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Share National - Leadership, Diversity & Skills 2021

This event has now ended.

Date & time

  1. 28 April 2021 10:00 - 14:30
  2. 28 April 2021 16:00 - 17:30
  3. 29 April 2021 10:00 - 14:30
  4. 29 April 2021 16:00 - 17:30



This two-day event will consider what we define as ‘work’ and how we work given the changes that we have experienced in response to the pandemic. Work is no longer considered the place that we go to, but what we do to achieve discrete improved place-based outcomes for localities. How can we as teams and organisations work better and smarter to support each other and the people that we serve? By challenging ourselves – to learn more, think differently, develop empathy and respect and through being more diverse and inclusive in our approach – our working lives can improve and the way in which we deliver public services in a more accessible, responsive and citizen-focussed has to be the primary focus 

We are moving towards a return to pre-Covid19 lives. Can we be sure what this return will look like? There are so many ideas, and the challenge for leaders is to learn from the last 12 months and continue with the best practice that has been adopted to date, whilst finding even more creative and innovative ways to transform public service delivery. The strength and opportunity that remote working has offered, the agility and flexibility of response, the use of technology, data and digital services as the catalyst for change and as an enabler, is the difference. Leaders now need to create the culture and champion the change to working practices which will enable people and communities to thrive.  

We look forward to hosting an insightful and thought-provoking event. Guest speakers and discussions will give us the space to explore ideas and challenge the status quo as we enter a new phase of service delivery. As leaders and people, professional and personal responsibilities ebb and flow. Digital technologies can now match this expansion and contraction to support individuals and the provision of public services. 


  1. 10:00 Chair's welcome

    Sandra Taylor, Chair

    Today’s speakers, panellists and partners combine to create a truly fantastic group who will lead, challenge and debate the way we do business and how we operate in a post Covid-19 environment.  

    Whether this is meeting the challenge of managing remote work and the different needs of staff to understanding how we change with the times, we’ll be covering it, and giving practical take outs for your own organisation. 

    Our graduation ceremony for those who have been through our training programmes will round day one off. During this celebration, you’ll hear the personal testimonies from some of the candidates who have been part of the Return To Work ICT programme run by the LGA and Socitm.  Get your tissues at the ready! 

  2. 10:10 Leadership and Diversity in a Rapidly Changing World

    Graham Farrant, Chief Executive, Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council

    Graham Farrant will talk about the way that BCP Council is transforming its working practices and improving access to its services whilst valuing all members of its Community and improving its performance on Equalities and Diversity.  BCP Council is the 10th largest urban authority in the country and is only two years old, so has both scale and opportunity.  In an environment of rapid change, Graham will share his experiences of fundamental reform of local government and his vision to digitally enable services for the inclusive benefit for all.

  3. 10:40 Cracking the culture code

    Samantha Burnham, Co-Founder, Learning Solutions Matter

    Sam will share some ‘light bulb’ moments with us – what the pandemic has taught leaders about their ‘as is’ organisational culture, and the longer term implications. She will highlight several key areas of focus at an organisational and team level, to shine a light on the importance of great leadership to make the transition. Therefore, the final question is of course … what are the essential leadership behaviours post pandemic? Have your say!

  4. 11:00 Networking break

    Grab a tea or coffee, take a breather and the opportunity to virtually mingle and network.

  5. 11:10 Unlocking the Returner Talent Pool – The National Return to ICT Programme

    Nadira Hussain, Director of Leadership, Development and Research, Socitm | Nina Lawrence, Head of Return to Work Policy, Government Equalities Office | Suzanne Hudson, Senior Adviser Workforce, Local Government Association

    Hear about the national Return to ICT programme that has recently supported those looking to return to ICT roles within local government. The Government Equalities Office (funder), the Local Government Association (programme manager) and Socitm (training provider) will discuss how returners can enhance diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and will share programme findings and success to date.

  6. 11:40 Managing & leading in lock down: what's the difference?

    Aidan Matthews, Learning Programme Manager, Socitm

    In the past year as more employees have adapted to working from home, the challenge of managing them has become a bit more complex. What has emerged is two important issues; 1. How to maintain a sense of team working and connection, and 2. How to keep people motivated and engaged. In response to these challenges, we created two short programmes to support our members, ‘How to manage and motivate remote teams’ & ‘How to be an effective coach’. In this session, Aidan will share some of the key topics and insights gained whilst running these programmes and provide an overview as to why the cultural response to working in an agile and flexible way, is more important than technology and collaboration platforms.

  7. 12:10 Predicting the future of Work

    Paul Saer, Head of Public Sector, Core

    Almost every organisation on the planet is currently involved in re-planning how they will work following the COVID-19 pandemic. The silver lining from the last 12 months is that most organisations have proven is that, for the majority of knowledge workers, attending a physical workplace every day isn’t critical for productivity or well-being. Our session will explore how we can build strategies to get the best outcomes for our organisations, our employees, and the environment, by leveraging a crystal ball that has been eerily prescient over the last 60 years.

  8. 12:30 Networking lunch

    Grab some refreshments, network with fellow delegates and digest the morning’s talking points.

  9. 13:00 Reshaping the workforce of the future

    Matt Prosser, Chief Executive, Dorset Council | Pam Smith, Chief Executive, Stockport Council | Ade Adetosoye, Chief Executive, London Borough of Bromley Council | Susan Parsonage, Chief Executive, Wokingham Borough Council 

    This session led by Solace will look at how our workforces have evolved throughout the pandemic and what’s next for the workforce? What have been the lessons learnt, challenges faced and how can we create a sustainable workforce for the future which will best serve our communities.

  10. 14:00 Ageism in the workplace - The impact and cost to individuals and organisations

    Michael O’Reilly, Founder, Age Diversity Network

    Michael talks through the challenges faced by older workers, and the added value they bring to the workplace. What are employers doing about preserving and tapping into this vast market of skills and expertise? Are we really up to date with how a multi-generational workforce can benefit most organisations?

  11. 14:20 Chair's closing remarks

    Sandra Taylor, Chair

  12. 16:00 Graduation Ceremony

    Our graduation ceremony is a celebration for those who have been through our training programmes. You’ll hear the personal testimonies from some of our Leadership Academy alumni, our Top Talent Cardiff 2021 partner – IP Performance and those who have been part of our Return to Work ICT programme. Get your tissues at the ready! 


Who can join our events?

Our events are open to everyone and relevant to all levels of staff, from new joiners right through to senior executives. This creates a vibrant mix which promotes innovation, sharing of best practice and drives the modernisation of public services.

Attendance is included in our membership and partnership packages. A fee may apply for non-members. Please see individual event registration details for more information.

Contact us to discuss your options.

Public sector – contact Poppy Whelan. Private sector – contact Aimie Francis.