Leadership Learning Sets



Since 2012 we have supported Mencap to launch and establish action learning as a key development tool within the organisation. The charity wanted to use action learning to facilitate leadership skills development, collaboration and to offer a structured approach to transferring learning into practice. Sets have been made up of both same role peers, and cross directorate peers.

What we did

Most recently, as an integral part of their new Our Leadership Way programme, we were asked by Mencap to design and facilitate a large-scale leadership learning set programme to reach the Top 80 leaders across all directorates in the charity.

Working closely with the Head of L&D and Head of OD, we designed and created an 18 month programme consisting of 10 on-going facilitated leaning sets which meet regularly.

The programme provides an environment where leaders support and challenge both themselves and their colleagues, specifically in relation to their leadership development. Participants explore and identify their own developmental agenda with specific focus on skills, attitudes and behaviours, leading and embracing change, and better conversations through effective dialogue.


Launch of the programme was well received by participants with an overwhelmingly positive response.

  • Feedback from all groups is that the experience has been very positive or has exceeded their expectations
  • The programme has maintained above 90% attendance
  • The sets actively build more collaborative and innovative approaches to working and thinking
  • Higher collaborative practice has grown as a result of the programme
  • Building reflective practice into each session and requiring all participants to share their observations on their own development has enabled key leadership change

“Working with The Conversation Space has been fantastic, Emily feels more like a colleague than an external facilitator. Senior leaders who have attended action learning say that it has had a profound effect on their leadership, even those who started out sceptical of the approach”

Alton Hobbs
Head of Learning and Development (Mencap)