The Maximum Performance Public Service Manager Programme 2018-19

A highly practical approach to managing yourself and those around you in the context of a changing and increasingly uncertain and ambiguous environment.

This unique programme will help managers find ways to make every day management better and make a difference.

Aimed at public sector managers and leaders who line manage others, the programme takes a modular approach and gives participants plenty of tools and strategies for dealing with everyday challenges in the workplace. It provides the opportunity to learn from others’ experiences, reflect on their own, and benefit from the inspirational advice and guidance of your choice of expert trainer.

The programme has been designed with a number of delivery options in mind:

  1. It can be delivered for your organisation on an in-house basis, entirely ‘off-the-shelf’. We have a small team of specially selected trainers who all have experience of working in and with public service from whom you can take your pick (depending on location, experience or best ‘fit’ with your organisation).
  2. Or we can deliver a tailored version for you. This might mean dropping or adding modules according to the participants’ learning needs or level of responsibility; using pre work activities linked to your organisation’s impending change in structure and approach; tailoring materials to incorporate organisational values, policies or manager capabilities; or perhaps changing the format in some way – whatever will work best for your organisation.
  3. Or we can develop a completely bespoke programme for you. This might take some inspiration from the ‘flagship’ programme set out here, it might not – the choice is entirely yours.

View our interactive booklet!

Or download a printer-friendly version of the interactive booklet’s content HERE.


The aim is to help you increase your confidence and effectiveness day to day, on the ground, as well as in the longer term. You may be an ‘accidental manager’, someone who is new to the role or perhaps you have been a manager for some time and never had the chance to participate in a full management development programme.

Core modules

The programme provides a topical, up to date framework of core modules built around important public service management themes:

  • Managing and leading day to day in an uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment
  • Promoting responsibility and accountability
  • Holding honest conversations and dealing with the challenging side of performance discussions
  • Motivation, engagement and wellbeing
  • Commercial awareness
  • Developing coaching skills
  • Being entrepreneurial
  • Managing stress and time
  • Working in a political environment

2018-19 programme dates
  • Modules 1 & 2: 21 November 2018
  • Modules 3 & 4: 12 December 2018
  • Modules 5 & 6: 30 January 2019
  • Module 7: 27 February 2019
  • Modules 8 & 9: 20 March 2019
  • Module 10 & 11: 24 April 2019
  • Module 12 & 13: 15 May 2019
  • Modules 14: 19 June 2019
  • Modules 15 & 16: 10 July 2019


Tough times continue for public services as internal and external drivers in a fast-moving landscape put ever more pressure on managers, the ‘squeezed middle’. Demands on resources and time mean that managers need practical and workable everyday solutions and approaches that support them in their busy, stretching daily work.

This programme helps managers make things better on a daily basis through skills and confidence building, enabling them to tackle the difficult and the challenging with greater assertiveness. The learning days use expert input, coaching support and peer-to-peer learning to generate and share new ideas and approaches.

There are some ‘must do’ threads that run through the whole programme – accountability, responsibility, personal impact, better communication, better engagement. The focus is on what makes a difference, often through incremental gains, being effective with time, and holding people accountable through positive feedback conversations.

But we also put a strong focus on commercialism and the entrepreneurial skills that requires, helping challenge existing ways of thinking and generating the new approaches necessary for public service organisations – and those who work in them – to survive and thrive in a VUCA environment.

And the strict limit on the group size (a maximum of 12 participants) ensures that each participant has ample opportunity to discuss their challenges on a one-to-one basis with the expert trainers.


Expert trainers

A programme like this stands or falls on the quality of the trainers. You couldn’t be in safer hands than those of our two experts, both of whom draw on their considerable experience of working in local government and delivering learning and development programmes to leaders and managers in diverse public services and wider settings.

Amanda Dudman is the programme director. Positive-minded and energetic, she is a qualified coach and widely respected trainer in her field. She models and uses a coaching approach in learning sessions and offers continuous individual and group support.

David Elverson is the guest presenter, widely and highly regarded for his work in supporting public service organisations to develop commercially. He does this at a strategic level as a consultant and also at a very practical level, training thousands of public service managers in commercial awareness and entrepreneurial thinking.

Managing and leading day-to-day


  • Welcome and introductions
  • Setting the scene and creating expectations – introducing the programme
  • Your role as a manager
  • Drawing up a development plan
  • Peer-to-peer development discussions


  • What is VUCA?
  • VUCA insights and approaches during continuous change
  • Action planning and peer learning review


Personal tools for managing in a changing work environment


  • Time thieves and pressures
  • Signs of stress and spotting them
  • What’s in your stress container?
  • Tips and ideas for managing your stress levels
  • Learning review


  • ROWE (results orientated work environment)
  • Managing people in a remote and agile environment
  • Building trust
  • Are you an agile manager?
  • Learning review


Improving performance


  • How do you learn?
  • Creating effective development plans
  • Holding great development and learning one-to-ones
  • Practising with your peers
  • Learning review


  • The accountability ladder
  • Having accountable team members who take responsibility
  • DEAL – a structured approach for holding an accountability discussion
  • Peer practice using the DEAL framework
  • Learning review


Honest conversations


  • Your honest conversation challenges
  • Building the relationship
  • Providing and receiving feedback
  • Dealing with challenging behaviours
  • Listening and rapport
  • The Emotional Bank Account
  • ‘Fierce conversations’ – dealing with conflict in a conversation
  • Learning review


Developing and implementing an enterprising approach


  • What is entrepreneurship?
  • Types of innovation
  • Benefits of entrepreneurship
  • Challenge focused innovation
  • Review and action planning


  • Practising entrepreneurial thinking – tools and techniques
  • Imaginative ways of using resources
  • Review and action planning


Motivation and engagement for resilience


  • Defining motivation
  • Exploring some motivation thinking
  • Skill or will?
  • Drawing up a motivation plan for someone you manage
  • Review and action planning


  • What’s your engagement and wellbeing challenge?
  • Commitment v compliance
  • The resilience gallery
  • Activities that boost resilience and support wellbeing
  • Learning review


Managing and leading strategically


  • The core skills and behaviours for coaching
  • The coaching spectrum (Downey)
  • Coaching each other
  • How you coach without giving the answers
  • Learning review


  • The influence your values have on your style
  • Your impact: the shadow of a leader
  • It starts with me – what I say, how I act, how I measure
  • Learning review


Commercial skills


  • What is commercial thinking?
  • Defining strategic commercial objectives
  • Developing a strategic focus
  • Defining customer targets
  • The competitive marketplace
  • Meeting stakeholder expectations
  • Implementation – systems, structures and processes
  • Implementation – people and culture
  • Tools and checklists


The political dimension and wrapping it all up


  • Communicating with elected members and understanding their motivations
  • The political structure where you work
  • Using the Member Officer Relationship Protocol
  • Influencing skills and approaches
  • Formulating an influencing plan


  • Reviewing activities
  • Personal, group and peer-led learning review of all the modules and personal learning
  • Call to action – going forwards and my next steps
  • Action planning and evaluation


Note: a more detailed programme outline is available HERE

Your programme director

Amanda Dudman

Amanda-Dudman-photo_bwAmanda Dudman is a highly experienced coach, trainer and facilitator specialising in providing leadership coaching, management development programmes and facilitation services, primarily to the public and VCSE sectors.

She enjoyed a fifteen-year career in the VCSE sector, including two assistant directorships, before setting up her own consultancy in 2001. Her training and consultancy work in the public sector has so far extended to facilitation sessions, focus groups, team development, personal effectiveness skills training, customer service training, performance management and appraisal skills training, as well as specialist, tailored leadership and management programmes.

Amanda’s substantial public service client list includes: Surrey County Council, Buckinghamshire County Council, Wycombe District Council, Craven District Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council, Chiltern & South Bucks District Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Bristol City Council and Northampton Council, Homes for Islington, Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Court Service, London Boroughs of Haringey, Greenwich and Newham, Derbyshire County Council, Wellingborough Homes, North Herts Homes, Black Sheep CIC, Horizons Hub CIC, Surrey Community Action, Different Strokes, Northampton Partnership Homes, Play England, YMCA, Apprenticemakers, Cockpit Arts and the Social Business Alliance, etc, etc.

Her numerous professional qualifications include a Post-Graduate Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring Practice, Certified NLP Business Practitioner and Chartered Fellow CIPD. She is the author of a number of books on mentoring.

See what participants have said about Amanda’s programmes:

Engaging personality who knows what she is doing – excellent communicator.’
‘Very knowledgeable and very clear messages. She showed experience in the topic.’
‘Positive, motivational.’
‘Very knowledgeable and engaging.’
‘Superb course would thoroughly recommend.’
‘Amanda was very engaging and easy to work with.’
‘Thank you, great course.’
‘Very eye opening. Learnt a lot!’
‘Very energetic, not boring!!’
‘Amanda is very good. Have learnt a lot!’
‘Amanda had an excellent presentation style that inspired enthusiasm within the group.’
‘Extremely good.’
‘Excellent course content and superbly delivered – thank you.’
‘The trainer was awesome!’

Your guest presenter

David Elverson

David-Elverson-2018David Elverson has been supporting commercial development in the public sector for the last 15 years, first as a Business Manager of a traded service of Norfolk County Council (when he undertook an MSc in Marketing focused on commercial development in the public sector) and then as a consultant with large national firms, specialising in commercial development and business case development in both the private and public sectors. In 2014 David started his own consultancy and has now supported some forty local authorities, a number of NHS Trusts and other public-sector bodies as they develop commercially.

This has involved training staff in commercial skills, advising members and senior leaders on how to embed commercial operations across their authority, and supporting specific initiatives by creating commercial business cases and marketing strategies. David has now trained over 2,500 public sector staff in commercial skills. David sits on the Cabinet Office’s Quality Review Panel, is an approved consultant to the LGA’s productivity expert programme and has provided extensive support to the Department of Business, Environment and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

In 2017 David had another book published, Commercial Gov: a practical guide to commercial development in the public sector.

David delivers modules 8, 9 & 14.

See what participants have said about David’s programmes:

‘Really well-presented course that gives a good grounding in commercial awareness and gives new tools and skills to improve or begin commercial sales.’
Memorable and very enjoyable; delivered at the right level. Thanks David!’
‘Very informative and challenged our ways of thinking. There are a number of elements from today that we will use to improve our ways of working commercially.’
Great insight into commercial awareness, use of models and frameworks.’
‘Dynamic and engaging.’
‘Very knowledgeable with lots of real examples from personal experiences.’
‘Professional, engaging, credible.’
‘Highly knowledgeable and was able to convey message clearly (easy to understand).’

Fact file


A series of sixteen ‘bite-sized’ and full-day modules, over a period of nine months. Key features include:

  • ‘Pre-work’ before each module, to ensure that all participants have addressed the issues in advance of each module, thereby allowing all the sessions to be run at the optimal level and speed
  • Individual and group exercises and skills practice sessions in each module, for truly experiential learning
  • Limited group size (minimum 6, maximum 12) to ensure the ideal participant: trainer ratio
  • High quality programme materials (including access to ILM’s online learning resources)
  • ILM Development Certificate for each participant (which can be used as evidence for CPD purposes, where appropriate)

Who should attend?

This management development programme has been designed specifically for public service organisations – local authorities, housing associations, NHS Trusts, VCSEs and any other organisations outside the private sector but needing to adapt to a changing and increasingly commercial world.

The programme is ideal for any manager in a public service organisation wanting to improve their management skills. It is ideal for both newly appointed or promoted managers and any managers who have been in post for a while but who have not had the benefit of attending a structured development programme.


All sessions are held at the British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS – a ten minute stroll from Oxford Circus / Great Portland Street tube stations.


9.30 – 4.30 including breaks and a buffet lunch.

Price and how to book

  • ‘Early bird’ price (for all bookings received by 15 September 2018): £1,995 + VAT per person
  • Standard price: £2,495 + VAT per person
  • 50% discount for the second and third places booked (maximum three participants from any one organisation per programme)

To book, please complete the form at the bottom of the page and email it to

The in-house option

Of course, the programme is also available on an in-house basis. We can run it ‘as is’. Or we can add in some optional modules we prepared earlier (eg, ‘Managing change’, ‘Stress awareness’, ‘Influencing skills’ or ‘Compelling communication’). Or we can use it as the starting point for a conversation with you before designing a bespoke version, just for your organisation, in order to meet your specific requirements. If you are interested in this option, please give Helen Nuttall a call on 01582 714280.

ILM recognition

ILM_Logo_RECP_RGB_HIThis programme is recognised by the Institute of Leadership and Management as a ‘Development programme’. This is the benchmark of high quality leadership and management training. All participants on ILM Development programmes benefit from free studying membership for the duration of their programme. This includes access to the ILM’s online library of materials. On completion of the programme, they receive a Development certificate from the ILM, recognising and celebrating their learning and achievement.

How to book

Just complete and return the booking form and we’ll send you an invoice or VAT receipt as appropriate.

Please send your completed form to

2018-19 booking form

Our open programmes get great feedback. Give us a call on 01582 714280 if you’ve got any questions.