Jason Brewster

Jason Brewster

Jason is the national Design Lead in NHS England, leading the design of NHS leadership interventions. He is a coach and lifelong learner - curious about the life and functioning of groups.

Location Leeds



  • Hi @DurgaashiniKumaragurubaran, Step 1.3 (https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/inclusive-leadership-in-health-and-care/1/steps/1516212) will explain more.

    If you are in a UK Health and care role as staff or student then you will qualify for a free upgrade through the NHS by following the steps there.

    If you are not eligible then an upgrade can be...

  • Really impactful part of this video for me was this idea:

    Wicked problems don't have simple, single causes and therefore don't have simple single solutions. But importantly, you can't solve other people's wicked problems for them, you have to give them back to the people with the problem. Involve service users. It's more than likely a group of people are...

  • As a deeper exploration into the topic of wicked issues, I'd recommend this video of Keith Grint and Clare Holt's workshop: https://vimeo.com/323460020 (2hrs)

  • Welcome! Take your time through the material. We look forward to seeing how you get on with applying it in a Hong Kong setting. Good to have you join.

  • A story could land as information but instead you did something important with it, at least in my reading...

    Your story landed with me as a story that is very personal. It could have focused on events and actions but instead it focuses on you as a central character who was present through events and reacting to them. That sort of story connects people at a...

  • @FloHolly great test of your story! It’s easy to make some assumptions about how we are landing with others or we can ask for feedback and be sure.
    How did that feedback from your colleagues land with you? What will you do with the feedback?

  • Thank you for that feedback! I’ll pass it on and look to clarify for the future. Which view did you take?

  • I love the viewpoint you’ve presented. You questioned some of the assumptions Jenna took as truth.

  • Welcome to the Edward Jenner programme @NicoleA !

  • Hi and welcome @SamuelHall!

  • What sort of processing needs to be done for Jenna so that she can go back clear and supportive?

    Perhaps take us through her anxiety or guilt related to the Appleyard’s expectations about Jenner being less competent than Mr Kelly or another pice of data above that are not so quick to let go of?

    (A question to everyone really)

  • We’ve given some beautiful answers that are a mix of clear and decisive action mixed with compassion.

    There’s some data in the E section above that we haven’t touched on as fully or at least in detail:

    - Anxiety - I’m feeling pressured; the Appleyards were expecting Tim, the head of the practice to examine Toffee.
    - Uncertainty and hesitation - Am I as...

  • I think the assertive position approach will work well to give clarity through the tough time and achieve defined outcomes.

    I’d also add that it’s important to recognise the human element in such a situation; noticing the needs beyond the clinical of the people in front of you. Just verbally noticing your own sadness and that of the clients will add care...

  • Good point - noticing reactions that don’t seem congruent and checking them out.

    If the client gets stuck with ‘Do you have any questions?’ and gives a simple ‘no’ - what sort of open question could be asked?

  • It is certainly hard to do but you have just very thoroughly reflected on a situation *on-action*!
    The more we do this more more natural and unconscious it will become so that you will naturally do this in the moment, *in-action*.

  • I get the sense that you made an initial judgement of ‘bad attitude’ and discovered that the judgment wasn’t quite accurate. Great illustration, thank you for sharing it! Did this happen *in-action* or *on-action*?

  • Thanks for flagging. I understand the academic articles are behind a pay wall, they are referenced here as evidence for the data cited. Don’t worry about getting access to them they are not core reading.

  • Good to have you join Debbie. We will certainly look to get data on your leadership behaviours in several ways in the coming weeks....

  • I hope to see the recollections of past learning here and to see you reconnect with these truths about working with others that are really age old truths but perhaps applied to different contexts. Good to have you with us Alex.

  • MT, A beautifully open and honest reflection. Thank you for the gift of it. This programme is a provocation to develop more compassionate and inclusive care for staff, clients and patients. Please give yourself permission to ask, disagree and challenge in order that we all improve the experience of care. Don’t hide the eye-rolls!

  • I’m struck by your connection between your development here and the impact it will have on your team. It makes the time challenge all the more pressing. What sort of things have you put in place to dedicate time?

  • It sounds like many people are working on just these issues. Personally I find that reassuring to feel at home among friends and partners in exploring possible solutions.

    You are capable.

  • ECC congress was great! Glad it had an impression.
    Looking forward to seeing how you stir up some interesting chats to get answers to your wonderfully important issues.

  • It does make sense! Does your CD and PM know you are on the programme? How could they support you to learn and test things out in a safe space at work?

  • Committing time and managing time is a real difficulty with online learning. Do make sure to alter your practices to make it happen otherwise it won’t. Making the first post in a forum I find to be a big step and the start of a personal commitment to the process!

  • What a beautiful comment and I completely agree; it has been really enjoyable reading about people’s motivations and diverse backgrounds!
    I hope Glenvern will support learning as well as the stories of over 300 people that are all here learning together in this cohort.

  • It sounds like you have been on quite a journey this year and I’m proud this community can be a part of it. I believe the programme has some provocation to offer as you improve your relationship with feedback. I’m so excited to hear about the next chapter of your journey! Thank you for sharing.

  • I hope our discussions together will help to continue to open up discussions and improving team culture. We are looking forward to hearing more about what you discover that helps!

  • Thanks for sharing hopes and concerns @ThomasGreensmith ! It's an interesting insight into yourself that you need an evidence base from past experiences of leadership courses. Let me help with that one first. We could go into the science of leadership but this course is not an academic course to convince you that leadership has value or impact. While the...

  • Brilliant point about learning what suits you. I want you to be critical all the way through this programme. Try everything out and reflect on what works for you and what isn’t quite right for you in the here and now.

  • I’ll be interested to see the connections between mountaineering leadership and this course! Please bring those insights into the discussions!

    Letting us know about your ‘reflection rash’ is a good .... reflection! I love the illustration of a first date. You reminded me of all the masks we put on and barriers we put up in such situations. I’ve found from...

  • This gave me so much energy! Thank you Julie for starting us off with enthusiasm.

  • Hi Hadia, Welcome! Looking forward to learning with you.

  • 1) Hi!!!! I’m Jason, I work at the NHS at the NHS Leadership Academy. I advise on how we do leadership development at a distance. I started working at the Academy when it was formed in 2012 and fell in love with working to develop human capacities and capabilities to improve the world we live and work in.
    2) I’m interested in exploring how to support the...

  • > “One reason for representation being a fundamental element of diplomacy is the need to resolve a single message from multiple voices and actors.”

    Technology and widespread access to technology has allowed everyone to speak *from* their own culture. But I wonder if the role of diplomacy is to clarify meaning and intent *into* other cultures.

  • @BenjaminEtheridge makes a good point to clarify that we are talking about the subconscious not unconscious here! Would that change your answers?!

  • I found some times I eat or even choose clothes subconsciously if its a simple or repetitive activity!

    Just checking you are not doing these unconsciously! ... would an example of that be sleep walking?!

  • Well spotted. And it’s great that you looked at what your own reaction would be in response to that comment. I wonder if Eddie felt a knock to his confidence or if he even noticed. I think I’d have felt a little angry and devalued but I’m glad and can learn from Eddie who seemed to hold his own feelings and go back to the real issue of his colleague’s feelings.

  • Thank you for sharing your thought and experience with us all. You’ve made me curious as to where self doubt, for Jenna, is a limiting factor based on fear or a useful instinct. I wonder how do you / we think we can check when we are confronted with similar experiences? Good provocation!

  • @SamanthaKni @MichailZavlaris Yes, it’s quite a practical programme and may need you to step beyond comfort zones into new spaces as you try out your leadership practice. Will be good to hear how you get on in improving care. All the best for the experiment and journey!

  • I’m heartened by the sincerity of Bharat‘s blog in showing that the service is open to all, regardless of upbringing and university choice. Through telling something of his personal journey and showing the day to day issues alongside the advantages I’m encouraged to consider how all the events of life shape each one of us and fit us for making a difference to...

  • It’s interesting to hear about the experiences of tension between personal, local and UK values and the assumptions from local citizens about who the staff are and what they should look and sound like. I’m curious about the impact that this has on the individual diplomatic impact. I hope addressing the preconceptions has a really positive effect on relationships.

  • 1) Hi!!!! I’m Jason, I work in the NHS at the NHS Leadership Academy. I look after the leadership development that goes on online /at a distance. I started working at the Academy when it was formed and fell in love with working to develop human capacities and capabilities to improve the world we live in.
    2) Every person and every group is different, so I’m...

  • Jason Brewster made a comment

    Welcome everyone! We’re glad you decided to take the step to start this course To develop your leadership! I look forward to spending the next few weeks with you. Do ask us and the whole group about anything you may have questions about. We hope this space is a space for supporting each other to grow.

  • @EmmaBroomfield really great to hear you want to work through the whole programme. These are the details of the first run of the assessment course:

    You must be enrolled by 31 March 2019. You will have until 12 May 2019 to complete the course and your portfolio.

    We are looking at dates for the second run of all of the courses and they will be advertised...

  • > What issues on diplomacy arise for you from this example?

    For me, the issues begin with awareness of the politics and cultural values on both sides.

    When understanding the context and environment Menna has to choose what she will stand for and stand firm in upholding while determining what comporomises are appropriate. One of the judgement calls made...

  • Hi I’m Jason, I hope to understand more about the concept of diplomacy and develop some competencies in this area through this course.
    I’m interested in different cultures and how heritage shapes who we are and how we think, work, live and most importantly to me - how we interact and interrelate despite difference.
    I work in the UK public sector and...

  • I’d say a diplomat is someone 1) sent by the home government as a representative to 2) negotiate with another country.

    Right now I think they are all using diplomacy but they are not all diplomats.

  • Too true, we could all do with an Eddie and I hope we all get to play a careing and supportive voice of reason role in increasing measure! What if we didn't need to put in more effort but we needed to reimagine the way we use the effort we already put in... The aim of the programme is to suggest some changes in the way we see our work and colleagues and to...

  • Ryder Carroll calls today the ”copy and paste world” - there is a beautiful inefficiency that notebooks afford in such a fast world. They slow us down enough to reflect and notice things that otherwise we are unaware of. In our case these reflections are all about the way we impact those around us.

  • What sort of questions would be open? Do you have any examples from your own experience that would encourage others to share thinking?

  • @CarlyMartin-pope do you have a link to the experiment at all?

    From reflecting on some conversations with colleagues this week that have helped me grow I’ve found that a good way to promote inclusive practices by raising bias has been to encourage the consideration of other viewpoints. When I’ve formed an opinion, to ask myself and others “what other...

  • Do we actively dissuade gossip or simply have no part in it? What marks a leader out in these conversations?

  • I'd suggest from a conscious position we *should* not make choices that are biased, however, we have seen that we all have bias *unconsciously*. It's the way humans work. The aim of the reflections in this activity are to encourage the group to be aware of how innate biases show up in our behaviours and to consider how we will regulate how they play out in our...

  • @HelenCoffield you mention "I think it can be very easy to become part of the gossip culture in the workplace and this is something we should try and limit."

    What will you do to limit this? How would you (and others in the group reading this) do to hold others to account in this?

  • Can you ever truly select people without some sort of bias?

  • Interesting reflection on the method and your reaction to it. I'm hearing you found the method something you were very aware of ... What did you learn about yourself?

  • A reminder to consider the questions and not just your reaction to the test method;

    Q. What emotional reaction do you have to your results and why?

    Q. What do you notice about yourself through the results and the way in which you engaged with and processed the test?

    Q. How does this awareness need to impact your actions?

  • And so what did you learn about yourself through your reaction to this?

  • As we process the emotions associated with this it's important to also consider the question: What do you learn about yourself in engaging with the video?

  • I think it's important to note that this is an edited and curated video made for US TV to encourage a response. It is not a factual account of the process of the research. But having said that we should not be so focused on the method of presentation at the expense of hearing the message. What do you learn about yourself by engaging with the video?

  • I commented above on just this point. Peggy McIntosh asks us to consider what being in a majority (and so privileged social group) blinds people to in this doc : https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/mcintosh.pdf

  • Unfortunately, the issue is still present today. I wonder if we notice it and if we do not what does that say? There is a theory of 'white privilege', developed by Peggy McIntosh, this document asks us to consider what being in a majority (and so privileged social group) blinds you to : https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/mcintosh.pdf What impact...

  • Really useful applying this to groups, thank you! When we all operate from different stories we will end up with a problem sooner or later. Our work of leadership in noticing ”the mush” is to help create a shared understanding so that the group can move forward and work effectively and cohesively.

  • Thanks for coanswering about how it’s going for you. As you wrestled with the video, comments and text what did you glean that was of use?
    What work do you need to do with this? What quQuestion would you like answering?

  • Agreed. And combining with the last step and its comments about balance - judgments are how human beings are designed to work so its just keeping a check on how helpful our judgments are being in any given situation.

  • It can feel difficult at first but I've found it becomes a very natural thing over time.

    ”can I just get clear...”
    ”What I’m hearing is....”
    ”... Is that your experience of what is happening here?” are good phrases that begin to slip into your vocabulary.

  • Totally agree and that's one of the points in the video that stick out for me; considering who owns the experience. It's easy for us to attempt to own all the experiences and so we get emotional and that results in controlling behaviours.

  • Very true and good summary. Balance is key. As humans I find it is something that is not automatic, its good to check our assumptions.

  • Thanks for using real experiences and reflecting on them out loud. You are not alone in your experiences and this video encourages me to consider how I'm making assumptions every day. As we develop our awareness of this we have the opportunity to pause and challenge ourselves in the moment.

  • A brilliant analogy that challenges assumptions!

  • It certainly does effect care from my experience in human health and care and from my lived experience of receiving care.

  • Good point. Labels are sometimes helpful and unavoidable ... but ... when do they stop us being thoughtful relational humans?

  • I like 'tattooed' as a description. Above I was commenting about the 'stickiness' of labels and the way they can follow people about and objectify if we are not careful.

  • Labels are often helpful as you have described. Sometimes acronyms cause a bit of a barrier or labels can be very culturally bound... whatever the label we need to be curious about who the label helps, is it helpful to the labeller? ... on the flip side ... what it is like to be on the receiving end of the label?

  • To what degree have we experimented with using the above change conversation in our workplace?
    What did you learn? What difference did it begin to make to the team?

  • "Labels demonstrate detachment..." often this is all too true.
    Labels try and sum things up in a neat way.
    Sometimes labels are helpful ... but sometimes, when used on human beings, they reduce people almost to objects. This should make us curious about the words we use, the quantity that are labels, and the effect we are having on others... thank you for...

  • I love the feeling you've associated with the words - 'cold and impersonal'.

    Words have a big impact on people. Particularly labels. Labels are often sticky and hard to remove descriptions that others give us and we give them. When a label is sticky the feelings also stick. I wonder if, over time and use, the glue on labels dries and becomes hard to remove...

  • "Jenna referring to Julia as 'Surgeon in charge'- this assumes she was the only culpable person" Good spot! Following on from the last steps, I wonder if this sort of view helps blame cultures develop.

  • I'm hearing the group say that there are many contributing factors to a culture of blame. The broad themes, at least as I read them, are;

    1) The intra-personal - (what's going on in individuals) feelings of fear, feelings of personal lacking or failure, unspoken beliefs and values;

    2) The inter-personal - (what goes on between individuals) unmet...

  • It's great to see the application of learning to the work we do. Even if it's in reflection on the past. You mention you felt unable to act further because you are not a manager, what things might you try as a leader in future situations?

  • Consider *feeling* here not thought. What did you feel? What event caused the feeling? I find this a good tool from JCA to help define a feeling : https://www.jcaglobal.com/mediatogotolive/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/JCA-Feelings-wheel.pdf

  • "It seems to me that this lovely new practice has been set up and they’ve put together a group of people to staff it but they are not yet a team."
    Interesting phrase, I liked it, it made me think of some inferences:
    - A team isn't a collection of people, even if on paper there exists responsibility and roles.
    - A team then is something that comes from an...

  • Hi @AttilaCsaka, the ideas you have quoted - what do you think? Why and how do you think they could be applied to the story?

  • I'd encourage you to think about the first question in terms of how you *observed and collected* the data not how did you *record* the data you collected.

    One way to do this is to get specific. Take a particular point that you plotted on the experience map or a note that you took and recall what happened between you to lead you to that data point. Was it a...

  • It's a shame the photo above doesn't come out clearer but how you manage your discomfort with not having all the information you'd 'like to have' is part of the growth.
    I'd encourage you to try it out with the information that is here. You don't have to do it 'right'. There is no 'right' map. The real ask of this task is to practice observing a situation...

  • Hi @HoratiuMarchis could you expand on that? What situation causes that feeling and how do you process it and react?

  • Thanks, @NicolaDavies for bringing the challenge to the group. I'd say firstly, what a brilliant problem to have! What that does for me is demonstrate you have changed in such a way that people can see a difference.

    There are some elements of this course that will certainly help with this. we will look this week at how you step back and map different...

  • Have you managed to articulate your values and see how they work out in your behaviours? This is a simple but brilliant free self-assessment to help you think about your values : https://www.valuescentre.com/our-products/products-individuals/personal-values-assessment-pva

  • The change doesn't need to be dramatic from a 4-week course - it takes years to develop these practices. An awareness and an ability to create spaces to consider behaviours in your leadership practice is a fantastic outcome and I'd be very pleased with that!

  • I think it will be helpful to start at : https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/discovering-self-as-leader-for-veterinary-professionals/1 . It's 4 weeks, the main focus is on Self and awareness. We plan to run another run of the programme later in the year and will update the course page with dates once we have confirmed them.

  • Thanks so much to everyone who has been able to help with the research into diversities, motivations and leadership perspectives!

  • Jason Brewster made a comment

    Hi, It's great to see everyone back for course 2. I'm Jason and I work at the Leadership Academy on our distance learning interventions. I've been blessed with working here and amongst some amazing leaders nationally for over 6 years and I think it a delight to share and support learning with others.

    My opportunity for learning here is in doing some of the...

  • Hi @NazimShabudinMukadam it's good to have you join again in course 2! We ask these questions for a second time for a couple of reasons;

    1) All data on FutureLearn is anonymised and so we don't know who is joining us for course 2 and who is not.

    2) The questions asking about your personal view of leadership allow us to research the change of...

  • Has it been a curve that takes you in a useful direction? What is the work you think you need to do to move forward from where you are?

  • This course is advertised as requiring 6 hrs a week for each of 4 weeks. The certificates have this on the back but the real evidence of work is the development of self-awareness, reflective practice and new leadership behaviours that your colleagues will hopefully attest to. These will also show up as changes you will hopefully make in the systems of animal...

  • Spot on point. Questions are essential. They are not weakness but they surface new insights and possibilities for the future and for success. What sort of questions help you to discover more about an issue? One of my go-to resources for developing an ability to ask powerful questions is :...

  • A few questions about the equality and diversity monitoring questions...
    The Leadership Academy is responsible for developing inclusive practice in the health and care workforce (as one strand of several). We monitor the diversity of our cohorts so we can discover if our cohorts are representative of the diversity in the workforce. As well as for monitoring...

  • Hi Peter, I've pinned the answer to this question above as a few have asked.

  • Hi Michael, This data will help us understand how we are providing development opportunities equally across the workforce. But the questions are optional if they are uncomfortable and you choose not to answer do select that option on the survey.