Common Purpose

Meridian is a programme for senior leaders who work with multiple, diverse stakeholders

As leaders become more senior, they find themselves delivering complex change with ever more diverse stakeholders. More than ever, they need to be able to collaborate with different people and understand the wider context in which they operate.

Meridian develops leaders with the skills, networks and understanding to make an impact in their organization and across their city. The programme uses a real-world experiential approach. We convene leaders from every corner of the city who share open accounts of their leadership challenges. We take participants to places and organizations where they can explore how leaders approach complex change in different contexts. On each programme, we guarantee a diverse mix of leaders from the private, public and NGO sectors.

Karen Baxter, Chief Superintendent, Police Service of Northern Ireland

“The Meridian course gave me an opportunity to think about leadership in Northern Ireland and outside of my organisation.  As public sector employee I really enjoyed getting the perspective from other sectors and was able to work with several people in the delivery of a couple of programmes.  In fact I still meet a few of those people occasionally today and that assists in getting things done!”

Who is Meridian for?

Leaders operating at a senior level, where they have to deliver complex change with ever more diverse stakeholders—both in their organization and across their city.

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External Stakeholders

Internal Stakeholders



Leading Beyond Authority

Our learning framework: Leading beyond Authority (LBA), underpins the participants’ leadership learning. People who lead beyond their authority can produce change beyond their direct circle of control.

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Learning outcomes

Common Purpose Meridian develops leaders who can deliver complex change beyond their circle of authority.


Become better able to build strong relationships that lead to successful collaborations



Become better able to develop strategies that produce change


Become better able to have an impact in unfamiliar contexts



Become better able to inspire others through your leadership style

Impact: on Individuals
Senior Leaders 

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92% of senior leaders say our programmes have helped them gain broader networks 

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90% of senior leaders say our programmes have helped them develop as leaders

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89% of senior leaders say our programmes have helped them make better decisions 

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90% of senior leaders say our programmes enable them to drive bold innovation

Patrick Mullan, District Manager – Personal Banking, Danske Bank

“I found Common Purpose Meridian to be an excellent means of expanding my knowledge of leadership experiences outside of my normal peer grouping. The wide variety of contributors and the multi- location nature of the programme really added to the learning experiences with an adequate amount of reflection time given to spend with other leaders on the course to discuss experiences and learnings. I believe the course has really helped in my journey to be a more effective leader.  I would definitely recommend the Common Purpose Meridian experience. “

The programme

Online learning and group exercises

(One hour)

Our online accelerator allows time-poor participants to maximize their face-to-face experience at their own time and pace. The accelerator introduces participants to the Leading Beyond Authority learning framework, which will underpin the learning throughout the programme.

Month 1 Month 2 Month 3
Leading Beyond Authority Collaboration Leading change
Immersion 1 Immersion 2 Immersion 3
Learning Group 1 Learning Group 2 Learning Group 3

(Equivalent of five days over three months)

Three full-day modules allow participants to explore leadership themes as part of a diverse, cross-sector group. We convene senior leaders from across the city to share open accounts of their own leadership challenges and the ways they overcame them.

Half-day immersion experiences allow participants to experience leadership and decision-making in different contexts. Common Purpose facilitates immersion experiences in a range of different places including prisons, hospitals, schools, businesses and community organizations. Participants attend two immersion experiences from a choice of three.

Learning groups enable participants to deepen their learning as part of a small but diverse group. Each month, a different participant hosts a three-hour learning group at their workplace. Here they work on their own leadership challenges.

Online: Adapting to a new environment

Practices are short tasks or challenges to complete in between the face-to-face elements of the programme. Practices allow participants to extend their learning and gain further leadership insights during the programme.

360 Connect events  360 Platform

Participants connect with other Common Purpose Alumni through our online 360 platform and at 360 Connect events. As Alumni, they can continue their learning in a community of over 75,000 leaders worldwide.

Programme details


£4590 + VAT. Multiple applications are welcomed. Part-fee and bursary places are also available for those genuinely unable to meet the full fee. If you feel that you cannot pay the fee, fill in the section on bursary support on the application form. 

Who participates?

Participants come from diverse backgrounds and sectors, such as:

  •        Seagate Technology
  •        Belfast Health and Social Care Trust
  •        Power NI
  •        Red Cross
  •        Belfast City Council
  •        The National Trust



Belfast Meridian March 2019

Core Day 1: 28 March 2019
Immersion 1: 09 April 2019

Core Day 2: 30 April 2019
Immersion 2: 15 May 2019

Immersion 3: 28 May 2019
Core Day 3: 12 June 2019

Belfast Meridian October 2019

Core Day 1: 02 October 2019 
Immersion 1: 10 October 2019 

Immersion 2: 22 October 2019 
Core Day 2: 06 November 2019 

Immersion 3: 19 November 2019 
Core Day 3: 11 December 2019 

Applying for Meridian

Please fill in the online application form, choosing the date and location you want. 

If you have any questions on how to apply, or want to find out more about Meridian, please contact

Peter Wilson, Assistant Director – Procurement and Logistics, Business Services Organisation

“Having spent my career working in procurement in the health sector where I interact with health and business Meridian presented me with an opportunity to engage with other parts of the public sector and community/voluntary sectors that I would not ordinarily experience. The openness of all participants, whether on the course or sharing their experiences, was refreshing and enabled some very challenging conversations. This was balanced with sessions enabling participants to bring real problems to the table to discuss with peers and tap into the experiences of others."