Measuring beyond command and control: a masterclass

3rd September 2021
10:00 until 11.30 BST

Measuring performance is not only about defining the right parameters. All though this is important, the purpose of measuring in the first place trumps any effort at finding the right things to measure. This masterclass shows how to start to using measures to understand and improve, and what consequences this perspective will have both on the specific measures being used, but also why they are being used. Measuring beyond command and control has large implications for leaders, employees, and consultants. This masterclass gives you a high level ,as well as a very practical introduction to how to get started.

Participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of what the purpose of measuring is
  • Understand the criteria for ‘a good measure’
  • Be able to ask better questions about measures
  • See practical examples of real measures and the link to the organizational operation
  • Be introduced to the theory of variation and understand its implications
  • Be able to better predict the organizational performance
  • Understand the link between what you measure and the organizational system
  • Be able to collect measures in your own organization

There will be time to ask questions at the end of the session.

The masterclass is most relevant for leaders and improvement consultants in the private and public sector.

Duration 1,5 hour.

Participants will attend without sound and video, with the opportunity to ask questions.

£125 + VAT per delegate

To book a place, please complete the booking form and email it to

Masterclass – Beyond Rules and Procedure

Friday 24th September 2021
10:00 until 11.30 BST

Most leaders understand that rules and procedures have their limitations – but they use them anyway. The consequences are more bureaucratic and rigid organizations. But if you want to go beyond rules and procedures, what can you do instead? A viable alternative needs to better solve the problem that rules and procedures are trying to solve. This masterclass gives you an understanding of the mechanics of the bureaucracy factory and introduces you to a structured approach by which principles are used as a viable alternative. You will also see how this approach works within legal frameworks and compliments the workings of an organization that understands customers demand and uses measures to understand and improve the work. Finally, you will begin to see how going beyond rules and procedures affects the role of leaders, employees, and consultants.

Participants will:

  • Be introduced to the bureaucracy factory
  • Understand the model for going beyond rules and procedures, and the logic behind it
  • Understand how to formulate principles based on knowledge from the work
  • Understand what needs to be in place for a principle-based approach to work
  • Understand how principles can be used to create better practices within legal frameworks
  • See how principles complements understanding demand, better measures and improving performance

There will be time to ask questions at the end of the session.

The masterclass is most relevant for leaders and improvement consultants in the private and public sector.

Duration 1,5 hour.

Participants will attend without sound and video, with the opportunity to ask questions.

£125 + VAT per delegate
£95 + VAT per delegate (if booked before Friday 20th August 2021)

To book a place, please complete the booking form and email it to

FREE networking event

happy young woman having video call via laptop

Thursday 14 October 2021
10:00 until 12:00 GMT

Via Zoom

An opportunity for practitioners and leaders across different sectors to come together and:

  • hear a case study
  • share learning
  • discuss challenges and opportunities
  • connect with like-minded people

We will get together in break out rooms to network, reflect on the case study and talk about challenges in your own work.

Sign up here:

Understanding Demand: a masterclass

Friday 13th August 2021
10:00 until 11.30 BST

This masterclass introduces the concept of failure demand and how you can apply it in your own organizational context. It is a systems concept, often misunderstood, that represents one of the greatest levers for improving organizational performance. Jonas Astrup Beck and Kristian Astrup Nielsen from Vanguard Scandinavia will deliver the masterclass through mix of lecturing, animating, and drawing. They will put the concept in its proper context and provide a very practical introduction to how you can get started in your own organization.

Participants will:

  • Be introduced to the concept of failure demand
  • Learn how to do a demand analysis in your own organization
  • Understand why failure demand is a systems concept
  • See examples of what demand looks like and is used across services
  • Understand when it makes sense to study demand, when it doesn’t – and what to do instead
  • Be able to ask questions directly to the presenters
  • See how an understanding of demand is linked to better measures

There will be time to ask questions at the end of the session.

The masterclass is most relevant for leaders and improvement consultants in the private and public sector.

Duration: 90 minutes.

Participants will attend without sound and video, with the opportunity to ask questions.

£125 + VAT per delegate
£112.50 + VAT per delegate for Get Knowledge members
£100.00 + VAT per delegate for Go for it members

To book a place, please click here to buy online with a debit or credit card, ApplePay, or GooglePay, or complete the booking form and email it to

Beyond Commissioning: an action-learning masterclass

A one-day masterclass for people considering a new approach to commissioning

Mornings of 23rd and 24th November 2021 (online)

This highly practical one-day session will help you to change the way you engage with your commissioner/provider partners to create a collaborative, asset-based approach to improving your service.

You will hear from a local authority commissioner about how they studied the homecare system in their area, before deciding to redesign it to better achieve what really mattered to service users, leading to improved outcomes for citizens, workers and costs.

Learn how to study your own service as a system.

Benefits of attending

  • get an insight into a different approach to commissioning
  • learn from others who have realised the benefits of commissioning in a different way
  • understand at an introductory level the Vanguard Method and its application in People Centred Systems
  • understand why it is critical to change the thinking that governs the way the system is run when transforming the commissioning process
  • learn how to experiment within current procurement law

Who is the masterclass for?

  • those working in People Centred Systems
  • anyone who runs and manages front-line services in either the public, third sector or private sector (e.g. home-care commissioners, or advice line providers)
  • anyone interested in using the skills, knowledge, and strengths of individuals in communities and localities when commissioning services
  • policymakers in public services nationally and locally
  • regulators and inspectors

Distance learning – due to the current social distancing restrictions, this programme will be delivered via a video conferencing platform, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The course will be strictly limited to small groups to create value for each delegate and in manageable sessions with plenty of intervals to allow for comfort and refreshment breaks.

Joanne Gibson
Joanne has many years of experience in the Vanguard Method and has consulted on diverse projects in the public, voluntary and private sectors. She has helped a wide variety of organisations understand how their current system works through the application of Vanguard Method principles. This has included extensive experience working across organisations in localities, challenging traditional work boundaries and removing constraints to focus on the individual/citizen at the centre of the service(s). More recently she has supported organisations experimenting with commissioning homecare based on an understanding of ‘what matters’ and challenging traditional procurement processes.

Brendan O’Donovan
Brendan O’Donovan is Head of Research at Vanguard Consulting. Originally from a local authority background, Brendan joined Vanguard in 2007 and worked with Vanguard’s founder Prof John Seddon on a series of publications. Brendan has worked with a variety of organisations including local authorities, universities, the NHS, housing associations and charities to study the way they design and manage their work.

Brendan and Joanne are also the tutors on a workplace-based People Centred Services course at Kingston University, helping those working in people centred services to improve people’s lives and reduce costs.

The cost to attend this ‘Beyond Commissioning’ event is £195 plus VAT per delegate.  

To book your place, complete the booking form and email it to

If you are not able to attend the November dates, please register your interest and be the first to find out when the next course will run next by filling in the form below

Vanguard and Kingston University Course

Vanguard and Kingston University Course

Will you take the opportunity to improve people’s lives and significantly reduce costs?

Pioneers across public services are achieving large financial savings and remarkable improvements in service by thinking radically about People Centred Systems. Listen to practitioners talk about results they have achieved using the Vanguard Method.

There are practical steps you need to take to improve people-centred services and dramatically reduce costs. The Vanguard Method and Kingston University London People Centred Services course will show you how. The module is accredited at Post Graduate Level 7 and worth 30 credits.

“The best course I’ve undertaken in my 17 years in Local Government.  It’s an approach that has made me completely rethink how I will plan the review, design and development of services and systems within and across my organisation and has provided me with a practical and logical way to go about it.”
Ceri Armstrong, Senior Health and Social Care Development Manager, Adult Social Care, Thurrock Council (studied on Cohort 6 of the course)

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the course and learnt far more than I expected. It’s made a huge difference in that before the course I felt I had some/reasonable understanding of the Vanguard Method but was a little uncertain about whether I understood it sufficiently to fundamentally change the way my organisation works. Now I have the confidence/knowledge to make those changes. I have no hesitation in recommending the course and will do so to anyone I can.”
Nigel Lucas, CEO at The Charity of Elizabeth Jane Jones

The course has been taught entirely online during the pandemic, whereas previously students were required to visit each other’s systems and the Kingston University campus. We will confirm the final arrangements for October closer to the start date. The course has a restricted intake so an early application is advised.

Register an interest

To register an interest in this course, please contact

Find out more about the course in the module guide.