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Make time for values


Blog headlines

  • Social care to become lifestyle brand
    16 April 2020

    Social care is to get a new brand identity as the government seeks to reverse the perception that it is the poor relation of the NHS.

  • Blithering Covid-19 bulletin plays vital role
    2 April 2020

    To fill a gap in the market for timely and relevant Covid-19 information, Martin Plackard, director of global crisis communications at NHS Blithering introduces his latest initiative to reach out to stakeholders during the outbreak.

  • Social distancing the Longstay way
    27 March 2020

    We asked Sir Trevor Longstay, chief executive of the NHS Blithering University Hospitals Foundation Trust and commander-in-chief of the Blithering Covid-19 Taskforce to give us some practical tips on social distancing. Here he shares some of the lessons learned over four decades of leadership – not all of them relevant or epidemiologically sound

  • Nothing left to shift: fears grow over NHS paradigm supply
    12 March 2020

    The government has issued a stark warning that stocks of paradigms and other basic supplies could soon run out if NHS managers continue panic-buying.

  • Matt Hancock’s diary – a week of levelling up
    27 February 2020

    Taking personal charge of global pandemics is one of the perks of this job. I’m referring to coronavirus, of course, and I’m booked to appear on Sky News to talk about it.

  • Exceeding your expectations: the Blithering staff survey
    20 February 2020

    Staff at NHS Blithering feel listened to “at least once a year” and report that their expectations of taking part in surveys have been “met” or “exceeded” in the past 12 months.

  • Martin Plackard’s week: Tuesday
    7 February 2020

    The second in our series of privileged insights to the working life of Martin Plackard, the NHS’s most gifted communicator

  • Martin Plackard’s week: Monday
    30 January 2020

    First in an occasional series of glimpses into a typical week in the life of Martin Plackard, the NHS's most influential strategic communicator

  • A quick guide to quick guides
    24 January 2020

    Few of us have time for long documents that take ages to read or a lot of expertise to put together. That’s where quick guides come in.

  • Towards people and impact
    17 January 2020

    This week the Royal Pharmaceutical Society advertised for a head of engagement and belonging. Such titles can be controversial – but not for Martin Plackard, whose CV features a number of leadership roles in the fields of impact, euphemism management and talent delivery.

  • National log-in reset will change everything
    9 January 2020

    This week the Department of Health and Social Care announced a £40m investment to make it easier to log-in to NHS computers. It’s a laudable aim, akin to fitting a keyless entry system to a Ford Anglia to make it go faster.

  • Martin Plackard’s top tips for making a difference in 2020
    3 January 2020

    NHS Blithering’s Martin Plackard MBE was recognised in the new year honours list for services to strategic communications and meaningful engagement. Here he gives his top tips for others who hope to make a very real difference to people, communities and their own career prospects in 2020.

  • My amazing Twitter year – by Matt Hancock
    20 December 2019

    It's been a fantastic year on social media for the secretary of state for health and the other thing. Here it is in very nearly his own words

  • Sustainability and transformation parties: mandatory guidance
    5 December 2019

    As Christmas fast approaches, system leaders are getting ready for so-called sustainability and transformation parties, the highlight of the year for those who enjoy kinky integration with strangers.

  • All the latest health policy news from the general **** campaign
    29 November 2019

    Because purdah is still in force, this week’s **** has been heavily redacted. Here are the main parties’ plans for government as set out in their manifestos. A full unexpurgated version can be obtained from **** Party HQ.

  • New outfit more splendidly integrated than ever
    21 November 2019

    The emperor has announced plans for yet another new outfit, amid claims that this one will be even more splendid than the last.

  • Purdah – guidance for professionals
    15 November 2019

    After Christmas and the HSJ Awards, purdah is Martin Plackard’s favourite time of year.

  • Tools honoured in Blithering awards
    8 November 2019

    The Blithering Celebrating Success Awards are always eagerly anticipated. Every November, they recognise the commitment and dedication of people who put other people at the heart of everything they do before going the extra mile in their shoes. They also reflect the passionate belief of the organisers, Spume Media, in an awards-led approach to healthcare improvement science.

  • Provisional findings of the interim report
    31 October 2019

    The programme delivery group at One Blithering, the emergent NHS Blithering integrated care system, has published an interim report containing the provisional findings of a year-long strategic review.

  • Toast
    25 October 2019

    "The biggest complaint about the NHS which is beloved by everyone is about the food, and the biggest complaint about the food is about the lack of toast.”

Friday, 21 June 2019

Make time for values

Most of us would like to be more values-based, but finding the time can be tricky.

If you fancy trying values but don’t feel ready to make a long-term commitment, Blithering Values Week runs from 24 to 28 June – long enough to get up to speed with compassionate leadership but not so long that it interferes with your plans for the weekend or gets in the way of real work.

Try before you buy-in

NHS Blithering acting head of values Martin Plackard says: “We all aspire to values but most of us are too busy doing the day job to give them our full attention. Values Week allows people to find out if basic standards of decency are for them."

"Values may not suit everyone,” he warns.

Plackard cites evidence from prominent thought-leaders to show that even brief exposure to values can benefit you and those around you.

“As Sir Trevor Longstay is fond of saying, a little values-based behaviour goes a long way,” he says.

“If everyone in the NHS had values for just one week, imagine the difference it could make.”

Counting the change

Values Week is accompanied by a suite of online resources. These include a self-assessment framework to measure your value quotient (VQ) and track your progress from calculating careerist to selfless, inspirational leader.

There is also a role-models toolkit in the shape of an Excel-based dashboard – or “cashboard” – that allows you to calculate the impact of different beliefs and convictions on your career trajectory and salary package.

The Values Week Activity Planner sets practical challenges for aspiring leaders starting with a step-by-step guide to building your own moral compass.      

Those interested in working towards a prestigious Master of Values qualification can take advantage of a wide range of bitesize training and development modules accredited by the University of Blithering’s management studies department. Choose from:

  • Walking the Walk – adopt the confident gait of a winner
  • It’s Not About Me – getting the most out of humility
  • Change Starts at the Top – authentic hairstyles for leaders
  • Taking Others With You – collaborative journey planning   
  • Keeping it Real – best websites for sourcing heart-warming anecdotes and personal stories

Other resources include a “sharing pack” of downloadable posters and leaflets. Cut and paste your choice of values from empathy to compassion to humility, add a photo of yourself putting the interests of others first or being unassuming about a significant achievement, and get in to work early to leave them lying around.

Send an email later in the day thanking whoever was responsible but asking everyone to remember that you have no desire to take the credit for the work of the team. 

Virtue is its own award

The Values Week Awards celebrate values-based success and reward people who are too busy showing how much they care to find time for self-promotion.

Go the Blithering Values Week website to nominate someone you really admire. Or go the extra mile and nominate someone else.

Making-a-difference editor: Julian Patterson



Anonymous says:
Jun 21, 2019 10:12 PM

Is there a Blithering Institute where managers can attend bite size modules?

Anonymous says:
Jun 24, 2019 09:37 AM

I thought values was what happened on the Antique Roadshow until I joined the NHS...