nhsManagers.net

4th August 2016
3

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HealthChat
Ed Smith
Chair of Not-Monitor, or whatever it's called.  In conversation with Roy L
Good conversation, networking and a glass of wine.  What's not to like!
The working week
News and Comment from Roy Lilley
How do you start your week?
 
Cuppa-builders, crank up the computer, delete every third email on the basis that if it was important they'd send it again!
 
If you run the NHS, DH insiders tell me, on a Monday morning, the chances are you'll have to sit through an entirely fruitless, unproductive and time wasting meeting with you-know-who whilst he tinkers, pontificates, preaches and pokes around in the undergrowth of the health service.
 
You might have to put up with it where you work.  It is a feature of insecure management.  It's called micro-management.  Or, being a pest.
 
The underlying psychology is simple; fear, insecurity, frustration and the risk of being embarrassed by  failure.
 
In the 1950's the father of modern management thinking, Peter Druker, said; 

"... workers should be treated as assets, not as 
liabilities."  

Micro-managers see subordinates as potential liabilities.
 
Drucker talked about...

 'the corporation as a human community based on trust and respect.  Good managers trust employee's ability to deliver the results they have been chosen, recruited, trained and encouraged to deliver.  The organisation has one relentless goal, the satisfaction of the customer'. 
 
In our case the patient.
 
Writing in the International Journal of Economics and Management Sciences, Amandip Sidhu writes;
 
"Employees should not be just considered "doers" while managers are the thinkers and planners to minute detail. This master-slave type relationship hinders employee growth, undermines the employee's ability to become problem solvers, and greatly reduces employee engagement... studies have shown... workers simply handed a list of tasks and how to perform them, quickly consider the work mundane and become disengaged."
 
There are six dangers of micro-management.
 
Loss of control; it's a strange thought but micro-managers lose control because, if their only tool is 'control' they lose the options of a range of other management styles and other techniques of engaging with people who might react differently and better to different approaches.  When the impact of control loses currency... they are stuffed.
 
Loss of trust; the micro-manager is seen first as a despot, then as a tin-pot and finally as a gone-to-pot.  Trust evaporates, managers become reluctant to report openly, productivity suffers and solutions pushed further away.
 
Loss of confidence; micromanaged staff will increasingly rely on the boss for direction, ideas and solutions.  They stop thinking for themselves and lose confidence in their ability to manage.  Both the boss and they, forget what they were hired for... their talent. 
       
Loss of energy; the micro-manager will run out of steam, they will be unable to calibrate their decisions, test their ideas and inevitably make the wrong calls.  Good managers step back and create the time and space for good people to do great things.
 
Loss of staff; people hate being micro-managed.  Insecure, average, dead-beat staff will put up with it but talent will leave.
 
Loss of independence; when good, talented managers lose their sovereignty they'll soon lose their desire to be creative, make decisions, be innovative over and above what is asked of them by the micro-manager.  This creates a race to the average, the quiet life and the middling.
 
There's an old saying in HR circles; 'people don't leave bad companies, they leave bad bosses'.  The dreadful state of the NHS is a good example... 
 
No one would want to make a career in a 'business' that is under resourced, poorly staffed, over trading and suffocating in bureaucracy.  However, when it is called the NHS, they do.
 
But... look at the biggest causes of staff movement, churning and discontent in the NHS. 

They were driven out and left in their droves during the height of the Lansley madness.  The Tinkerman lost junior doctors to the picket line and migration, GPs to retiring, paramedics to Australia and nurses to agency working.
 
No matter how brilliant the organisation (and the NHS is brilliant) dysfunctional, micro-management will drive out talent quicker than the lack of resources, austerity and coping with demand.
 
When managers micro-manage... events will develop beyond their reach; chaos follows, strategy is abandoned and work becomes a series of fire-drills.
 
The roll of a manager is to empower... not to direct.  Resolve... not to decide.  Plan... not to detail.

Focusing on growth, innovation and benchmarking for success, not overseeing, superintending and control.
 
Micromanaged staff close-down, stop asking questions and think only about surviving the Monday meeting, not the challenge of the working week.
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  Contact Roy - please use this e-address
Know something I don't - email me in confidence.
Leaving the NHS, changing jobs - you don't have to say goodbye to us! You can update your Email Address from the link you'll find right at the bottom of the page, and we'll keep mailing.
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HealthChat
26th Sept Kings Fund  5.30pm.
Ed Smith 
Chair of Not-Monitor 
(I must find out what they are called!)
Great evening in prospect.  He has a huge experience and a raconteur 
Plus the usual wine and networking. 
Special ticket prices
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Gossip
shh
This is what I'm hearing;
if you know different,
tell me here
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>>  I'm hearing - the idea of doctors working in chambers is doing the rounds again.  I doubt they'll do it, it'll have an impact on their pension.
>>  I'm hearing - about GP list cleansing.  If, say a list is cleansed and removes 100k from the system, the Carr-Hill formula adds it back in.
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