Hello PPMA members and friends
This week, Joanna Ruffle, PPMA East of England Regional Chair and Head of People and Policy at Southend on Sea BC, outlines the local vision behind Southend and 13 other areas becoming ‘pioneer’ places
” At Southend, our ambitions are straightforward:
● Better integrated services and better access to them
● Better integrated information and knowledge
● A renewed focus on prevention and individual responsibility
● Better use of resources through joint planning and commissioning
● Better understanding of local people and their experiences
So far, so obvious; so where do the pioneering skills come in? Our front line staff have been working across the troubled borders of health and social care for years, making things work and improving outcomes for people despite the system and not because of it. Our challenge then is to take this creativity, passion, determination and resilience and – without damaging it – embed this approach across our organisations and into our communities. Leaders have to be encouraged to stop thinking about their organisational remit and consider instead their role in leading the system.
It is the system that has the most significant impact (positive or negative) on an individual not the separate organisations within it – often they are simply barriers to overcome! If a system works the organisations within it should be virtually invisible. But this requires very different behaviours from our leaders.
And there’s the rub. Developing collective visions and ambition is important but relatively straightforward. Developing leaders to think and take decisions in the best interests of the system as opposed to individual organisations is a much harder ask.
HR/OD professionals are in a unique position to either drive and support this change or cut it off at the knees before it is even underway.
It would be so easy to spend the next few months/years debating the merits of LG versus health terms and conditions until all the oxygen has been extinguished and, the patient long since expired. Instead, we must be fearless, take a few risks, cut through new paths and refuse to be deterred or disheartened by obstacles along the way including the occasional dead end. Only in this way can we be true pioneers and build a new world for the generations that follow.
Just remember to build in time for a good wash!
Joanna Ruffle is PPMA East of England Regional Chair and Head of People and Policy at Southend on Sea BC