Looking for answers

04 November 2016

I am writing this on Friday for a change, before another busy day. This week has been an eclectic mix of things interspersed with review and preparation for a further regional escalation meeting next Monday with NHS England (more of this later).

But first, I was reading an article from a former Chief Executive of a US healthcare company called ThedaCare. It is interesting for two reasons. Firstly, ThedaCare has spent a significant amount of time transforming care for patients and secondly the principles and their work have been used in the UK with Western Sussex Hospitals. They have seen significant results and benefits for patients for the last two years. None of what the author highlights in the article is rocket science, but what it does do is shine a light on important issues such as staff engagement and involvement in transformation.

He makes some interesting observations on leadership and I was particularly taken by his comment:

“When I was the CEO of ThedaCare, an integrated health system in Wisconsin, everyone in the organisation looked to me for answers. When I was truly honest with myself, how­ever, I had to admit I was often guessing.”

This was a very telling comment and one which I fully agree with as a leader. I haven’t got all the answers and sometimes when people ask me about solutions I am using experience and intuition to guide me. We need to use the skills of individuals to drive change rather than thinking the leader has all the answers when there is not a clear cut answer, but rather intuition based on experience.

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