Dr Fiona Astill, Leadership Fellow
Leaders in Healthcare is a conference in association with the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM). It was a huge event with hundreds of attendees. Additional to the plenary sessions, much of the groups were workshop-based with themes around self, team, organisation and systemto choose from.
Personal highlights included:
1. Lord Victor Adebowale - possibly the most down-to-earth Lord I’ve ever seen who marched on to the stage and promptly announced he was here to “gob off at us” for a while! His speech was discussing the challenges that faced the health service and felt these were equity, access and technology. He talked about leadership not being about just your own organisation but that we have a duty as healthcare professionals to consider population health, and the need for a credible team. There is no right way to lead:
2. Military leadership – an interesting discussion from senior ranking officers in the army and the RAF, regarding the concepts of leadership and followership. Their advice for leadership and followership:
3. Forum theatre – this started off with us feeling a little apprehensive that we might have to get up and act. Luckily, actors were provided and the initial scene played concerned a conversation between a medical director and a chief registrar. The scenes were initially played, followed by discussion with the audience as to why what they had done did or didn’t work. It was quite enlightening to watch the situation play out and I think we could all remember a time when we’d been in a similar situation with a dismissive ‘leader’. Changing one’s body language, speech and attitude made a big difference to the conversation and ended with both parties satisfied.
‘Problems only exist in the absence of the right conversation’ Werner Erhard
4. Seven Transformations of Leadership – what differentiates leaders is not their personality, management style or leadership philosophy but their internal ‘action logic’ – reacting to their environment and challenges. http://hbr.org/2005/04/seven-transformations-of-leadership in case you were interested in finding out more about your current style?
5. Speed coaching – the FMLM organised a series of short sessions that attendees could sign up to, to discuss a problem or barrier in their own leadership style. Of the fellows that went I think we all found this valuable to an extent, and a current theme of this year is definitely to question yourself, and to be more aware of your own strengths and weaknesses.
6. Wellbeing – lots of workshops and talks around this topic. ‘Doctors as Second Victims’- in a room full of people 86% have had personal involvement in a near miss or adverse event. Of those 70% felt this affected them personally and professionally. We need to encourage open and transparent conversations about errors, without the blame. We need to be compassionate towards our colleagues and supportive.
Dr Annabel Greenwood