Book Robert Varnam for your event

These are some of the topics I’m most passionate about. Get in touch if you’d like to book me for your event.

From Whitehall with love

My lessons from 15 years in national NHS leadership & policymaking

There is almost nothing about the last 15 years I planned or expected. Yet it’s been a staggeringly productive time, and I’ve had the privilege to contribute to some generational changes in the NHS in England. Unsurprisingly, I’ve also learned a huge amount – and I’d be happy to share my experiences and lessons with you and your people. 

  • working in large bureaucracies and vague complex systems
  • leading when you’re not the Big Boss
  • getting things done through other people
  • moving forward when there’s no map and the compass is no help
  • achieving big ambitions usually involves both a large scale and a small scale focus
  • what your team are really thinking about you
  • surviving being celebrated and hated
  • Politics in healthcare, how decisions are made and who really runs the country
  • how to spot when you should have left a while ago


I have addressed audiences from 6 to 6,000 and am happy to tailor a session to your needs. I’m experienced in presenting with energy in person and over video link.

RV on stage 31

Format options:

  • presentation / keynote, with/without Q&A
  • interview
  • interview with questions from the audience
  • small group discussion
Suggested timings: 30-60 minutes (longer if included as part of your own planning discussion)

Interested? Let's talk...

See more of my favourite topics

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