The Birmingham Leadership Institute: Key information

About the Birmingham Leadership Institute

The most pressing contemporary challenges – local, national and international – are frequently characterised by complexity, difference, disruption and conflict. The Birmingham Leadership Institute exists to research and develop the leadership required to make progress on them. 

The BLI’s mission is to:

  • Better understand, through research and practice, the leadership required at all levels to enable progress on complex organisational, social, political, environmental, commercial and economic challenges.
  • Educate, train and develop people with the knowledge, skills and capacities to practice this leadership.
  • Inform public debate and the public understanding of leadership.

They believe that leadership always reflects values. The BLI value:

  • Collaborative leadership across boundaries, sectors, organisations, spatial levels and areas of life.
  • Inclusive leadership that promotes, reflects and prizes diversity and seeks to develop the leadership of others.
  • Responsible leadership that seeks to enable positive and sustainable outcomes for people, places and our planet.


Exploring Leadership Course Leaders

Professor Christopher Pietroni

Christopher’s work focuses on leadership and change in complex systems with a particular interest in applying and adapting insights from narrative, framing, movement building and adaptive leadership. Working in the UK, US and Europe he leads a number of senior executive and graduate development programmes and post-graduate teaching/Exec Ed as well as consulting widely.

He is a long-time collaborator with Prof Marshall Ganz and in 2016 was a member of Prof Ron Heifetz’s adaptive leadership teaching team at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Christopher has wide experience directing, designing and leading systems leadership programmes across the public sector including: Senior Civil Service Programme (Civil Service Leadership Academy) Leadership for Change (Systems Leadership Steering Group), Skills for Systems Leadership (PHE), Future Vision (Leadership Centre), C21st Aspiring Directors Programme (University of Birmingham), National Graduate Development Programme for Local Government (University of Birmingham).

Matt Gott

Matt is a Senior Associate at the Birmingham Leadership Institute. He is Programme Director for a number of national leadership programmes including the Leadership Centre’s flagship Future Vision Programme for Chief Executives and leaders from across the private, public and third sectors and the NHS Aspiring Directors of Nursing programme. He has also designed and led place-based leadership programmes including the Bristol Leadership Challenge and Leading Greater Essex. Matt combines his role in leadership development with consulting to organisations and networks of organisation grappling with complex, systemic challenges.

Matt is also an advisor to the Innovation Unit, applying disciplined innovation and design practice to complex problems, for example as a coach in the Department for Education’s Innovation in Social Care Program. And as Lead Expert in Open Innovation for URBACT, an EU body, he facilitated a Europe-wide network of cities embracing the principles of open innovation. His career in leadership positions within the public sector includes roles as an executive director of a local authority, a director of inspections in a national regulatory body and a civil servant

Professor Catherine Mangan

Catherine is the Director of Education for the College of Social Sciences and a Professor of Public Management and Leadership in the Institute of Local Government Studies at the University of Birmingham. She has a background as a policy maker and practitioner in public service and as such as a particular interest in developing research which can deliver change within the public sector.  Her research-informed areas of interest include developing the public service workforce, leadership and the integration of health and social care. Catherine also develops and delivers leadership programmes including the National Graduate Development Programme, the Aspiring Directors of Public Health programme and the Total Leadership programme for aspiring chief executives.