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Leading and managing across boundaries

Middle managers in social services work across professional and organisational boundaries. They recognise that collaborative gain is possible when people work together to achieve better outcomes for people using services and for unpaid/informal carers. They know that effective partnership working needs trust, respect and interdependence. Valuing different perspectives and working constructively with competing priorities requires skill, commitment and perseverance.

Middle managers therefore need to be able to:

  • identify and make good use of opportunities for collaboration and cooperation across organisational and professional boundaries, both internal and external, as well as with people who use services, families and carers
  • communicate clearly and effectively across boundaries including actively listening to, seeking understanding and taking account of, differing perspectives
  • build and maintain trust with colleagues in their own and other, agencies
  • explore challenging issues and express constructive dissent when required, even if this feels risky and there is pressure to conform
  • foster a culture of openness, collaboration and cooperation in the design, planning and delivery of services
  • lead and manage collaborative work with networks, communities, other professionals and organisations, engaging partners and other stakeholders in shared decision-making
  • ensure that partnership working and integrated services stay clearly focused on outcomes for people who use services, families and carers.

If you can demonstrate what you have learned from this area of the framework and how you have put your learning into practice, you will be able to earn an Open Badge. Find out more here.

Leading and managing across boundaries resources

Examples from Practice

What Others Say

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Gloria McLoughlin - Scottish Care

"I think we are going to have to work together, going forward in the current climate. It’s going to have to be about collaboration. And it’s going to be about setting old suspicions aside and working together going forward."

University of Stirling et al. (2010) Leading Together, Dundee, SSSC

Leadership Capability Indicators
Continuous Learning Framework (CLF)
Standards for Childhood Practice
learning log
Additional SSKS Resources

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