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Manchester’s 100 Day Challenge: Leadership on the Frontline

The People Powered Results team are currently working with the Manchester Local Care Organisation on three consecutive 100 Day Challenges - and Wave 1 has just wrapped up!

These challenges have been designed to build the leadership capabilities of integrated teams across twelve neighbourhoods so that care can be tailored to local needs. These neighbourhood teams comprise of frontline practitioners from the health, social care and voluntary sectors, and involve people like Neighbourhood Leads. These act as the ‘glue’ in bringing the local system together to make a real difference to local communities.

Across the system, there is a commitment to distribute leadership and develop new capabilities through the application of the 100 Day Challenge method. But what does this look like in practice?

So far we have seen people:

  • collaborating with others across boundaries to test new ideas and approaches,
  • starting to ‘see’ themselves as leaders,
  • taking ownership of the challenges that emerge in transformation efforts,
  • recognising the difference they can make through their own efforts,
  • and using their skills to influence others in their team rather than exercising power and authority.
A statement from a nurse that took part in the 100 day challenge that says: "The 100 Day Challenge has made me question my role as a nurse, which is restricted by red tape and governance. My wings are clipped."

My wings are clipped

What's been happening?

In the first wave, four neighbourhood teams chose their own population groups and focus areas to shape their challenge efforts. Here’s an idea of what they got up during their 100 days:

  • Cheetham and Crumpsall Integrated Neighbourhood Team focussed on people with diabetes who spoke Urdu and Punjabi. Highlights of their challenge efforts include sending text messages during Ramadan to people with short video clips to promote self-care, finding and training community champions to share information and do myth-busting in their neighbourhood and setting up cooking classes. You can find out more about what they’ve been up to here.
  • Miles Platting, Moston, Newton Health and City Centre Integrated Neighbourhood Team focused on social isolation in particular among young people on anti-depressants and/or older/frail people who are housebound. During the challenge, the team developed and tested a loneliness survey, trained GP receptionists as social isolation champions, organised a vintage tea party that was reported on ITV News and built networks with other local organisations working on the challenge.
  • Chorlton, Whalley Range and Fallowfield Integrated Neighbourhood Team focused on people with anxiety and/or depression. Their tests included having IAPT services available in a GP practice, training non-clinical GP staff in mental health awareness, and opening up social prescribing to wider referrals.
  • Wythenshawe (Baguley, Sharston and Woodhouse Park) Integrated Neighbourhood team focused on people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Their challenge efforts included exploring new ways to use consultants virtual clinics, increasing attendance at Breathe Easy Groups, and using social media to raise awareness.

What was it like taking part?

At the end of wave 1, challenge participants told us how useful the experience had been in helping them to build relationships with peers and grow their networks within neighbourhoods. Through their challenge, the neighbourhood teams learned that leadership means understanding the value of each other’s perspectives and feeling like your team members ‘have your back on a bad day’.

Teams also discovered that understanding leadership comes out in different ways for individuals, that they need to trust each other to ‘do their own bit’, and that connecting with people’s realities in neighbourhood and challenging their own assumptions was important. Ultimately this process created the conditions where people could step outside the system, learn continuously, and have some fun along the way!

A picture of a collage describing acts of leadership that took place during the challenge

Acts of leadership

So what's next?

The four neighbourhood teams are planning to continue testing their ideas and are thinking about how to adapt and incorporate the method into their neighbourhood plans so that they can apply the approach for other challenges faced by the community.

In the second wave, four new neighbourhood teams will be building their leadership capabilities by testing new ideas with asylum seekers and refugees, people with low mood needs and people with chronic disorders who are disengaged with their GP and/or social care. Check in early next year to find out what happened in wave 2!

To find out more about the work of the People Powered Results team read our report reflecting on five years of the 100 Day Challenge.


Rajwinder Cheema

Rajwinder Cheema

Rajwinder Cheema

Programme Manager, People Power Results

Raj joined Nesta in April 2016 as a Programme Manager for the People Powered Results team in our Health Lab.

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