Friday, 11 March 2016

Knowledge for Healthcare Leadership Development Programme

The launch of the Knowledge for Healthcare Leadership Development Programme #kfhleadership was held today at Stewart House in London and I consider myself lucky to have been able to attend as one of the 24 participants for the 2016-17 cohort. The programme is a pilot initiative based on the model of the CILIP Leadership Model with the Knowledge for Healthcare Framework in mind. It is aimed at librarians, information specialists and knowledge specialists in the healthcare sector who wish to develop their leadership skills. The one year programme has been funded by Health Education England and participants will take part in a project and are required to attend four workshops and three action learning sets. We are also encouraged to attend the CILIP and Health Libraries Group conferences (This is not a compulsory component of the programme).

I was glad to see participants from different aspects of healthcare (not just the NHS), different parts of the country and different job roles (not solely managers). Jo Alcock did a good job of mixing everyone up so that we were forced to engage with one another not just people we already knew. We were joined by the Director of National Programmes for the HEE, Patrick Mitchell, and he noted how the launch itself is a testament to how far the Knowledge for Healthcare framework has come. Jo gave an overview of the programme and stressed how candidates are likely to gain as much from it as they are willing to give of themselves. Everyone had the opportunity to introduce themselves and share a bit about their current roles and what they aspired to gain from the programme. We also shared individual hopes and fears with common themes including the desire to build confidence, establish new relationships, learn about leadership skills, tips and tools whilst the most common fear was time constraint.

The next activity involved participants highlighting what they consider as the traits of a good/effective leader and high on the list was being passionate, impartial and inspiring. This led on to participants matching themselves to one of eight leadership quotes provided and then matching the quotes to those who had said it. The exercise made me realize that knowing who said each quote changed what some of the quotes meant to me. Jo also highlighted some of the things we should have noticed during the exercise and what they could mean such as who led the task, was quick to make suggestions or held back. We were introduced to leadership styles/approaches which was quite a bit to process. Some of them I was familiar with, others not so much. Senior Advisor, Knowledge for Healthcare, Sue Lacey Bryant pointed out that the transformational approach forms the basis for the Knowledge for Healthcare Framework due to the need to make a significant change.

We broke for lunch and some networking after which we had a learning from leaders session which involved hearing the leadership stories of others. Patrick Mitchell shared how in a bid to gain power, control and responsibility he realized it can only be gotten by giving it up. He also encouraged us to sell or stories and not to take no for an answer (within the right scenarios of course), stressing that there is always an honest way to achieve your goal. He pointed out that it is difficult to get others enthused about a plan of action when you don't believe in it yourself and stressed the importance of chance meetings and serendipity which was a common theme from all the speakers. National Programme Manager for Library and Knowledge Services at the HEE, Louise Goswami, emphasized the need to be confident in applying skills and lessons learnt in different sectors as well as pursuing opportunities when they arise. Director of Health Libraries North, David Stewart, raised the need to create opportunities, seize opportunities and know one's limitations.

We were then split into our group projects and I am working with my team of the training needs on NHS Library staff. We were able to plan some of the activities needed and identify preferred methods of communication for the project. To conclude the day, Jo told about what the next steps of the programme would be and what the tasks we are expected to do before then one of which is completing the leadership element of the CILIP PKSB. The PKSB was introduced after I obtained Chartership status and to be perfectly honest, I have shied away from it. This programme has forced me to face the gaps in my skill set and consider them by order of priority. I also consider it a useful tool as I complete my Revalidation for this year.

It was a packed workshop and many thanks to Jo for facilitating it. I look forward to communicating with participants especially as my group moves forward with our project. It will be interesting to learn from the experiences and perspectives of others and I look forward to doing just that.