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March 2016
Working with UCL Institute if Education


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A Day with Sir David

BSix provides a lot of professional development opportunities for its leaders and managers. One of the highlights was a day with Sir David Nicholson, former CEO of the NHS, held at the Institute of Arbitrators’ venue in Bloomsbury Square.

Sir David

He began the day by describing the scale of his job as head of the NHS. The NHS has a budget of £100 billion, employs 1.4 million people, treats 1 million people every 36 hours and touches everyone. As a result, there are 56 million people convinced that they could do a better job than him. If it was a country, then it would be the 33rd biggest in the world.

Sir David then went on to explore the nature of leadership with senior and middle managers, governors and senior advisers of the College. He said the key test of leadership is this: does it positively touch the lives of real people? It is important to be explicit about your values as a leader.
Sir David

Sir David then discussed different leadership styles. He described how New Labour’s target-setting approach had made NHS managers very directive because it can get things done quickly. However, all the research points to the fact that a coaching approach is more effective but it is long-term and requires a lot of patience. In the final session, he shared the NHS’  model of change. Any innovation had to go through 8 stages, including an analysis of possible obstacles to its success. He recommended that BSix adopts a model of change.

The day gave everyone who attended plenty of food for thought and some highly practical recommendations such as the adoption of a BSix approach to change management.

For a summary of the day , click here