Thursday, 28 April 2011

Canadian Best Practices Portal - Healthcare

The Public Health Agency of Canada has a very interesting website: Canadian Best Practices Portal.  I think it is an excellent example of helping to spread good practice.

  1. It describes interventions (best practices) without overly classifying them. The reader can make their own judgements of value and worth. I also like the way these are summarised as they are written for the reader and not as corporate sales pitches which is a temptation other organisations fall foul of. 
  2. The resources have a great at-glance feature which show how they relate to define, search, appraise, synthesise, adapt, implement, evaluate.
  3. Their list of systematic review sites is extensive and pitches these best practices as being based on evidence which is both appropriate and welcome for healthcare interventions.

Difficult Conversations 1: The DED Technique

Dealing with the difficult situation is difficult - usually because emotions are running high and emtoional responses tend to send all good planning straight out the window. One technique I've found useful is simple enough to remember when the flak hits the fan and tends to work well - the DED technique.

D = Describe 
E = Example
D - Discussion

Describe the behaviour you're finding difficult, how it makes you feel and explain the wider impacts of the behaviour. Without any description the other person probably has no idea why you are upset.

Then provide an example of what it is you've just described. Without an example the other person may think you're making it up and may not be able to ground the descriptions in reality.

Discussion - or I prefer the term dialogue as that presumes it is a two-way thing - is the obvious important and final step. If the first D and the E have gone well then the discussion should be fairly straightforward - though posisbly still emotive.

Do you have a favourite technique you'd like to share?

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes - The Joy of Stats - BBC Four

This video is pure genius. For anyone who doubts the importance of visualisation for bringing insight to data, then take a few minutes to view this video:

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Design a 50 minutes lecture that works

Tired of the person who stands up and delivers a repeat of their presentation (they are as bored as you)? Tired to the point of not being able to concentrate for more than the first few minutes of a presentation? Tired of making it through to someone's lecture to discover afterwards you have no idea what you learnt?

John Medina is a scientist who researches ways to avoid problems like these. He also has some very practical advice. I like his Brain Rules website, with videos (nice to see him practising what he preaches), tips and links to a new book. Each of his 12 rules are available with illustrations and videos.

Advice for a 50 minute presentation? Break it down into 10 minute segments. At the end of every segment add a hook / statement that will generate an emotional response in the listener. I'll be trying that for my next presentation.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Leadership models and theories - some links

I'm often asked what leadership theory I espouse. I'm never sure how to answer because I think leadership is a practice and not a theory. However - as we know, all models and theories can be useful (though remember none are right!).

Here is a collection of a few of the places where I go for leadership theory information

  1. Academic online library - this is always my first choice (keep those fingers of the Google Search button!). Here is can find properly thought out, detailed, reviewed and practised theories. It is also here that I learn about the latest research and practice.  For me, these papers are more useful that books as they are not subject to marketing bias.
  2. Google Scholar Search - bridges the academic library with the wider Google Search
  3. Current books - either buy, download or go to the physical library to borrow
  4. The Web...
Some useful web links:
  1. Nice summary and overview for those of us who often don't have time to read a whole book or figure out the complexities of a paper
  2. A review of leadership theories and competency frameworks - ok, this is a paper, but a useful one...
  3. has a page full of ideas and concepts to keep you thinking

Post your favourites in the comments section.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Leadership means putting personal differences aside

Mike Golding is an International Yachtsman.  He is also the man who gave up a winning position in a round the world yacht race to pick up a distressed competitor - someone with whom he'd not had the best of relationships.

Enough said.

How far out of your way will you go to help someone you may not like, but who is struggling?

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Leadership notes from a pilot who saved the passengers

Staying with the leadership theme of the previous posts, Capt Peter Burchil has some interesting reflection of the incident where the BA777 from China, in January 2008, landed short of the runway, due to a technical issue. There was no warning and it was skill, maybe a bit of luck, and a cool head that resulted in no loss of life.

One of his taglines was "plan for the expected and prepare for the unexpected" which I think is an excellent mantra for anyone at work - especially during times of great change.

He summed up his talk by explaining how he was taught in the controlled environment of the simulator to "Aviate, Navigate, Communicate". What an excellent three words those are for any manager or director! For "aviate", substitute the verb that best describes what your job requires you to do (the tick here is to remember to keep doing what you're supposed to be doing and not get distracted.). Navigate - similar to aviate, though I think all Executives should keep navigate in their list of three words. Communicate is obvious.

What are your three words that ensure you remain leading in a crisis?

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Leadership thoughts from an astronaut

When I heard Tom Henricks speak at a conference, I was inspired in many ways. A few of the notes I captured all seemed to relate to leadership on the very edge of what is important; there is room for mistakes on a Shuttle.

He spent time talking about how leadership is also about teamwork; how you cannot be a leader unless you have a team. But this also means the leader needs to be an excellent team player. You cannot separate leadership from teamwork. I don't think this has been so clearly set out for me before. It is obvious when you think about it, but less obvious in action in the workplace.

He didn't equate leadership with a consensus, soft approach. He quite clearly explained how the buck did stop with him. On launch, he was the person who said the word"Go". His was the final decision. (mmm, now that is taking responsibility!)

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Leadership lessons from rugby

A few more wise words from Brendan Venter than I picked up:

When it comes to leaderships, he believes:

  • walk the talk
  • never be neutral (learn to have a point of view)
  • be able to build relationships (learn to like each other)
  • stay in the core
  • communicate effectively with colleagues
Again, standard stuff, but so hard to do, consistently and predictably.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Most popular posts on the Spread Good Practice blog

Here is the list of the most popular posts on this blog for the last 6 months.  If I'd had to guess I'd not have guessed these - nothing like a good bit of measurement to separate fact from opinion!

22 Dec 2010, 1 comment
640 Pageviews
21 Jul 2010
484 Pageviews
20 Dec 2010
339 Pageviews
2 Sep 2010
320 Pageviews
24 Oct 2010, 1 comment
284 Pageviews

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Research into Implementation and Spread: Methods, Findings and Future Agendas by John Ovretveit.

If you were unable to attend John vretveits March 24th VA Cyber Seminar, you can now view the archived video (link below). 

QUERI Implementation Research Seminar
Thursday, March 24 1:00pm-2:00pm ET
Research into Implementation and Spread: Methods, Findings and Future Agendas by John vretveit, Ph.D.

Here is the link to the flash video of the presentation:

Staying motivated

Brendan Venter, coach of an English rubgy team, explained at conference I attended, how important it is to keep motivated, especially in difficult times. This sounds a bit trite but I was interested in the way he explained for a team that is losing, when you get together at half time, the pep talk is important., However, what really matters is the culture of the team that will support their ability to survive the difficulty and to work through it so they engineer some from of success.

Will healthcare systems all over the world going through significant change, I was left wondering how important past and current culture is - so often the word on the organisational street is "we must develop a new culture" - but it may be too late. It is the existing culture that will determine much of the success of tomorrow.

Brendan also mentioned that people on the team need to know what the purpose is of it all. They need to know this for themselves. It is not something that can be issued in a memo. What is it that keeps people coming back to work?  Ultimately, he suggests, it is friendship. There is nothing else.