Jul 112018
 

Kate Mackenzie leading a team trust exercise!

We all know someone who always seems to have boundless energy, a drive that puts Audi to shame. Someone who seems to stuff more into a week than most can in a month – you know the type…the ones with a massively busy job, hectic family with at least 2 dogs and a rescue cat, a baking habit and a highly successful allotment (or amateur dramatics club).

Simply put they are a tour de force (that’s force not France…I won’t stray into cycling analogies). It is precisely these Tours de Force that generally won’t stand for max effort for substandard outcomes and embark upon “sorting things out” or what we like to call “improvement projects”. These are the magicians that yank their metaphorical boots up, declare very loudly that it’s time to change and generally cajole their peers, teams, colleagues to follow suit.

And if that doesn’t work they beg and plead with detractors or pull some supernanny tricks to get them to fall in line (naughty step anyone?). It can be quite a thing to witness.

Problem is that it can quickly become their pet project, their thing, their baby to drive – it is quickly evident in language used “I have to go to a meeting for Chris’ thing” or I need to record some info in Avril’s tool”.

And so for all their success, the Tour de Force worries that it hinges on them being there.

All. The. Time.

And it can. But it needn’t.

Good communication in the early days to make others believe (arghh…the data girl is banging on AGAIN about talking) or identifying another TdF in the midst is a great way of doing a double flanking manoeuvre on the less enthusiastic. It certainly shares the load.

I think great leadership for improvement is about never wavering from your core message, never swaying away from the non-negotiables. Key to the last bit is actually knowing what these are, so that the other stuff, well – let others achieve those in whichever way they choose. Your colleagues are free thinking adults, treat them as such and remember just because you have the drive doesn’t mean you have all the good ideas.

Most importantly drip feed….drip…drip…drip. Same language. Same concepts. If it’s good, it will stick – with or without your presence.

We in 1000 Lives Improvement are always on our own improvement journey, we want to make sure we are using our skills and talents to their best. We had a substantial reboot, 3 years ago heralded by the arrival of an uncompromising English man, very tall, quietly spoken and rather stubborn. He was absolutely insistent about aligning with IHI’s model for improvement and frankly OTT about measurement.

His homeland has come calling and he has answered, leaving our fair and sunny shores. I can’t tell you how many people have asked what will become of 1000 lives improvement without Aidan. Truth is, we know which bits are ingrained in us, which bits still need working on and, of course, there maybe a thing or two that we might revise/quietly let slip.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s an entirely backhanded compliment (but meant in the best possible way) to say “Boss, it’s okay, we don’t need your presence to carry on the great work you started, we got this”

That’s leadership.

Feb 252014
 

Marc Franklin reflects on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s National Forum in Florida, and thinks about some of the lessons he left with.

Joshua Kovoor, Dr Andy Carson-Stevens, Marc Franklin, Don Berwick, Gney Mehta, Amy Butlin, Hope Ward, and Beth McIldowie at the IHI Open School Congress

Above: Joshua Kovoor, Dr Andy Carson-Stevens, Marc Franklin, Don Berwick, Gney Mehta, Amy Butlin, Hope Ward, and Beth McIldowie at the IHI Open School Congress

Just before Christmas, along with  five other members of the 1000 Lives Student and Educator Community and the Cardiff Medics Student-Patient Chapter, I headed for Orlando, Florida to attend the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 25th Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Healthcare. We boarded the plane excited to join over 5000 other delegates, and join the discussion on patient safety and quality improvement.

We began by attending the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School Chapter Congress, along with many of the Forum’s other student delegates from universities around the world. Don Berwick (President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the IHI), who led the Congress, emphasised the importance of students approaching healthcare systems with “fresh eyes”, and the significance of students’ position as the future of healthcare.

We were then set the modest task of saving the NHS £1 billion! We worked together to put forward a suggestion for quality improvement – our idea was  moving away from the use of non-essential sterile swabs when cannulating a patient, toward the use of cheaper, non-sterile swabs. This was an idea which had the potential to make real savings, and it shows that a small change has the possibility of making a big impact. Continue reading »

May 162013
 
Joy Whitlock

Joy Whitlock

I was first introduced to ‘followership’ at a seminar run by Dr Dave Williams. He is an amazing person; an emergency care physician and chief executive of a regional health centre in Canada. And he was a Canadian and NASA astronaut and aquanaut so he knows more than most about safety. 

Healthcare is a high risk environment fraught with potential for errors, some of which have been catastrophic.  Working in it can be challenging and stressful. Active followership can make it better for us and the people we care for. Continue reading »

May 132013
 
Adam Cairns

Adam Cairns

“If staff are our most important resource, how come it’s only the computers that get air conditioning?’

I heard this from the Chairman of the Institute of Directors at a recent meeting. His point was that it’s too easy to make statements like these – and that too often that’s where they stay – statements written on pieces of paper.

As organisations set up to care for others, you might think that NHS health boards and trusts would lead the way in caring for their staff. However we’ve just got our staff survey results and among the good stuff, there’s some other feedback that’s much tougher to hear. Continue reading »

Jan 302013
 
Dr Alan Willson

Dr Alan Willson

Looking back over 2012, one of the highlights of my year was meeting an astronaut, Dr Dafydd Williams.

Known as Dave rather than Dafydd in his native Canada, he was delighted to visit the land of his Welsh ancestors to talk about the similarities between healthcare and spaceflight at a special event organised by 1000 Lives Plus. The event expanded concepts explored by Dave in ‘Achieving Peak Performance’, a white paper published with the support of the Health Foundation. Continue reading »