So much of the press coverage of our NHS is negative; over the last few weeks we’ve been told that having your operation at the end of the week increases the likelihood of dying, and we’ve also heard that being treated in a hospital with fewer doctors per patient is also correlated with a poorer outcome for patients.
Not exactly rocket science, particularly for anyone who has any contact with the NHS, yet this way of working has persisted for decades. Change can be hard, particularly when you are at the front line struggling to keep chaos at bay as so many now are in the NHS. What seems to happen in the NHS is that more processes and procedures in place as a way of achieving change, and all it delivers is less time for patient care.
Change is hard because it involves challenging attitudes and habits so ingrained that often we are no longer even conscious of them, and then being willing to take a risk in adopting new behaviours that are unproven. Successful change is linked to the acceptance of the need for continual improvement and development. Howard Morgan positions our choice as to continually improve or to never change and “be comfortable with the idea that what you are doing now is all you ever need to do“.
Today I came across press article about something positive happening in the NHS and it seems to have happened when an individual chose the former of options given above. Dr Steven Allder has made changes at his hospital that address many of the challenges around cost reduction; yet the key driver for his action was providing the care that patients actually needed.
This successful change, prompts some questions for all leaders:
– What can you do to find and nurture the “Dr Allders” in your organisation?
– How can you support your people in fighting for change that delivers what your customers actually need?
– How can you prevent the values in your organisation from being dimmed by process overload?