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NHS strategy in just a minute


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Friday, 13 October 2017

NHS strategy in just a minute

Here is a new twist on the Radio 4 panel game Just a Minute. It has been suggested by the overwhelming response to the call for nominations for the NHS Word of the Year, which attracted hundreds of entries, all of them truly dreadful. Thank you.

All contestants need to do is speak for one minute without hesitation, repetition or deviation including as much NHS manager-speak as they can. There are no winners or losers in the NHS version of the game, just stakeholders. Read the example below, then play it with colleagues at your next meeting. See if anyone notices.

We’ve asked an experienced player to show you how it’s done. We’ve changed the name of the game to avoid infringing intellectual property rights and to appeal to an NHS audience. So welcome to Just a Rapid Test Period.

The topic on the card is "strategy". Speak for 60 seconds on that topic in this game starting now. 

Every strategy should aim to meet the challenges of a complex environment by tapping into the renewable energy of patients and taxpayers to harness the disruptive innovation needed for transformational change at scale.

Start by reaching out to stakeholders to build meaningful partnerships and forge lasting relationships around a shared vision. Remember, feelings of mutual suspicion and loathing are only natural. A common language of trust will help all sides to disguise them.

Take a helicopter view of the landscape and any burning platforms followed by a deep dive and a period of decompression to surface ideas safely. Visioning your strategy and insight sharing will help you to identify your mission and values, underpinning goals, overarching objectives, the strategic roadmap and a suitable trajectory and velocity for your journey.

What footprint will help you gain the most traction? It’s important to have grip, but also to stay agile going forward.

Your narrative clearly set out your offer, but has it been socialised? Do you have a credible cast list onboarded and are they familiar with the playbook? Do you need an honest conversation with the public or yourself? Are you ready to waterfall the benefits? Trickling down is no longer an option. You need to cascade your messaging at pace.

Have you learnt the lessons of the past and are you applying them to local circumstances? Are you equally passionate about learning from your mistakes and celebrating success? Can you provide air cover to your team and do they feel valued as well as protected? Are they thinking out of the box but never just ticking it? If so, they are achievement-wired and win-primed.

You can’t mobilise communities or activate a social movement unless you understand the drivers. Special purpose vehicles may also require a pilot. Don’t forget metrics: they should be in the dashboard with the direction of travel sweets and a locking wheel nut to prevent reinvention. 

Think function not form but don’t neglect the architecture. Your support chassis, scaffolding and superstructure will need stress testing for resilience and sustainability. Do you have the bandwidth and digital maturity to make the transition up the adoption curve and achieve spread?

Is your model sufficiently robust to withstand a paradigm or channel shift? Does it fit the financial envelope and push others? Is it new, innovative, evidence-based and future-proof? Will there be outcomes and do you plan one day to say what they are?

Finally, is it fully aligned? True system leaders never ask “With what?” 

Host: NHS Networks


david seabrooke
david seabrooke says:
Oct 13, 2017 01:39 PM

...Don’t forget metrics: they should be in the dashboard...[ring]
"Derek Nimmo has challenged."
"Repetition of 'should' - there was a 'should' at the start"; ("oohoo" goes the audience.)
"Two shoulds, yes, well listened Derek, that's a valid challenge within the rules of Just a Minute, so the subject of "Strategy" is yours, with 14 seconds to go, starting - now...

Mark Lainchbury
Mark Lainchbury says:
Oct 13, 2017 02:54 PM

Do I resign as a NHS manager if I don't understand this. OR resign as a Sentient Humanbeing if I do ?

Colin Hingston
Colin Hingston says:
Oct 13, 2017 03:28 PM

Truly nauseating. In fact,'insightful'(ugh).

Peter Marsh
Peter Marsh says:
Oct 13, 2017 03:48 PM

Better than current W1A on auntie beeb

cathy laversuch
cathy laversuch says:
Oct 13, 2017 05:16 PM

get out there and 'flex and innovate'

Anonymous says:
Oct 14, 2017 07:05 PM

"Let's land this" (argh - I'm not a blimmin Ryanair pilot) and "burning platform" (ditto but on an oil rig).

PS: I worked with someone whose job title was "head of horizontal and vertical issues"

Julian Patterson
Julian Patterson says:
Oct 16, 2017 11:06 AM

That's a brilliant job title. Expect to see Martin Plackard use it in a future episode