I spent a great afternoon with a bunch of other people who are interested in improving the lives of people on the Wirral. It was so exciting to find out about projects people are doing in the area as well as rubbing shoulders with other health care professionals who have a real heart for making a difference in the lives of people here on the Wirral.
The workshop that I attended was led by Healthy Wirral and was all about bringing together partners to deliver a different approach to understanding and managing our population's health and wellbeing.
We had a series of sessions which made us think, challenged us and best of all, got us talking to one another, sharing common goals, understanding each other's challenges and being enthused by one another.
It was great to see how many interesting ideas people had and how they had put those ideas into practice and were really changing lives, being creative and being a positive influence in their communities. There was such a lot of passion in the room and a desire to work together to make things better. Let's hope that we can put this into practice in the real world but I was really happy to meet some new people and build some links which will help us with the projects we hope to do. I feel it is very much about learning from other people and listening to other people.
One session that I enjoyed was to do with looking at what made a good organisation and good leaders - but first we looked at what a bad organisation was like. One of our group came up with the phrase "people over paperwork". So true, especially if you work in the public sector. The important things for a good organisation that were identified were around having respect, having the courage to let people try new ideas, trust, valuing other people's input etc. It kind of reminded me of a phrase we used in our old church 'every member ministry'. Everybody is important and has something to offer and we should encourage and enable people to use their skills and abilities.
The last little bit was about leadership and I think it's worth just noting down the guiding principles of leadership within an organisation identified by Wellbourne et al in their publication Leadership and engagement for improvement in the NHS from the King's Fund:
1. Go out of your way to make new connections
2. Adopt an open, enquiring mindset, refusing to be constrained by current horizons
3. Embrace uncertainty and be positive about change - adopt an entrepreneurial attitude
4. Ensure leadership and decision-making are distributed throughout all levels and functions
5. Establish a compelling vision which is shared by all partners in the whole system
6. Promote the importance of values - invest as much energy into relationships and behaviours as into delivering tasks
I think that these are great principles and I hope that as we move forward as an organisation we can build on these principles. I think, as a Christian organisation, I would add another principle, which is not one that I made up - Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and love your neighbour as yourself. I think if we put God first in everything we do then it is in pretty safe hands.