Sunday, 10 April 2011

Clinical Leadership 'Development' - have we got it right?

Development has two components; in order, first is technical skills (hard) and second is personal (so called soft).

Technical skills in my view has two steps core professional skills (how to do the best) and core generic skills (how to do the best for everyone, every time, everyday). Many of us are good at our core professional technical skills (eg surgery, finance, radiology, facilities, HR, cardiology, etc) but it is very well known that in healthcare many of us are unaware of core generic technical skills (evidence, shared baselines, operational data analysis and data tracking, data based decision making).

The NHS is and has been focused for a while on 'leadership', 'social movements', 'change' and such similar things.

My problem with this is profound. I believe that core generic technical development should precede personal development. Personal development methodology is very profound and is designed to promote self-awareness and self-belief. The risk is when the personal development comes before the technical development, people become so convinced about themselves and what they are doing that they feel that technical development is a non-essential trivial distraction.

What is also interesting is the technical skills are easier to teach/learn, assess and practice though most people would think it is difficult and personal development is far more difficult to achieve and demonstrate though most people would think that they have 'got it' after a few sessions.

I have huge concerns that at a local level the deaneries and SHAs do not do this and at a national level personal development happens at a fantastic level to NHS persons who mostly do not have the technical development. 

The fundamental message here is, one must know what/how to do it before they begin to believe they can do it.

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