendous meeting at TLC Liverpool’s new home – 60 Hope Street. Our guest was TLC Vice Chairman Commodore Professor Jake Moores RN. Jake, a founder member of TLC gave an extraordinarily insight in his experiences as head of the RN Submarine Service and in particular his time as Captain of one of HM nuclear trident submarines. The responsibility of being in command of 160 men, under the water for 3 months with the responsibility, upon orders, to unleash armageddon is beyond the imagination of nearly all of us. We were privileged to be given an inkling of the responsibility, made even more enjoyable by Jake’s good humour and panache.
A night to remember!

House of Lords event – Wednesday 18th November 2015

house of Lords

The Leaders Club was privileged to hold its final event of 2015 at the House of Lords, hosted by Baron Alton of Liverpool. Before receiving his peerage at John Major’s request, David Alton was the Liberal MP for Liverpool Mosshill (and previously Liverpool Edge Hill).

42 members and guests actually turned up on time although the threat of exclusion for late arrivals probably had something to do with it.

Before dinner we had the opportunity to buy gifts from the House of Lords Gift Shop. Everything from Malt Whisky to golf socks was available for purchase, all with the House of Lords portcullis on them. If you’re related to a TLC Member, I can predict what you’re getting for Christmas – but you’ll love it. I have to say that I was unable to establish if they actually charged 5p for the carrier bags though.

Before dinner, Lord Alton invited us, rather than saying grace, to have a minute’s private contemplation, given the tragic events in Paris and the fact that November is Remembrance month.

(c) Palace of Westminster; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Palace of Westminster; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Dinner was held in the Attlee Room, a beautifully appointed room with wonderful paintings. The artist was Michael Heseltine – who knew that he was that talented?  Clement Attlee was the founder of the Welfare State, referred to in Lord Alton’s after dinner speech. I couldn’t help reflecting on how sad he would be to see what we’ve done with his legacy

The Loyal Toast was proposed by Jake Moores, Lord Alton was introduced by Stephen Fletcher and the Vote of thanks given by Sir Trevor Soar.

During his speech Lord Alton was able to give us some of the history of the House of Lords, detail about Clement Attlee and some of the paintings on the walls. All in all, it was a fascinating insight into the second Chamber of our democracy.

After dinner, as part of a brief tour of the House, we were lucky enough to sit in the gallery for a debate in the chamber. Only around 19 Peers were in attendance, the debate was about the EU Referendum and was rather dry fare but it was a privilege to be there and contemplate how beautiful and historic the chamber is in the flesh.

The throne from which Her Majesty the Queen delivers the Queen’s Speech is impressive when viewed on TV – the only option for most of us – but in real life it is truly magnificent. Small wonder that Churchill, during WW2, told firefighters that, if the Houses of Parliament were bombed, they should allow the Commons, as a ‘modern’ addition, to burn but at all costs to save the Lords.

As we left the Houses of Parliament via St Stephens Hall, where many former Monarchs have lain in State prior to their funerals, it was difficult not to be totally overwhelmed by the history of this place and, frankly, proud to be British.

As Kay Fletcher said later ‘History envelops you when you walk into Westminster ‘.

Martin Goodwill