Cascading Leadership Programme

The King's Fund

The King's Fund


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Who should attend

It can sometimes be hard to decide which role to apply for. Both roles have valuable development opportunities and offer shared learning.

Those who apply for a consultant role tend to be:

  • experienced leaders, often chief executives with existing leadership skills and senior management experience
  • keen to develop their ability to support and challenge others to reflect, and help them work though the issues and problems they are facing
  • interested in reflecting on and developing their practice to support their own organisations and the wider health and care sector.

Partners may be leading an established organisation but are perhaps new in their role or just feeling stuck or unsupported. They may be:

  • isolated and want to talk confidentially about their experience of developing or leading an organisation
  • struggling to address the gap between how they want to work with their team, volunteers, trustees or funders and how things are in reality
  • keen to learn from another leader outside their organisation, who can listen and help them to think through issues and plan.

Some participants who have previously participated as a partner have gone on to develop as a consultant.

About the course

Cascading Leadership is a free peer-to-peer leadership development programme for voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations working in health and wellbeing. It enables VCS leaders to share their extensive and varied expertise with peers, to talk about some of the challenges they face and to plan new ways of working. 

The programme is distinctive in that:

  • those who provide support are themselves leaders in the VCS, so they understand the strengths and challenges organisations face
  • it develops the skills of both those receiving and providing the support
  • those providing the support are supervised and trained by senior staff at The Kings Fund.

How does it work?

The Cascading Leadership programme was developed in 2015 to enable us to explore a new way of building leadership skills and strengthening collaboration across the voluntary and community sector.

Participants apply to the programme as either a consultant (an established charity leader) or a partner (a leader who is seeking support). Once selected, each consultant is matched with a partner to work with.

The pairs meet at least five times over a period of nine months. During these meetings, the partner has the opportunity to work through organisational and leadership issues and receive support. The consultant benefits from being stretched to develop their own leadership and skills, while being trained, supported and supervised by senior staff at The King’s Fund.

What are the benefits?

For both consultants and partners, Cascading Leadership can build confidence, develop skills, expand networks, help organisations tackle major issues and, in some cases, be transformational.

In an independent evaluation following the programme, partners consistently report improved strategic thinking and better decision-making, tackling challenging issues more effectively, as well as increased confidence and reduced isolation.

Consultants also report significant benefits to themselves and their organisations, including stronger leadership skills and improved relationships with key stakeholders.

Videos and materials

Cascading Leadership Programme at The King's Fund

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Read more about Leadership

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Read more about Non-profit

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Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.

We are happy to help you find a suitable online alternative.