Focus On What Will Make A Difference

Organisations have to continually change and adapt. Right now the NHS is facing what some describe as unprecedented challenges.

With an ageing population, rising demand as well as continual financial struggles, carrying on in business as usual mode is not really a long term option.

On the other hand so often change is expected to be delivered on top of the everyday demands and pressures.

Trouble is we all know that no matter who we are and at what level of seniority we operate, there is one factor that we cannot influence. The amount of time that we have available. There is a cap each day, each week, each month and each year.

I was speaking at a conference of NHS accountants recently. One of the things I reminded them of was the 80:20 rule. The fact that 80% of savings in the cost base are likely to come from 20% of the initiatives.

When we are under pressure to make change or improvement, the temptation is to believe that if we have more initiatives we will have a better chance of success.

The reality is that if you have a long list of initiatives, none of them end up getting anything like enough attention.

A much more effective strategy is to spend the time at the start to identify which areas are going to be the most fruitful in terms of say changing the financial outlook of the organisation.

In the NHS there are going to be in my view a few key areas where you are going to make a significant impact.

Take staffing as an example. The desired position is to have the right people doing the right things delivering the desired results at an optimal cost.

Contributing factors to that desired result include:
• Recruitment
• Retention
• Sickness
• The price you pay for each hour worked

Within recruitment you could be considering:
• Processes you have in place
• Channels that you use both traditional and innovative
• How good a job you do at promoting the organisation
• Support that you can provide to people moving into the area

As can be seen from this very simple example, there are plenty of options.

The key to moving forward to success is focus on what will have the greatest impact and make a real difference.

Goals and Achievements work with NHS organisations in the areas of change, improvement and leadership. Learn more here.