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Writing your Future

Shaping the direction of your department

Writing your Future image

Balancing strategic priorities and localised needs is an essential skill required by leaders and managers in universities. This balance requires you to make change meaningful and understood by people who need to see it through.

For people who lead and manage departments, teams and strategic projects, Writing your Future is a two-day intensive programme designed to enhance the leadership and communication skills needed to shape the direction and narrative of your work.

The programme takes places over two days in inspiring yet accessible locations across England.


You will develop new techniques that will build engagement and commitment, and explore how your own personal narrative can be applied to strengthen your distinctive leadership style and support your career progression.

You will leave with actionable outcomes, techniques to use and share with your colleagues, and confidence and conviction in using this new approach.

The programme will challenge and support you to:

  • Communicate a narrative for your department, project or team which will help to shape its future
  • Create direct, persuasive communications that get people engaged with your point of view
  • Explore techniques to help build a collaborative culture back within your institution
  • Co-create an open professional culture in which to work during the programme, alongside peers from other institutions

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Your programme experience

We use a blend of leadership development and communication exercises to draw out your leadership style and create a narrative that is authentic to you and compelling to the people you work with.

Over the course of two days, you will work with two facilitators and a group of peers on individual writing tasks and some group activities. Using a wide range of new techniques, you will explore how to apply these to communications that you use at work, such as: strategy documents, business cases, reports, giving feedback, or whatever practical output will be most helpful to you. During the course of the programme, we’ll also work with you to provide individual feedback on how to strengthen what, and how, you need to communicate.

Here’s how the programme is structured:

Day 1

  • Introducing where you’ve come from and what you stand for
  • Building creative scenarios for the future in your organisation
  • Exploring and challenging the genres of your communications

Day 2

  • Finding the voice that persuades and motivates
  • Writing narratives of the future
  • Practising to maximise the impact of the future narrative you portray

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Show in the next months in

Hornington Manor Farm, Oxton Lane, Bolton Percy, York, YO23 7AS
Park St, Woodstock, OX20 1SZ
Location Venue Dates Time Price inc. VAT   Status
Yorkshire Hornington Manor 20 – 21 Mar 2019 10:00h – 16:00h £1,500.00 Registration Closes
Mar 13, 2019 6:00PM


Hornington Manor

20 – 21 Mar 2019

10:00h – 16:00h

£1,500.00 inc. VAT


Register Now » Available
Register Now » Available
Oxfordshire Macdonald Bear Hotel 15 – 16 May 2019 10:00h – 16:00h £1,500.00 Registration Closes
May 08, 2019 6:00PM


Macdonald Bear Hotel

15 – 16 May 2019

10:00h – 16:00h

£1,500.00 inc. VAT


Register Now » Available
Register Now » Available
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Terms and Conditions
We will work with you to ensure that you and your colleagues enjoy every aspect of what makes Invisible Grail special – before, during and after the programmes themselves. Click here for our full terms and conditions.

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Programme Directors

Paul Gentle

Dr Paul Gentle, Academic Director

A leadership expert, Paul has dedicated the last ten years to creating and delivering leadership development programmes in higher education. Read Paul’s full profile.

John Simmons, Director and Programme Facilitator

Through his books and consultancy, John is widely considered the leading exponent of more expressive words as an essential element of communication for brands and organisations. Read John’s full profile.

Jamie Jauncey, Director and Programme Facilitator

Jamie Jauncey has spent several decades helping organisations and individuals to find their voices and tell their stories. Read Jamie’s full profile.

Stuart Delves photo

Stuart Delves, Director and Programme Facilitator

Stuart Delves co-founded Dark Angels in 2004 – a decade on, into ‘the daring night’ with Invisible Grail. Read Stuart’s full profile.

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Locations and venues

Hornington Manor, Yorkshire

A hidden gem in the heart of the North Yorkshire countryside, Hornington Manor is Grade II listed house set amongst 300 acres of green pastures. En-suite bedrooms, flagstone kitchens and a sunlit converted barn which we’ll use during the course of the programme all combine to create a homely and away-from-it-all feel. Located near the small village of Bolton Percy, the Manor is only 10 miles from the centre of York and 20 miles from Leeds.

A: Hornington Manor Farm, Oxton Lane, Bolton Percy, York, YO23 7AS

W: https://www.horningtonmanor.co.uk/

Macdonald Bear Hotel

The 4-star Macdonald Bear Hotel offers a beautiful slice of luxury in the heart of the countryside. Set in Woodstock, in what was once a 13th century coaching inn, the hotel has a historic country-house charm from the very first step through the door. Oak beams, cobble stone walls and an old courtyard bring this small hotel’s character to life. Located in the heart of Woodstock, the hotel is 30 minutes from Oxford by public transport.

A: Park Street, Oxfordshire, OX20 ISZ

W: https://www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/our-hotels/south-england/woodstock/macdonald-bear-hotel

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What do they say?

this is the best training course I have attended. Paul and John were brilliant facilitators and the other colleagues present made it a wonderful experience to be part of. It felt very collegiate and supportive….It is amazing! Book it now.”

Dr Sue Jones, Subject Director for Biomedical Science, Learning and Teaching Leader for Health Sciences, York St John University

I found the course incredibly useful on many levels, it helped me connect with myself, and understand how I feel about my role and its challenges, and is has allowed me to consider how to re-frame my communications for better outcomes…Many thanks for a fantastically thought provoking experience I’ll never forget

Katrina Savage, Marketing and Communications Manager, Teesside University

Restorative and energising. Something you should definitely do if you have the opportunity.”

Dr Sophie Nicholls, Head of Department (Humanities), Teesside University

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Enquire or reserve a place on Writing your Future

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