30 July - NHS non-executive directors webinar

30 July 2021

This week marked our last non-executive directors webinar before we break for the summer and as a result we had a slightly different format. GGI partner and executive director Mark Butler chaired the session and opened a discussion about identifying unknowns over the next three months and the different approaches non-executive directors are taking to tackle these.

Our non-executive director webinars will return on 10 September.

Overheard during this week's webinar:

“I want to say that I’m increasingly struck by how the leadership (NEDs and others) can be positive and provide an active visible leadership at this time. What in the next two-to-three months can the community of leaders be doing to shape the environment in a positive way?"

“People now assume that online board meetings are more effective as they save time but actually, we need to challenge this thinking that has become normalised. Face to face meetings will really help with the lack of enthusiasm and exhaustion some are now experiencing.”

“I have a suspicion that this widespread exhaustion and frustration is being converted into poorer behaviours in the workplace. We appear to have taken a bit of a backward step culturally in our trust with greater reporting of bullying and harassment. I suspect this is a result of how people are feeling. Recognition and acknowledgement of problems and issues is important.”

“Visible, appreciative leadership is one thing we can do and we shouldn’t underestimate the impact of personal, meaningful time spent appreciating the positive difference colleagues make to patients’ lives, but there is a strong sense not only of exhaustion but also of cultural challenge between clinicians and wider staff on the one hand and the culture volubly expressed by key government/media figures, which just make you weep with anger and frustration.”

“We also need to beware of the impact of our support actions on our system partners. We recently made a wrong step by offering our staff an extra day's holiday as a thank you. This did not go down well with our system partners who hadn't done the same. The lesson learned was that we should have discussed and communicated our gesture with them before doing it.”

“I would like to think that by September some clarity may have emerged. The essential problem is that the proposed structures seem to add additional layers of complexity, and nothing is taken away to compensate. Advertising simultaneously for twenty odd chairs is a clear symptom of practical challenge.”

These meetings are by invitation and are open to all NHS non-executives directors, chairs and associate non-executive directors of NHS providers. Others may attend by special invitation. For further details, visit our events page.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions about these webinars, please contact: events@good-governance.org.uk.