What we do

The work we do is tailored to the needs of clients and typically might involve activities around research, strategy, policy, participation processes, design and systems leadership. Have a look at the sort of things we have been doing in recent months.


This year we are working with Scottish Enterprise, helping a range of companies use scenario planning to prepare to meet uncertain futures. We routinely use scenario planning as a tool to help organisations rehearse their strategic responses to future events.

In 2017, we worked with Scottish Water to help them prepare scenarios for the future, to support their strategic plan for 2021 – 2025.


We recently worked with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council, a forward-thinking organisation who understand the importance of workforce planning and development. Over several months we worked with their staff and many stakeholders to help them produce a draft Corporate Plan for 2017-2021. The plan is now supporting improvements in quality and outcomes for people who use social care services in Northern Ireland.


Research is a growth area for 3rd Horizons and we have worked on range of projects using a range of research methods.

We recently undertook a piece of qualitative and quantitative research exploring the state of Practice Teaching in Social Work in the west of Scotland. The research involved a literature review, field work, content analysis and report writing. This research was published at a social work conference in 2017 and then published by the commissioning organisation, Learning Network West.



We have a particular interest in working with leaders who operate across organisational and system boundaries to facilitate social change and to develop shared leadership of complex challenges.

We specialise in development interventions which respond to the distinctive context and needs of your team, organisation or community. We offer programmes, focused on particular leadership aspects (eg leadership of change, communication and influencing skills, team and system relationships), all designed to help embed leadership capability and build confidence over an extended period of time.

We recently designed and delivered such a programme for the Life Changes Trust who said of the programme

Our experience of working with 3rd Horizons to design and deliver our systems leadership approach was incredible and we achieved something quite remarkable as a result.

They properly listened to where we wanted to go with this and encouraged us to think creatively and with integrity at every step. Feedback from a wide variety of participants from across the care sector has been consistently enthusiastic and we are still hearing about the profound affect this has had on their views and their practice many months on.

Being able to support meaningful change is hard but 3rd Horizons were able to support and also challenge us so that the journey was exciting, stimulating and hugely productive. This course has been a game changer for us.

We give leaders time and space to

  • Think about how they “think” so that they can choose how they want to act as leaders
  • Build the confidence and capabilities needed to lead teams and communities facing complex challenges
  • Become reflective practitioners, noticing and working with their own behaviours and those of others in order to develop strong relationships and collaborative environments
  • Work across personal, organisational and system boundaries to generate shared purpose and shared ambition for change
  • Prepare for the future: developing the skills, practices and tools that support leadership of a rapidly changing future

Leading change in public services in Scotland




3rd Horizons undertake a variety of work in the public policy space. ​We specialise in brokering conversations and relationships between policy makers, service users and practitioners in support of new forms of policy development and new learning.

Recently, we have been working with ​leaders and practitioners ​in South Ayrshire​’s Health and Social Care Partnership​​, to develop practical ways and means to learn ​together and explore organisational cultures, as a transformational change process.

Let's Start Something new