Evidence-based decision-making at the core of lean governance

15 March 2023

Dr Nadeem Moghal, Director & Chief Innovation Officer at Strasys International, tells us about how he is helping boards to reimagine their organisations, enabling leadership teams to place the right people in the right places to do the right jobs with the right resources, services and capabilities, resulting in a healthier future for all.

I have lived the experience from the frontline to the boardroom and drunk various Kool-Aids. I’ve learnt about lean, QI, Big Data, population health management and board development to better lead the organisations I served. But we never really did understand our organisations beyond what I call the two-dimensional data sets laid out month after month in board papers.

In helping boards to reimagine organisations, a key challenge we have found is a variable understanding of those organisations. We needed a multi-disciplinary approach, looking beyond functional silos, applying scientific rigour, creating the right context and bringing the often-messy human perspective into the picture. That is part of the Strasys recipe.

Imagine if we started with understanding the needs of the patients, not the regulators. Then apply decision intelligence analytic tools and the correct context to describe the organisation in ways not found in trust performance and quality reports.

This leads to different questions from the board. Ultimately it is about enabling the right management decisions to deliver better value, safely and sustainably.

Achieving lean governance

I now understand what it means when on a board, someone says, we need to think differently.

For instance, before making complex decisions about service improvements, system transformation and investment decisions, do we know how healthcare organisations spend our £1?

At the recent GGI webinar about lean governance, we shared our analytic capability to set the resulting insights in a context that generates interesting questions. We showed data from an organisation where a big chunk of that £1 is spent on governance and administration. Interestingly the most important resource is workforce, but we spend very little money other than salaries to develop the workforce.

We typically see that more ‘confident’ organisations have lower governance costs and are better performing.

My experience is that when there is little transparency and confidence, we create another process and committee. Governance activity mushrooms and gets confused with being well-led and performing well.

We see the burden increasing with the advent of integrated care and the growing focus on productivity. So it is critical to concentrate on making governance lean – but that needs to come with a better understanding of how the one pound is actually spent. That understanding will help us to make better management decisions – evidence-based decisions made by leaders with a purpose, resulting in better investments and better performance.

Read more about our approach here.

You can get in touch with Nadeem by emailing nadeem.moghal@strasys.uk.

About Strasys

Strasys is a leading analytics and innovation agency founded in 2015. It has partnered with over 40 NHS organisations, governments and other health and life science organisation across the UK and internationally, impacting the lives of 50m+ citizens. Strasys puts forward a different way of thinking to unlock and design a different future through a unique combination of advanced analytics, scientific rigour and personal empowerment.

Prepared by GGI Development and Research LLP for the Good Governance Institute.

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