Leadership Development Programme

New technologies are already changing the face of manufacturing. Technologies such as robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and additive manufacturing are improving processes and driving efficiency and output.

We are aware that the movement towards automated, artificially intelligent, interconnected technologies can seem intimidating and fears around managing both operational control as well as employee wellbeing are heightened. We’ve got you covered.

Developed and delivered by Lancaster University Management School, this eight month programme is designed for business leaders of manufacturing SMEs wanting to improve their productivity and adopt new ways of working by embracing new technologies. It is also designed with operational change and employee expectations in mind. What’s more Made Smarter have subsidised the programme cost, so if you’re business is ready to take it’s next evolutionary steps then apply to join the Leadership Development Programme.

Next Leadership Development Programme Cohort Start Date: 30th January 2020

Seeing what you can achieve through digitalisation is mind-blowing and exactly what we want to aim towards. I’ve been really impressed with the emphasis on the role of people in this journey, which is important. The most significant attribute that I am finding is how powerful it is to have a group of other manufacturers all at the start of their journeys, working together. It has been very inspiring.
— Alan Ryan, Managing Director of Technoprint and part of the first cohort
Two people analysing business performance figures at a desk


The programme is designed to develop and embed learnings to enhance the leadership capacity and capability to realise digitalisation within your business. This aims to create a sustainable future in the competitive global market place. You will start to explore the potential value of IDTs for your individual business purpose.

Over the 8-month leadership programme, delivered over 14 days, there will be a series of workshops to develop your leadership skills delivered by academics and business practioners.

In addition to the workshops, you will visit smart businesses to see technology in action and learn from lived experiences.


During the programme, participants will enhance their leadership capacity to enable them to take a strategic view required to adopt hi-tech and digitally-based manufacturing techniques into their own production processes.

They will also gain insights into undertaking an audit to reveal how digital-ready their business currently is, how to measure the true impact and value of any changes they make to the way they work, and how to successfully bring employees and other stakeholders along on their journey of business transformation.

Other parts of the programme, which will be delivered jointly by LUMS’ academic experts and business leaders already using smart technology, will include special project sprints to test new ideas.


  • Take a strategic view of your business to plan for a sustainable future in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

  • Ability to test and learn new ideas through the “Sprint Projects” to enable digitalisation in a safe environment. 

This enable you to:

  • Take time out of your business to reflect on the bigger picture

  • Increase your leadership capability to enable you to drive your business forward

  • Develop the skills and infrastructure your business needs to implement change.

  • Create a trusted peer network to build an enduring community of practice to share ideas/ experience and opportunities 

  • Access other SMEs already on the journey implementing industrial digitisation through site visits to see technology in practice and learn from their experience.


Register for your place

Register for your place on this pioneering programme now


For enquiries

E: madesmarter@lancaster.ac.uk T: 01524 593 881