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Support for Chief Executives

Help your organisation learn how to manage complex systems better, and ensure that better outcomes cost less

The challenge

Demand for public services is set to increase. Meeting this extra demand and simultaneously improving public services is an extraordinary challenge, making the job of a a Chief Executive extremely difficult. We live in unforgiving times with enormous pressures on funding and costs. These tensions have to be managed in the wider context of shifting boundaries between sectors such as local government and health against a backdrop of global issues with dramatic local consequences such as pandemics and the climate emergency.

Our solution

We start with the recognition that the problems we want to tackle are complex problems. By this we mean that the challenges are not easily contained, necessitate working with diverse populations with conflicting agendas. Addressing these challenges effectively is difficult: input rarely equals output and change is mostly unpredictable and non-linear.

But we are optimists. We have a central belief that complexity does not mean that performance cannot be improved.  We have developed considerable expertise in and developed a unique capability in working with complexity. We have consistently demonstrated that  performance can be improved – but more importantly, that this improved performance can be sustained, citizens lives made noticeably better and public services left more resilient to manage future challenges.

Chief Executives who work with us often reflect the following characteristics:

  • They are ambitious: They are driving local government to taking control of their own destiny – no longer expecting or hoping for direction from central government
  • They are innovative: They have a growing recognition that new skills and capabilities are needed to deliver sustainable change than traditional programme and project management
  • They embrace complexity: They know that surviving and prospering is not about applying whizzy new ideas with promises of quick fixes but that success is about the sustainable implementation of change across complex systems engaging those concerned not telling them what to do.
  • They have a participatory operating philosophy: They are more ready than before to step in with their Directors leading big complex services. They recognise that effective approaches require taking more considered risks  and are prepared to provide greater support throughout the process.

IMPOWER supports Chief Executives who are wrestling with the challenge of helping their organisations learn how to manage complex systems better and ensuring that better outcomes cost less.

Relevant blogposts and publications


Riding the waves: Strengthening council resilience

Riding the waves: Strengthening council resilience

Our latest report in partnership with the County Councils Network (CCN) and IMPOWER Resilience Framework


The energy crisis – rate your council’s resilience in 30 minutes

The energy crisis – rate your council’s resilience…

The implications of the ‘energy crisis’ will start to become more apparent as the year unfolds


Place-based opportunities to reduce inequalities for children and young people

Place-based opportunities to reduce inequalities for…

ICSs provide a real opportunity to improve the lives of our children and young people, and we owe it to them to grasp this.


ADASS & IMPOWER roundtable: The Age of Intermediate Care

ADASS & IMPOWER roundtable: The Age of Intermediate…

Reflections from our recent roundtable with ADASS and colleagues from Royal Colleges


In the search for clarity, don’t settle for simplicity

In the search for clarity, don’t settle for simplicity

In the face of an ongoing global pandemic, how should local government set priorities?  What models should be used to frame the choices they face?  What is their core business?


Moving from the sprint to the heptathlon

Moving from the sprint to the heptathlon

Local authority areas need to become expert at the seven-event heptathlon they now face

Our team

Sean Hanson

Chief Executive Officer

Jon Ainger


Ebony Hughes


Work with us

Get in touch if you’d like to discuss the challenges your organisation is facing.