Leading with Outcomes: Foundation

Gateway to the Agendashift Academy's core curriculum

Whether it's the big strategy occasion, an everyday interaction, or something in between, don't waste your opportunities to lead with outcomes!

Developed for leaders at all levels – senior sponsor, manager, team lead, consultant, or coach – Leading with Outcomes: Foundation is your ideal introduction to the language of outcomes, its philosophy, its skills, and its role in your organisation's transformation.

Module #1 of an integrated programme centred on leadership, strategy, and outcomes

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“Very practical, highly participative – learning by doing. I can see so many opportunities to use the approach and tools in my work”

“You inspired people and got them talking – couldn’t have asked for more”

“Combines concepts I previously found challenging in a way that not only makes sense but is highly useful”

“I left motivated and confident enough to try these exercises the next day”

“Expertly and confidently helps you learn how to get from strategy to execution and back again”

“Intensely practical with solid theoretical foundations”

Leading in a transforming organisation is hard enough

 Even when vision, the aspiration, and the initiatives are all there, you’re up against three universal challenges:

  • People disengaged by the repeated failure of imposed solutions
  • Hidden systems reinforcing old behaviours, driving the same old results
  • The crucial innovations failing to materialise

The doubts have been there for decades, and now we're calling it: traditional solution-driven approaches to change are making things harder, not easier.

The alternative: leading with outcomes. Meaningful outcomes, authentic agreement – the right people in the room agreeing on outcomes meaningful to them, articulating them in their own words. Big outcomes, small outcomes, outcomes organised into strategy, outcomes people can organise around, outcomes that tell you when you winning. Outcomes the focus for innovation, solutions not the beginning or end of strategy but emerging at the right time from the people closest to the problem.

You'll be learning the language of outcomes, how to generate them, how to organise them, how to pursue them in the context of strategies you and your colleagues develop together. You'll be learning also the patterns that organise the tools, make them memorable, and help you integrate what works for you already. And motivating the patterns: leadership principles, each one a strategy for getting better at strategy.

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Learning by doing:

  • You'll be developing strategy yourself while learning how strategy works as a participatory process
  • With each successive module you'll be gaining fluency in the language of outcomes, learning a range of tools you can use every day
  • Along the way, plenty of opportunity to reflect on your organisation and your relationship with it

We keep asking these questions (and you can too)

Three questions, three leadership principles, three ways for leaders to help themselves be more effective in a transforming organisation:

  • What if we put agreement on outcomes ahead of solutions?
  • How do we keep bringing outcomes to the foreground?
  • Where – and where else – could we be developing and pursuing strategy?

For the big strategy occasions, for those everyday interactions, and for everything in between, we help leaders at all levels put those principles into practice:

  • Instead of the usual rush towards ill-chosen and ill-fitting solutions – days, weeks, or months wasted for the sake of conversations that might only take moments – confidence in the patterns of the everyday and set-piece strategy conversation, and fluency in the language of needs, obstacles, and outcomes
  • Instead of going the way of most organisational initiatives and quickly losing steam, building habits of working backwards from key moments of impact and learning – the continued focus on outcomes sustaining innovation from within the transforming organisation
  • Instead of rolling stuff out uninvited and being forced to live with the painful consequences, the vision and skill to engage openly with your organisation in all of its complexity and all of its potential, helping it to develop business agility at every scale

What's in Foundation?

1. Leading in a transforming organisation – introducing outcome-oriented change

Understanding the role of leadership in the transforming organisation and learning a powerful pattern for conversations in strategy 

  • Leading in a wholehearted organisation – ba metaphor that gets to the heart of what it means to lead where engagement, integration, and initiative are celebrated
  • Leading with Outcomes – the concept and the curriculum
  • Introducing the IdOO ("I do") pattern – Ideal, Obstacles, Outcomes

2. Conversations in strategy – two strategy approaches and a virtuous circle

Applying the IdOO ("I do") pattern – Ideal, Obstacles, Outcomes – in a strategy exercise for a scope of your choosing:

  • Context – establishing context ("Who and what are we dealing with?") and being a keeper of context, on the lookout for failures of context
  • Ideal: Envisioning a compelling future – reaching the right customers, meeting their strategic needs, achieving results in the way to which we aspire
  • Obstacles: Identifying what's in the way of what we want; Outside-in and inside-out strategy; Framing obstacles for a productive conversation
  • Outcomes: Looking beyond those obstacles to something better – signs of emergence, indicators of progress, measures of success, and on towards goals & aspirations
  • Organise the strategy: Back to basics with Objectives and Key Results (OKR) – Where do we want to get to? How will we pace ourselves to see that we're getting there?

3. Moving into action – ideas, experiments, feedback, and learning

From developing strategy to pursuing it, patterns for outcome-oriented innovation. We begin right to left, working backwards from two levels of done, then the ideation process Meaning, Measure, Method:

  • Right to left, done and really done – working backwards from key moments of impact (someone's need met) and learning (all of it accounted for), making the most of every feedback opportunity
  • Meaning – thoughtfully re-engaging with our Agenda for Change, focusing on what's important
  • Measure – how we'll know that we're winning
  • Method – new ideas and how we'll test them

Is this for me?

If any of these apply:

  • You're a leader in a transforming organisation
  • You desire change and want it approached in the right way
  • You aspire to leadership 
  • You have something – anything – to contribute to the strategy process 
  • It's your job support others in that journey
Yes, I'm in!

Brought to you by Agendashift Academy co-founder and three-time author Mike Burrows

 Mike's pioneering work in the pursuit of the wholehearted and deliberately adaptive organisation brings a needs-based and outcome-oriented perspective to leadership, strategy, and transformation.

Mike has real-world experience as a global leader in world-class organisations and clients in government, finance, industry, and the not-for-profit sectors.

It's part of something bigger

Foundation is the first of four modules of Leading with Outcomes, the Agendashift Academy’s core curriculum. Take them at your own pace and join a growing community of leaders in transforming organisations who are learning to put outcomes before solutions.

The modules in recommended order:

  1. Leading with Outcomes: Foundation (this module)
  2. Adaptive Organisation: Business agility at every scale (parts I and II) 
  3. Inside-out Strategy: Fit for maximum impact
  4. Outside-in Strategy: Positioned for success

Experience it your way

The choice is yours:

They're not even mutually exclusive! Each format brings a different experience, and not only is repeat participation common – each one certified – we make it easy and cost-effective.

Subscription plans: Agendashift for Individuals and Agendashift for Business, each with a risk-free 7-day trial. If you aren’t completely satisfied, just cancel your subscription before the end of your trial period.

Agendashift for Individuals

ÂŁ245 ÂŁ184

Yearly (most popular)

  • Access all video content and supporting materials for Leading with Outcomes
  • Invitation to our community on Circle
  • Two one-hour Ask Me Anything sessions per month
  • Access to resources – worksheets, templates, infographics, and more
  • Watch on your laptop, phone, or tablet
  • 7-day free trial

Exclusive benefits

  • Access to all event and conference recordings
  • 25% discount on public workshops and coaching services
  • 50% discount on Agendashift conferences
Subscribe today – save 25% at our new home

Agendashift for Individuals

ÂŁ24.50 ÂŁ18.40


  • Access all video content and supporting materials for Leading with Outcomes
  • Invitation to our community on Circle
  • Two one-hour Ask Me Anything sessions per month
  • Access to resources – worksheets, templates, infographics, and more
  • Watch on your laptop, phone or tablet
  • 7-day free trial
Subscribe today – save 25% at our new home

For multiple subscribers, check out Agendashift for Business. Easy and cost-effective access for every leader and aspiring leader in your business, with benefits not available to individual subscribers.

Frequently asked Questions

How Leading with Outcomes works for you