Common Purpose

A flexible and personalised leadership programme that offers modular learning and development for senior leaders in larger regions.


Improve your ability to lead in any situation

A leadership programme for senior leaders from all sectors and backgrounds based in and around metropolitan areas. Meridian is currently offered in Dublin and in cities around the world.

Meridian offers a flexible modular format that means leaders can tailor it to meet their individual needs and to match their diaries. Participants have up to six months to complete their hours.

The full group - drawn from all walks of life - attends three full 'core' days together, at the start, midpoint and end of the programme. In between, each participant chooses from a range of modules to explore a variety of real-life challenges - based in locations from a prison to a casualty unit, a trading floor to a production plant, a rehab centre to a radio station. In small groups, learning constantly from each other, participants share the experience of operating in very unfamiliar situations.

Who is Meridian for?

Meridian is for senior leaders who are already experienced at delivering objectives and managing people and priorities. It is ideal for leaders who are responsible for developing partnerships, engaging with internal or external stakeholders, working across several locations, divisions or countries or who simply need to broaden their horizons.

As with all our open programmes, the participant group on Meridian will be diverse in terms of background, experience, sector, outlook and approach. Participants share and challenge each other and discover that this diversity - far from being a weakness - provides a key strength of the course.

Why Meridian?

Participants will:

  • become more accustomed to going outside their familiar environment and better able to adapt to new situations.
  • develop lasting working relationships with people they would almost certainly never have met otherwise.
  • learn how to lead in situations where they have no authority and how to become the kind of person who can build and lead collaborations when required.
  • become responsible leaders who understand their local surroundings - in the national and international context - and the impact of their decisions.
  • discover how their own language, behaviour and preconceptions can get in their way as leaders.
  • find out when and how they can make their own contribution in society.

Feargal McGill, Head of Games Administration and Player Welfare, Gaelic Athletic Association

"I found the Common Purpose course provided an excellent insight into different styles and approaches to leadership in Ireland and beyond today."


Core days

There are three core days, which take place at the start, mid-point and end of the programme.


The rest of the programme is module-based. You can select modules to fit around your work and other commitments.

Who is Meridian for?

Who is Meridian for?

Meridian is aimed at people who hold established leadership roles. Meridian is best suited for leaders who wish to:

  • collaborate across locations,departments and organisations
  • understand complex change at work or in the community
  • develop relationships with multiple stakeholders
  • lead diverse teams both within and outside their usual professional environment.

Why Meridian?

Why Meridian?

On the programme you will:

  • develop self-awareness and confidence to meet the challenges of leadership
  • learn to take responsibility for problems and issues outside your direct control
  • increase your Cultural Intelligence - the ability to cross divides and thrive in multiple cultures
  • become more open to working with different people, in new ways, to solve complex problems
  • develop lasting relationships that build trust and encourage collaboration.

Programme Structure

Length of Programme
Core Days

Core Days

There are three core days, which take place at the start, mid-point and end of your programme.

Core Day One
You will explore the concept of ‘Leading Beyond Authority’ and start to identify your strengths as a leader. It’s your first opportunity to work with the wider group and to have thought-provoking conversations with a variety of leaders from different sectors.

Core Day Two
An immersive event where you will grapple with a real-life societal challenge, using innovation and creative processes within your diverse participant group to support you in generating new ideas in response to the challenge.

Core Day Three
You will come together as a group to review your experience - considering what it means for you as individual leaders and how the learning can be applied in your roles at work and in society.

The rest of the programme is module-based. You can select modules to fit around your work and other commitments. You can also complete a module in a different city in another part of the world.

Understanding place
Comprehensive insights about how the local area really works.

Understanding change
Investigate real-life leadership challenges based in hospitals, schools, businesses and council chambers; meeting and quizzing the leaders who make the decisions there.

Leadership insights
Key leaders share first-hand experience - from their successes and failures - of leading beyond their immediate area of authority to create change.

Learning groups
Peer group sessions to discuss and tackle individual leadership challenges.

Quests (optional - at additional cost)
A day immersed in the economic, political and social context of another city.

You complete the Meridian programme over a period of months. The programme's stucture varies: you select a minimum of 55 hours from over 80 hours of interactive learning modules to create your unique course. For more information, please contact your local Common Purpose office.

Kevin Daly, Commercial Delivery Manager, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

"What I really enjoyed was getting unfiltered access to some key leaders across the business, Government and NGO sectors who were brutality honest about their experiences and challenges, but also about their own limitations and how they overcame them."

Programmes for senior leaders

check out our upcoming courses

Programme Start date Audience
Profile June 2017 Senior leaders Contact us
Meridian October 2017 Senior leaders Contact us
Profile October 2017 Senior leaders Contact us
Focus January 2018 Senior leaders Contact us

Applying to the programme

How to apply

Download an application form using the link in this page's header and send it via email or post to your local Common Purpose Dublin office.

For more informations about the overall application process or for general questions, please get in touch using the online enquiries form.

Financial assistance

There are a number of almost full (every participant must make some contribution) and part-bursary places provided on every Common Purpose course for participants who are genuinely unable to meet the full fee. 

Applicants who cannot pay the full fee should not be deterred from applying. If you would like to be considered for a bursary, please fill in the section of the application form for bursary candidates. For guidance or information, please contact us.

Everyone who has completed a Common Purpose programme will be offered a 20% reduction on the fee of any future courses they attend. Please notify us in your programme application if you wish to apply for this reduction.