The Missed Opportunity is to Deny New Voices

  |   Thought Leadership

Every day one of our Partner group is operating in a theatre, in a Boardroom giving advice or in a healthcare organisation providing operational support and guidance. Every day one of our Partner Group is writing.


Our health group is inspired by innovation and disruption. By doing something unique and being the best at what we do in a very small space. We want to make our healthcare consulting value driven; we want to improve what the NHS receives from healthcare consulting firms and we want to provide informed and specialist advice. We want to see positive results from our interventions that impact the end user.


Last week one of our team won an HSJ award for Innovation. For his work on quality and transparency.
I was on Twitter sharing some new news around this achievement, and pressed the update button with @HSJ Editor on it. “Perhaps we could get some of our ideas published now we had picked up an Award” I am still waiting.


This week the HSJ has run a summit, which is not unusual but potentially very important. Chatham House Rules so no quotes could be attributed. Some photos of very talented members of the NHS. A few insightful tweets on… System Led Integrated Care (you guessed it).


It appears the HSJ Summit went very well and there are probably great reasons for why people got picked to go, and why people get picked to contribute to the HSJ itself besides being great trophies.


The good news about the incoming CEO of NHS England is that he is coming from somewhere else but he understands the NHS.
The problem with the current stereotypical NHS expert is that although they are undoubtedly talented, most of them are very similar. They all bring the same type of energy. Culturally, this means it has very low difference, which almost by definition means they challenge little. The feedback loop supports sameness, and as evidenced by recent history, certainly defies progress. That’s why the NHS feels stale, and stagnant. Who we are is what we create. Stale doesn’t create innovation. Fresh creates innovation.


There is a quip that the very definition of insanity is to do the same thing over, and over again, and then expect a different result.


When you deny different, you deny innovation, and ultimately you deny growth. The opposite of growth isn’t stagnation, which is only slowing growth. The opposite of growth is decay. And that is the risk the NHS is facing — organizationally and culturally.


So the fact that the HSJSummit picked yet another group of people that are exactly like last year is not a surprise, but surely a missed opportunity. Instead of choosing modernity, they have chosen something else.


To manage for yesterday’s conditions, rather than invent the future.


And that doesn’t make me angry-it makes me sad.