Common Purpose Navigator is a city-based modular leadership development programme for emerging leaders.

On Common Purpose Navigator, you can tailor your programme to your needs and complete modules in many different cities around the world.

Common Purpose Navigator makes the city your classroom; taking you behind the scenes and immersing you in real-life challenges faced by leaders from a wide range of sectors. This experiential programme helps you explore change and innovation, allowing you to develop better problem-solving skills and the ability to work in diverse groups. 

You will receive insights from key leaders in the city or region, who will share with you their successes and failures on the key themes of power, courage and resonance. Common Purpose Navigator provides you with a safe space to share your own leadership challenges with fellow participants.


"As a result of having graduated from Common Purpose Navigator, I more effectively listen to and communicate with people from diverse backgrounds, improving the way I work inside and outside my organization. This has increased my personal effectiveness and made me a better leader."

Who is it for?

Common Purpose Navigator is aimed at people in the early stages of their career, who already have some management responsibility. Participants are drawn from diverse backgrounds and sectors.

Participants are often grappling with some of the following questions:

  • What kind of leader am I?
  • Do I have the ability to lead upwards and across departments in my organization?
  • Can I manage multiple stakeholders?
  • Can I adapt to changing circumstances and surroundings?

Why Common Purpose Navigator?

You will develop the tools and support network not just to cope but also to thrive during these changing times.

The programme helps you:

  • adapt and lead in different situations and contexts
  • become more open to working with different people, in new ways, to solve complex problems
  • develop a brand new network with lasting relationships
  • take responsibility for issues outside your direct control.

The programme

Core days

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


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

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

Core day one
Power – you will explore how leaders in different organizations and sectors use power and influence to make change happen, as well as exploring the concept of ‘Leading Beyond Authority’.

Core day two
Courage – or if you prefer, resilience and strength of character – is a mainstay of good leadership. On this day you will learn how to develop your leadership instincts – when to proceed and when to hold back to get the best results.

Core day three
Resonance – you will come together as a group to review your experience, specifically exploring the idea of resonance – how you can make things happen through influencing, being courageous and gaining support from and resonating with others.

You also choose from a menu of leadership modules to tailor your programme:

Raids – immerse yourself in a real-life challenge within a public, private or voluntary sector organization.

Learning Forums – hear from leaders as they share with you their failures and successes on the themes of Passion and Resonance, The Power of Networks and Personal Brand. Then, in a safe environment, share your own leadership challenges and coach fellow participants by exploring and considering solutions to individual issues.

Quests – explore social, economic, political and business leadership challenges in a different town, city or country. Quests are an optional part of the programme.

You have several months to complete the programme. It can either all be done in your local city, another UK city or a mix of both. The programme has three compulsory core days with additional modules to make up the 44 hours needed to graduate.

Impact: on Individuals
Emerging Leaders 

Donut Chart

90% of emerging leaders say our programmes have helped them develop as leaders 
91% say they are better able to Lead Beyond Authority
94% say they have clarified their purpose
84% say they have grown their Cultural Intelligence

Donut Chart

90% of emerging leaders say our programmes have helped them gain broader networks
91% say they are better able to build relationships 
91% say their ability to spot connections has improved 
89% say they are better able to work in collaboration 

Donut Chart

87% of emerging leaders say our programmes have helped them make better decisions
86% say they are better able to thrive in complexity 
89% say they are better able to widen context
86% say their ability to confront bias has improved

Donut Chart

85% of emerging leaders say our programmes enable them to drive bold innovation 
80% say they are able to think the unthinkable
88% say they are better able to leverage diversity 
88% say their ability to move to action has improved 

Application process

Common Purpose Navigator is run in cities across the world. For information on costs and how to apply, please contact your local Common Purpose office.

Advisory Groups

Advisory Groups are a cross-sector group of individuals who help our staff teams by keeping them up to date with developments in their sector and locality.

Local Advisory Groups have no legal, financial, or managerial responsibility for Common Purpose. Nor are they representative bodies. All Advisory Group members attend as individuals in a voluntary and unpaid capacity, which they are invited to take on in their personal, rather than professional, roles. If any issue arises at Advisory Group meetings which conflicts with their professional role, members exclude themselves from that section of the discussion.

Advisory Groups do the following:

  • Encourage people from all backgrounds and sectors to apply to attend our leadership courses, so that all the participant groups are diverse and reflect the makeup of the local area. In so doing local Advisory Groups often assist in the review of applications.
  • Ensure Common Purpose maintains its independence and balanced programme content and contributors.
  • Ensure the content of the programme is up-to-date with what is going on locally and nationally.
  • Ensure that the Common Purpose brand is used appropriately.

Applying for a Common Purpose programme

When you apply for a Common Purpose programme, you need to consider:

  • Whether the programme that you are applying for is right for you, because our programmes are for people at specific stages of their careers
  • Your commitment to participate in the whole programme. This is because if some people are unable to attend, this diminishes the experience for other members of the participant group.

Once you've submitted your application form, we will review it along with our Advisory Group who will also take these points into account.

Bursaries and financial assistance

If you cannot pay the full fee, please do not be deterred from applying. There are a number of bursary places provided on every Common Purpose programme for participants who are genuinely unable to meet the full fee. Navigator is run in cities across the world;for information on costs and how to apply, please contact your local Common Purpose office.