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Do we need ‘heroes’ in health service management? More than ever I’d say….

Great blog piece here from ACHSM’s CEO, Daryl Sadgove with lots on nails hit squarely on the head.

My responses are:
I shook my head at the ‘no internet’ example at the end but am not surprised in the least as hospital IT departments are second only in the ‘grotesquely worthless’ league to HR departments. If Macdonalds can have free wifi in every cafe it defies belief that hospitals and health services are still ‘banning mobile phones’ (yeah, that one’s going to work) and telling staff that they can’t use Facebook/Skype/You Tube etc etc.
Reading the piece backwards, you can see why there is so little innovation, engagement and lack of ability to respond nimbly and creatively to new problems and challenges when the public sector default position has always been to keep things ticking along as always but with the occasional smokescreen of a ‘reorganisation’ or ‘management restructure’ thrown in to create an impression of movement. The essential culture says the same. Nobody is fooled any more.

This may be one reason for managers’ general terror at the thought of a genuinely open social media taking off in their organisation. That would mean some openness, possibly some openly expressed dissent and the diminution of the micro-management control that has been so carefully constructed over the years.

Leadership is definitely vital but I couldn’t believe it when The Kings Fund produced a report called “No More Heroes”, thus gaining the distinction of “Worst Report Title Ever”.

No MORE Heroes???? More? I must have slept through the first wave. More heroes is exactly what we DO want. We have no shortage of empty suits, utterly lacking in passion and charisma who would be out of their depth in a mirage and who would never be employed by any private company that actually had to survive in a competitive business world. These are the mangers who think that it’s OK to have their office across the road from the hospital, or OK to ‘reorganise the system’ without telling anyone first or OK to have ‘processes’, ‘risk management’ and ‘compliance’ as the top priorities of a service.

Give us leaders with passion, drive, personality, enthusiasm, integrity, strong values, sound knowledge, genuine care, and a clear vision, leaders that people might actually WANT to follow, get rid of an IR culture that almost guarantees mediocracy, ‘time serving’, and a ‘job for life’ and ask politicians to please ‘get out of healthcare’s face’ and let great leaders lead and manage without having to second guess their every decision.
We can but dream….. :-)

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