Tuesday 21 July 2009

Inspiration and a job well done

Why did you join the caring professions?
Everyone I speak to has a story to tell – a family connection, a loss, a deep desire to help / to heal / to cure. But so often this original spark, this burning desire, lies buried under the petty annoyances and humdrum activities of day to day service.
Doctors and nurses, AHPs and social care workers, managers and support staff talk about the high points in their career in terms of single instances – the child who felt strengthened at their lowest moment, the obscure diagnosis with a straightforward cure. Moments of inspiration that are few and far between. Most days a seemingly endless and uninspiring routine.
As you know, my work is to help people involved in service delivery and service change to remember why they are doing this, to understand what a difference they are making, and if it isn’t good enough, to change their approach THEMSELVES to make it better. I do this through helping people, teams, organisations and whole health economies to define the measures that mean something (reports that people can take home and tell the kids “I made a difference today”). To record things that they put a value on, to analyse and report because THEY WANT TO, and to feel good about the outcomes.
We align the measures for new and existing services to the objectives of the workstream, the organisation, and the health economy. You can see your individual contribution, how you fit in, the difference you are making. You have a place, a significance.
This has an interesting knock-on – public sector objectives move as fast as (or faster than) local demographic change, political whim, and new understandings/ new technologies. Which is pretty fast. When teams set their own measures, they tend to align the measures with strategic objectives meaning that as these change, so the individual team measures change. And as people do what is inspected not what is expected, as we change the measures we record and report, we change what we do. No longer the need to send someone from management in to redesign services and impose the changes on people, because we’re doing it ourselves.
This theme and others on the use of measurement and Benefits Frameworks for performance improvement, alignment to strategic objectives and Recruitment and Retention, are explored further on my web site www.minney.org and blog http://benefits.minney.org. Please call me to talk further

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