Planning for impact

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Aside from the cold, foggy mornings and the drawn-out evenings, I always look forward to the start of a New Year. The months fly by so quickly that you’re sometimes hard pushed to find time to stop and reflect on the past year and, importantly, what’s planned for the year ahead.

But I have now had the chance to catch my breath, and wanted to share with you some developments on the Academy’s long term plans. This week we had our first programme board meeting of 2013, in which we developed a draft of our all-important five-year strategy.

The draft strategy has been developed on the back of some excellent feedback we received during our consultation, which we recently held to enable us to co-design our activity with the system. We spoke to thousands of our stakeholders at events around the country, via our digital platforms and through the press, and as a result have a well-considered first draft of planned strategic activity. Thank you to everyone who took part.

The draft document sets the scene and hones in on why leadership development is so critical to our healthcare system now and in the future. It develops four areas of work, all of which are underpinned by our purpose to develop outstanding leadership in health, to improve people’s health and their experience of the NHS. We map each area of work to the impact we’d like to achieve around patient care, so that we can be sure that we’re working toward the right outcomes.

The first area of work will be around broadening, and where necessary, changing the range of leadership behaviours people in the health system use. This is about providing leaders at all levels with the tools they need to develop the kind of leadership that our system needs to improve patient care. You cannot have the latter without the former.

Another area of focus will be on professionalising leadership – that is, raising the profile, performance and impact of health system leaders, requiring and supporting them to demonstrate their readiness to carry out their leadership role. A big part of this will be our set of core programmes – the largest of its kind in the world – which will eventually provide career matched accreditation for health leaders.

Inclusion in leadership is the third area of work, and to me, one of the most important. We all know that inclusive and locally relevant leadership is at the heart of improved patient care. We will work to develop a standardised and culturally accessible approach to spotting and supporting talented people, and will provide targeted support to unrepresented groups to increase the mix of leadership styles.

Last but by no means least; we will work to help our leaders create environments where innovation can flourish. This is about putting into place tools and resources that clinical and managerial leaders can use to stimulate industrial, world-leading levels of innovation and transformation. We cannot hope to meet the current and future challenges without this support.

2013 is going to be another very busy year and will undoubtedly be hugely challenging. But there is no doubt that the Academy is making fantastic headway and moving ahead with gusto.   Our strategy will ensure we make the most of any opportunities that exist and that the investment creates the biggest possible impact. I look forward to sharing the final document with you in the next few weeks.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for the New Year.

5 thoughts on “Planning for impact

  1. Happy New Year.
    A number of assumptions and bear traps have already been successful in catching the Academy.
    Leaders are there to serve patients and staff. Leaders and rulers are different unless you happen to follow Machiavelli.
    A long road lies ahead. Enjoy the journey.
    Martin Luther King once said “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.” I hope the Academy vision and strategy delivers the dream and the NHS gets leaders with great character.

  2. Just thought I’d share my favourite quotes on true Leadership:

    – You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.

    – The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.

    – Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.

    Have a great 2013 everyone 🙂

  3. Andy’s comment chimes with the motto of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the maxim that all British Army officers live by which is: ‘Serve to Lead’. ie we serve our soldiers and their families, our patients, our leaders and the public including communities overseas when we are deployed. We are responsible for our professionalism and behaviour and accountable to the groups listed above.

    This is no different in the NHS. Authority is vested on us through our appointment, not rank; and responsibility is implicit. Where this rhetoric goes wrong is when Boards and ‘leaders’ get bogged down in the minutiae of management and become slaves to policy and process which stifles innovation and striving for better outcomes.

    I am passionate about medical leadership and health systems management and wrote a dissertation on the subject to gain a Master of Medical Education. I’m also a facilitator/assessor in the IHM’s accredited manager programme and examine Military Division Fellowship portfolios.

  4. Leadership is about utlising your emotional intelligence and involving all stakeholders in the vision.