Crisis leadership

05 August 2016  

Reflections

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.

The leadership diamond requires four things – vision and reality, ethics and courage – to achieve greatness. So we have the reality, a significant financial challenge which we were already aware of, but the level of that challenge has increased. The vision is financial sustainability; if we get to where we need to it sets us up for 2017/18.

However, we also need to be ethical in our decision making, so anything that puts quality and safety at risk needs to be avoided. Finally we need to have the courage to challenge ourselves to say ‘are we doing enough? Have we done enough? Could we go further?’ In a crisis good leaders hold their nerve, motivate people but also keep them grounded. The next few weeks will remain difficult but I have a real belief we can get close to the challenge we have set if we work together.

Andy

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