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Influence and Power through Leadership – Centre for Health Enterprise Seminar, 21st November 2013

Robert Rowland Smith, author of The Reality Test and a Consultant with Fidelio Partners, and Robert Warwick, co-author of The Social Development of Leadership and Knowledge, led a discussion on leadership in the complex primary care world, where care has to be integrated.

Robert Rowland Smith was an Oxford Don in Philosophy in his 20s, and then joined the corporate world, and has been advising the leaders of major organisations, including in the healthcare sector since the 1990s. His work falls into three categories:

  • Facilitating discussions at Board level. Apart from keeping such discussions focussed, Robert’s value lies in raising the issues that are often too awkward for insiders to raise, whilst framing such issues in a way that is unthreatening.
  • Designing development programmes for leaders. Development for what? This is the important question: without it development becomes mere training, decoupled from the business context. Robert’s programmes start with this context and are designed accordingly.
  • Coaching individuals. With a unique combination of experience in psychoanalysis, philosophy and management consultancy, Robert is able to provide particularly rich and informed coaching support to clients.

The underlying philosophy in each case is to confront the realities that face leaders, tailoring any support to respond to these realities, as opposed to selling off-the-shelf solutions.

Rob Warwick has a doctorate in healthcare policy, particularly the interaction between policy and frontline practice.   This was gained whilst working as Head of Strategic Change for a large NHS organisation where he worked closely with the Department of Health on a national healthcare initiative.  In addition to 14 years in a variety of NHS management positions Rob has 8 years’ experience in consultancy working with clients ranging from investment banks, civil aviation, the Ministry of Defence to commercial property.  In between working for the NHS and joining Chichester University in 2013 Rob had academic roles with Cass Business School and London Metropolitan University in subjects such as healthcare, management and leadership.

Rob’s particular area of interest is the role of narrative in organisations and personal development and how this might be used to explore reflexivity, complexity and power relations in groups.  This lead Rob and Douglas Board to write The social Development of Leadership and Knowledge that was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013.

Thursday 21 November 2013, 18:00-21:00

Cass Business School, 106 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8TZ

Room: 2004

Registration: 18:00-18:30

For further details of the event, please contact Shu Zhang at

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