Leadership and Management Training

The aim of this course is to help course participants draw upon a systemic approach in order to develop their knowledge and skills in undertaking leadership and management tasks.

This short focused course builds agency capacity in systemic thinking and practice.

Key information

Course participants will

  • Demonstrate clear leadership skills that encompass professional standard
  • Include diversity and equality at all levels of the agency
  • Scaffold sound ethical practice
  • Distinguish poor, competent and excellent practice.
  • Model cultural change and embrace new ideas.

At IFT we believe in the importance of developing sound theoretical frameworks for leadership and management and this course seeks to familiarise participants with the foundations of systemic and organisational theory. The knowledge and skills development that is part of this course can be applied across multiple contexts. We pay particular attention to ways of working in practice that serve to meet the needs of the most marginalized groups. Attention to issues of power and difference and the promotion and development of anti-discriminatory practice are central to the course philosophy and permeate all aspects of the teaching. Great emphasis is placed on the use of theory in practice and we aim to provide a course that integrates systemic theory into practices across many practice contexts.

The course is comprised of 10 sessions and aims to develop skills through didactic presentations, small group work, role play and consultations.

Course participants are asked to bring work dilemmas to the course to provide material for consultation. The intention is to introduce overarching systemic ideas that enable Managers and Leaders to interact with team managers and practitioners who are using systemic approaches in their supervision, decision making and practice delivery. The course contributes to the agency strategy around embedding systemic ideas at all levels of the agency appropriate to the task.

The sessions will focus on core concepts that transcend different levels of the agency and can be considered as meta-theories. These will be supported through the provision of articles and chapters from relevant literature. Where possible core texts will be indicated that the agency may choose to purchase.

The course focuses on the cornerstones of systemic practice relevant to multiple contexts that familiarise Managers and Leaders with approaches, methods and techniques drawn from systemic theory. The course responds to the everyday challenges faced by senior leadership teams. Articles will be drawn from systemic practice and organisational contexts.

The course promotes the following:

  • The ability to understand different practice orientations in order to make distinctions between poor, competent and excellent practice built on secure theoretical foundations;
  • The disciplined inclusion of issues surrounding diversity and equality at all levels of the agency including colleagues, professional partner agencies and families;
  • The ability to apply models that scaffold ethical practice and demonstrate the values of practice and social justice;
  • The demonstration of leadership skills that encompass professional standards;
  • The ability to model cultural change and embrace new ideas.

The overarching approach to respond to these imperatives includes reflexive inquiry and some key communication perspectives that support robust deconstruction of management and practice dilemmas as well as creating supportive frameworks for practice decisions and ongoing work. The course will include key elements of systemic theory through core Post Milan ideas which are the basis for the systemic framework within which all other ideas are housed. This will be enhanced and expanded with key systemic literature that is most relevant to leadership contexts.

For those in social care the following outcomes are relevant: The Professional Capabilities Framework


  • Theory and Cognitive Capacity
  • Theory, knowledge and application
  • Engagement and social justice
  • Interpersonal development
  • Personal development
  • Application and practical competence