Clare Reeve Post 1• 29 Oct 2019, 22:14
Week 5, Activity 4
Leadership practice for our SMT has traditionally taken place in meeting rooms and the CEO's office, with both formal minuted meetings and more informal discussions and decision making taking place. This may feel intimidating at times, sat around a table with (usually) the most senior person present chairing or leading the discussion.
With the Directors being located more physically close in one corridor, more spontaneous discussion, challenge and debate occurred "corridor conversations" often generating open dialogue and a more light-hearted, less restrictive discussion. This was positive, but re-homing some Directors has meant a greater reliance on pre-arranged meetings and, to an increasing degree, technology.
Use of 'Teams' software to conference call may feel unnatural initially, but gives the opportunity for us to 'meet' virtually and may even give some more cautious members the 'protection' to speak openly - thus generating constructive debate.
With the changing structure of our Clinical Function, building a cohesive team of Associate Directors, working with a completely united front was essential. Their specialisms differ, each bringing a different perspective and sometimes conflicting priorities, but their underlying purpose is to provide services that best meet individual patient needs. By pulling that team together in one office, they are empowered to discuss, debate and challenge activities, ensuring great understanding of each other's position and meaning the leave the office with a balanced and considered view, a united approach which is evident to the teams they lead.
They understand each other, have empathy with each other's points of view, external influences and behaviours. It's been a great example of how creating a new space has spurred united leadership far more quickly than anything contrived.
For the Leadership Teams, making a more relaxing/informal space to meet would be benficial - maybe using one of the informal spaces rather than always the meeting room. Even that could be made more conducive to open discussion; warm it up with better lighting, interesting or inspirational messaging on the walls, re-arranging the tables to better gather small groups, rather than 5 or 6 people spread round the boardroom table.