Manchester Metropolitan University

News story

New city leadership forum

Backed by Business School research

'LEADERSHIP, Leadership, Leadership!' is rapidly becoming the key mantra for today’s business world.

And MMU is playing an important part in ensuring the region’s chief executives are fully informed on leading their organisations to success.

MMU Business School, in partnership with Manchester City Council, hosted sixty CEOs and directors of public services at the inaugural City Leadership Forum at the Manchester Midland Hotel.

The Forum welcomed leaders of eight Greater Manchester borough councils, the fire service, police, prison service, health service, development agencies, universities, chambers of commerce, art galleries, media and legal profession as well as science and technology companies.

Centre for Enterprise

The School’s Centre for Enterprise designed the Forum to present current ideas and issues in leadership research, and to provide an informal networking resource for key people running the city.

Dr Susan Kirkcaldy, Enterprise in Leadership Research Fellow at MMU, said: "This was a highly successful event which is engaging academics with city leaders for the benefit of Manchester City and region."

Sir Howard Bernstein, CEO of Manchester City Council, hosted the event which was chaired by Vice-Chancellor of MMU Professor John Brooks, and convened by Dean of the Business School, Professor Huw Morris.

Sir Howard said the idea was to "bring together key leaders from across the city to debate the challenges of ‘Pioneering Leadership in Manchester’ for the strategic benefit of Manchester’s growth and development’."

Responsive to change

The Forum, which may become a regular event, emerged from a research project at MMU on building innovative leadership capacity in public enterprises in which CEOs participated in exploring and developing key elements of leadership such as creativity, innovation and responsiveness to change.

Added Dr Kirkcaldy: "As Einstein famously once said: ‘our current problems cannot be addressed with yesterday’s level of thinking, we need a new level of thinking'."

That applies, she says, across all sectors, private and public service. "Leadership today needs to be about creating cultures that provide the conditions for innovation to flourish, not just in the high tech industries but also in public services which today are much more challenging and highly complex."

The Enterprising Leadership Research Project which developed this event was funded by the NWDA and the Hefce Innovation Fund.

Contact Dr Susan Kirkcaldy, MMU Business School on 07973 743151

For more information about the work of the Centre for Enterprise at MMU, go to

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