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Five Year Forward View

26 August 2016

With the recent return of Great Britain’s Olympic team, a lot of attention is being paid to their success and how they achieved it. Many put it down to meticulous and detailed planning, with talk of small changes (marginal gains) being the key. For example there was a discussion at the Olympics about the aerodynamics of the cyclists’ kit. I don’t disagree with this assessment however, for me it is much more than that. There was a four year plan for the Olympians, culminating in performances where the difference between winning a medal or not was often only a few millimetres or fractions of a second. The plan set out in detail what the athlete needed to do over that period to be successful: the training regime, equipment and ability needed to peak at the right time.

Making the Impossible Possible

19 August 2016

It is all about belief in yourself and the team’s abilities. If I look back at the last four years of playing golf I would have said it was not only impossible but implausible that I could win a competition never mind play consistently well for 18 holes, and yet it happened recently! The reason it happened is because over the last four years there were moments when I played well and what I did was to hold on to these moments and focus on those positives, rather than focus on why, in general, I play badly.

The NHS Olympics

12 August 2016

This week has been hectic locally, but the NHS has also been in the spotlight nationally. You cannot get away from the fact that the NHS is under real pressure, with headlines from St Helen’s CCG and what they are proposing to do to reduce their expenditure really bringing into sharp focus our own challenge.

Alongside this, we have the Olympics, where human endeavour and commitment are seen at their best. All of this got me thinking about the parallels.

Crisis leadership

05 August 2016  


What I have been thinking about this week is leadership behaviour in a crisis. I have been reflecting on the challenges the NHS faces this year in delivering finance and operational performance and how to remain individually and collectively motivated. One of my personal reflections is that telling people to ‘work harder’ is not the answer; and neither is telling people you just ‘have to deliver more’. Motivating people to aspire to do more and release their productive thinking is the answer.

Quality and Safety in Action

29 July 2016

Holidays are a time for recuperation, reflection and learning. Yes you can learn something on a cruise! What I saw, and have seen many times before, is a focus on quality, safety and customer service which we can only be envious of. You might think there are no parallels but there are. The cruise line doesn’t want people to fall ill on their holidays and there have been many such experiences for other cruise lines over the years. The company go out of their way to not only promote basic hygiene, but force this to happen through their proactive actions on a simple thing like hand washing.

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