What we do

Common Purpose helps people, organisations, cities and regions to succeed by broadening the horizons of their leaders and developing their ability to work together.

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Common Purpose runs a number of leadership development programmes for people at different stages in their career.

The programmes vary in length and content but they all involve participants and contributors from the private, public and voluntary sectors. This mix is an integral and unique feature of Common Purpose programmes, where the aim is to bring together people who might ordinarily never meet in their day to day working lives.

The programmes are facilitated by experienced professional staff and contributors come from a huge range of backgrounds and sectors. For example: from the legal profession, business, finance, manufacturing, retail, transport, politics, through to those from faith organisations, community groups, charities and aid agencies. Contributors are leaders in their own organisations and therefore able to provide fascinating insights into how they lead and how they work with other bodies and individuals.

The format for Common Purpose programmes is not classroom based learning. Instead participants are encouraged to step outside their usual environment and grapple with real-life problems at first hand.

This means they visit places they might never see or experience. For example, prisons; housing developments; manufacturing plants; stock exchanges; headquarters of public and private companies; hospices; charities and government departments. And there is an opportunity to see at first hand how decisions are made in a wide range of settings, including magistrates' courts, town halls, boardrooms and council chambers.

This helps participants gain an understanding, not only of how other organisations function, but also how leaders in those organisations are held accountable in different ways. For example: a leader working for a political party may be held accountable in a very different way to a leader whose primary responsibility is for delivering humanitarian aid, or to a leader charged with delivering regular profits for shareholders.

The programmes explore such differences and provide insights into how leaders in different organisations make decisions and the techniques they use. For example, participants from a not-for-profit organisation might examine the use of sales techniques used in a private sector company. Participants from the private sector might see at firsthand how conflict resolution techniques are used in the voluntary sector. In this way, participants are constantly encouraged to broaden their horizons when making leadership decisions and be willing to embrace new approaches.

Upcoming events

Focus 2017 (Cork)

29 March 2017
We are welcoming applications for the 2017 Focus programme which begins start on the 29th & 30th March.

Navigator 2017 (Dublin)

17 May 2017
We are accepting applications for our Dublin-based emerging leader programme - May 17th, 18th, 19th, 25th & 29th 2017.