Monday 15 April 2019
Sasha Fuller, Head of External Affairs at the Department for Work and Pensions, writes about her experiences on the Inspire programme, and why you should apply to join it.
Excellent news for colleagues – the Inspire programme has now opened for applications.
As someone who started this journey in 2017, I can wholeheartedly recommend applying for it.
The programme offers incredible opportunities – you’ll have the chance to explore what it means to be a leader of strategic communications in government today and into the future. You’ll develop real clarity around your style, your values, your priorities and strategic thinking.
It is, quite rightly, highly competitive with a limited number of places available across the whole Government Communication Service.
But don’t let that put you off.
You’ll get to meet and be part of a network of colleagues across the GCS who will help you in the future in ways you can’t even imagine today. You’ll design original leadership masterclasses, attend off-site leadership training, and learn about you and how to develop yourself as a leader through the rest of your career.
You will have access to leading academic experts who have pioneered thinking in strategic communication and leadership and will challenge your assumptions, your ways of doing things, and help transform how you think about what we do.
For line managers, departments and the GCS – they benefit too. Your success on the programme is a brick in the wall of even better leadership of our profession with brilliant managers leading highly engaged teams in times of unprecedented complexity and turbulence, who create world-leading communications that serve the public.
Embarking on Inspire shouldn’t be taken lightly, it is a huge commitment of time and energy. From my experience, you’ll get out what you put in – and it’s definitely worth it.
If you apply and don’t get in, don’t let that put you off either.
Use that moment to have an honest conversation with your line manager. One of the wonderful things about working for the GCS is, if you ask for help, just how forthcoming that is and how valuable it can be if you are prepared to be proactive about your own development.
Inspire has helped me build on an exciting career in press office and given me the way in to learning to lead differently, develop different teams, and connect with people very different from me. I made the most of what I was learning to drive our pioneering insight work at DWP and be part of building a whole new profession – External Affairs – that will help us meet the challenges of the future.
Nothing ever runs completely smoothly or predictably in the world of leadership or communications. That’s why I am grateful, and privileged, to have made a talented and supportive network right across the GCS. My Inspire team has provided invaluably wise counsel, good humour, vision and leadership.
That’s why I am grateful, and privileged, to have kept touch with a talented and supportive network right across the GCS.
Sasha joined Inspire in 2017 as part of Cohort 4 and has since completed the Postgraduate Diploma. She will complete the final Masters programme in Strategic Communication Leadership this year through the University of Huddersfield.