01 January 2009

Global leadership forum

How would you like to go to a global leadership forum? There can't be many of those. But if you do a google search for that exact phrase you will find over 10,000 results. Managers around the world must be using the same buzz word generator. It's no wonder we don't always take managers seriously.

Recently Grumble attended a meeting at a red brick university. The Vice Chancellor had just returned from a meeting of vice chancellors from around the world that took place in the East somewhere. Each chancellor had stood up and talked about their global aspirations. The Vice Chancellor related this to his audience and then announced that being global was not good enough for their red brick. They were going to go stellar. The raucous laughter showed that this was a leader with some insight. This was a leader who knew that these buzz words not only get in the way, they discredit the people who use them. Who can take managers seriously when they string these words together in the way that they do? We all laugh at them. Or is it just Dr Grumble?

Drs Grumble and Rant are enthusiasts for clinical engagement. Dr Rant knows the failings of managers when it comes to understanding primary care. And how can you manage anything in a hospital without getting senior front-line clinicians involved? But the truth is that unless they are desperate the managers shut us out. Or they did until the latest directives from on high.

Where do they pluck these figures from?

Here are some crucial questions the managers need to address at the Global Leadership Forum which will be a fast-paced, hands-on learning experience:
Why is it so difficult to secure clinician cooperation?

How do you motivate clinicians to “take the helm” and lead the quality improvement agenda?

How do you align clinician perspective on quality improvement?

What does it take to develop clinicians as true hospital leaders?

Can the Grumble readers help with the answers? Do you have a view on how your perspectives should be aligned? Or perhaps you have time to go to the conference which is being held in a magnificent Grade I listed building, in the heart of the West End. Sadly it clashes with one of Grumble's clinics. And he has targets to meet. Perhaps that's part of the problem. Not enough time for perspective alignment.


Anonymous said...

Easy. The managers have to stop talking in cliches and buzz-words (as you rightly say), and the clinicians have to stop sneering at anyone who isn't medically trained.

the a&e charge nurse said...

I might be wrong Dr Grumble - but isn't a case of either, or when it comes to clinical leadership ?

Seeing patients is pretty well all consuming.

If you want to lead then you have to stop seeing patients (more or less).

I have watched our lead consultant (emergency medicine) become ever more removed from day to day contact with bread and butter A&E cases.
He is placed under constant pressure from the various power brokers within the hospital.

You need incredibly broad shoulders from a job like that.

Dr Grumble said...

Agreed A&E Charge Nurse. Doing the clinical job properly is all consuming. If on top of that you teach (and we all do to a greater or lesser degree) and you do research then already you are doing one job too many. You just cannot do three jobs well. In other words most of us do not have time for a fourth management job. And, if you take on the management full time, you risk not knowing what is going on at the coalface so you develop the same weaknesses of a manager.

There is a widespread view amongst managers that a manager can manage anything but Dr G has never been at all sure that that is correct. There is sneering at managers but it is more to do with the feeling that they do not understand than that they are not medically trained. Our managers are all at sea when it comes to acute medicine. You really do need to have somebody on the shop floor to know how to structure a hospital for efficient and effective acute medical care. Second best is a manager who learns by appearing on the shop floor at times other than when there is a bed crisis - but this is rare.

Medical managers are no better than manager managers if they are preoccupied with their clinical and other commitments. There is also the whole issue of what you want to do with your life. Most doctors want to have something to do with actually looking after patients and one can't help but wonder about what is wrong with those that don't.