Musings from the stage at our Innovation and Collaboration Conference on 20th January 2017 at Crowne Plaza, Newcastle.
When we think of the great innovations that come our way, we instinctively think of great eureka moments that are a product of a sudden brainstorm from an individual - a light bulb moment. The reality is that the great innovations come from when you have a good idea, I have a good idea, and the ideas collide to produce a great idea. This is often produced over time with a lot of collective sweat equity by many people.
Many of the attendees I see within the room are from the NHS and we were very fortunate to have Jim Mackey, Chief Executive of NHS Improvement, address the audience. Key learnings for me from Jim’s presentation were that integrated health care offers the best prospect of enabling the NHS to meet the challenges of the future. Moving to an integrated health system requires more than a change in political rhetoric; it will take courage, innovation, collaboration and a Campaign for Health being hard-wired throughout the NHS. I have found innovation and collaboration are not mutually exclusive; they feed and build upon each other. It’s not ‘either-or’. Innovation happens through collaboration, and the best organisations are not only harnessing innovation from their employees, but also from outsiders such as suppliers or competitors. Questions from the floor focused a lot on STP plans and the consensus view I took was that the development and implementation of STPs will only be effective if local leaders use their authority to design structures and processes that support more collaborative working - both within and across organisations.
"Very thought-provoking, engaging speakers, liked balance between rhetoric & Academia."- Karen O’Brien, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
As I listened to leadership expert Rebecca Stephens, I locked onto the fact that in every realm of our lives, whether we’re at work or play, there are Rules of the Game. These rules always come in two forms: written rules and unwritten rules, and I was reminded of that great book, ‘The Unwritten Rules of the Game’ by Peter Scott-Morgan that I read back in the 90s which, if I remember correctly, spoke to ‘Master Them, Shatter Them, and Break Through the Barriers to Organizational Change’. Rebecca’s programme is more subtle and the audience took on board the need for political savvy not to manipulate but to engage.
"An excellent day with good variety and pace" - Jagtar Singh OBE, Chair Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust
Patrick Melia, Chief Executive of North Tyneside Council, spoke about collaboration in the Public Sector as best demonstrated by North Tyneside Council’s fantastic ability to do more with less. There is nowhere in the world I go that does not ask me the same question: how do I do more with less? I do remind myself that this council, with a very diverse demographic group and some areas of real poverty, is the second highest performing area on education. It is beaten only by Westminster which has one school and a very different resident profile.
"Thought provoking & motivating"- Peter Davidson, South Tyneside College
I love to tell stories and Preethi Nair, Professional Storytelling Specialist, showed me how classy story tellers do it - how great leaders engage you emotionally and how great stories can be constructed. Preethi gave me the “10 minute P” as I have called it, but it is her genius that made me really think, and as a cynic shifted my mindset with brilliant simplicity.
"Good balance of speakers with areas of expertise, engaging with audience, very informative and helps you to think outside of the box." - Marie Errington, Hodgson Sayers Ltd
Our concluding speaker Kirsty Lord, Digital Executive Producer at Maverick Television, provided a passionate statement for collaboration through digital, a space I love, and gave us some great ideas on how to use this space more effectively and where the NHS are leading the way.
"A very well organised event, with a great mix of interesting and inspiring speakers. Very informative" - Catherine Boland, Printed.com
When I think of my own contribution, I did focus very clearly on another way to engage and include the power of people: how can I get inside their heads without asking them a question? I do hope that the audience can follow my lead and be the change we want to see, rather than allowing those with the loudest voices or those who are active in pushing agendas be the only ones that are heard. I wanted to get across that we can give voice to the silent majority.
My partner and wife Karen Lee set the scene for us and so many people contributed to a memorable day. I took many learnings as my notes show from the scribbles in front of me. We must be the change we want to see. I hope the conference gives people the courage to be the impact that will allow us to be more collaborative and innovative.
Jim became Chief Executive of NHS Improvement on 1 November 2015. Jim is a qualified accountant who joined the NHS in 1990. His previous roles have included:
Chief Executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Interim Chief Executive of Northumberland Care Trust
Chief Operating Officer of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust
Regional Director of Finance at the Regional Health Authority
Deputy Chief Executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust
Director of Finance at North Tyneside Healthcare NHS Trust
He has a keen interest in quality of care, especially patient and family experience, and has participated in a number of reviews and national projects, including the Dalton Review in 2014.
Rebecca Stephens, Leadership Expert
Rebecca Stephens has a gift for communication and has risen to global prominence as an inspirational keynote speaker and executive coach on teamwork, leadership skills and performing absolutely to one's best.
Rebecca is the first British woman to have climbed Everest - an achievement recognised around the world. She then went on to become the first British woman to climb the Seven Summits, the highest mountain on each of the seven continents.
Rebecca has delivered a suite of excellent Women in Leadership programmes within the CCG environment with a specific focus on Political Savvy. She is working with Karen Lee, COO of Blackswan, on developing a suite of Political Savvy and communication skills workshops for 2017.
Maurice Duffy, Managing Partner and CEO of Blackswan
Maurice is often cited as one of the top global coaches. He is respected for his work on leadership, coaching and mentoring, change management and cultural change, in which he both practices and consults with key leaders in industry around the world.
Maurice personally coaches and mentors a number of top CEOs, sports personalities, and board-level Directors of FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies, and leads significant change management programmes, whilst also sitting as Chair on a number of advisory boards. He is a digital strategist on a number of international and national campaigns and is a regular motivational speaker.
Maurice has worked extensively with the NHS on complex and challenging change management programmes and has also delivered regular workshops across the NHS landscape on mindset, resilience and innovation skills.
Patrick Melia, Chief Executive of North Tyneside Council
Leading change and partnership working are key areas of expertise for Patrick Melia, Chief Executive of North Tyneside Council. Patrick is driven by a desire to ensure the delivery of high quality services that enable residents to live as independently as possible in their local communities.
As a result of the dramatic reduction in Local Government Funding he is currently leading a significant change programme to ‘reinvent’ Local Government to ensure that North Tyneside continues to be a great place for residents to live, businesses to thrive and for visitors to enjoy.
In North Tyneside Patrick is utilising his extensive track record on delivering major projects, involving multiple partnerships, by providing leadership for the delivery of the North Tyneside Seafront Master Plan, which is investing £36million into the coastal area, and the transformation of the 13 hectares of prime Enterprise Zone land at the former Swan Hunter shipyard into a hub for the offshore, renewable energy and advanced engineering sectors, providing around 1,000 new jobs to the North East.
Preethi Nair, Professional Storytelling Specialist
Preethi Nair has been described by the Financial Times as ‘the Storyteller who makes up the skills gap’. She is an Executive Coach and evangelist for the power of storytelling within business. She helps business leaders discover their message and through storytelling manage change, inspire teams and communicate more effectively.
Preethi has completed her third novel and second play, and writes for BBC Radio 4 as well as a number of broadsheets. She is also an ambassador for the Prince's Trust, promoting creativity, and is on the faculty at London Business School and Cranfield University.
Preethi is a successful author, and Managing Director and founder of a publishing and PR company, Kiss the Frog. She won the Asian Woman of Achievement award for her endeavours and was short-listed for PPC Publicist of the Year.
Kirsty Lord, Executive Producer of Digital at Maverick Television
Kirsty leads Maverick’s Digital Department and is responsible for developing and creating digital content and platforms for a variety of clients, including some of the UK’s best known brands and organisations.
After joining Maverick Television in 2007 and working on some of our well-known television formats such as Embarrassing Bodies and How to Look Good Naked, Kirsty moved to take a leading role in the Digital department.
Over the last 5 years, Kirsty has been working with the Digital team to build on their award winning digital portfolio including; groundbreaking digital broadcast content for Living it Up (NHS24), Big Pop Art (POP!), Fi-Star (EU), Random Acts, YouTube channels (Daily Mix, You Generation, Body Talk), brand led content (M&S, Renault, Virgin Atlantic, HEE), along with a variety of highly acclaimed mobile apps and games (EB: My Mind Checker and Reverse the Odds, in association with Cancer Research UK).