Choosing a leader

Next week is a really important time for us, it’s time for us to select a new leader.

The job won’t be easy. There is a squeeze on finances and the expectations of the public are ever rising. Public services are increasingly fragmented with often poor relationships across the boundaries of organisations. The oppressive target culture leads to considerable effort and time spent on assurance, compliance and inspection. Frankly it’s difficult to see why anyone would ever want to do the job.

I find the continual change in leadership frustrating. It leads to a short-term view of any issue with a complete change in direction every few years. Key people are moved on before the full effects of their efforts have been realised. There is a temptation for a new leader to play with structure, this leads to other leaders diving for cover as they look after themselves rather than continue to do their job. Efforts to improve stall until the new regimen is in place.

Yes, next week we are choosing a new Chief Executive for our Trust. I hope we get a good one (we’ve had 22 applicants), someone who shares our values. Someone who can tolerate the top down pressure from the centre and not pass on that pressure to our staff. Someone who will stay for a few years. 5 would be good, 10 even better (the average tenure of an Acute Trust CEO is 2 years 8 months). We need a period of stability to get through some of the vital improvements we are going to make over the next few years.

Oh yes, there’s also a General Election next week, don’t   hold your breath.