“You reap what you sow” – my hopes for inclusion

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I am delighted to be appointed to the role of head of inclusion at the NHS Leadership Academy.

Great leadership is essential to high performance, and achieving high performance is about creating inclusion.

By inclusion, I mean that we positively strive to meet the needs of diverse groups. Essentially taking action to create the conditions where all staff feel respected and able to reach their full potential. We know that this will ultimately result in patients receiving the best quality care irrespective of disability, sex, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, age, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity.

England is now far too diverse for a one size fits all model of healthcare. There is therefore some urgency for us to consistently and sustainably develop leaders who can articulate the vision for inclusivity, build upon success, embody this inclusive message and inspire and influence others to do the same.

I believe the NHS can do this well and my hope is that together, we will find new, creative and meaningful ways to ensure that health inequalities are reduced and become a thing of the past.

Inclusion is core to the values of the NHS constitution and when we witness dedicated staff making inclusion a reality through their work, we can rightfully take pride in knowing that we are witnessing our NHS at its very best.

My father died very recently and I am proud to say that he received the kind of care described above. It is with a smile that I remember a phrase that he would often quote, “You will reap what you sow”.

This simple saying sums up for me so many truths about organisational life. As human beings we are intrinsically relational. Our interactions sow the very seeds which create the environments within which our aspirations will grow.

Inclusion to me is about life enhancing and co-created possibilities. By using our natural inclinations for building relationships in its many forms, (networks, co-creation and collaboration) we can collectively create environments which facilitate and unlock the creative potential that inclusion brings.

Irrespective of where we have been in the past, we can contribute towards creating these future possibilities.

And we must now endeavour to quicken the pace of change by developing the inclusive, creative expertise in leadership which will meet future challenges and improve patient care.

Knowing this, I’m really looking forward to working together with the vast array of talented leaders within the NHS to create the inclusive conditions within which everyone thrives.

5 thoughts on ““You reap what you sow” – my hopes for inclusion

  1. Dear Tracie,

    Good to read your excellent article and loved reading your final sentence. ‘Great pool of talented leaders’. I really wonder if we have great pool of talented leaders when I rarely see true diversity and inclusion at the top of many NHS Institutions including CQC, Monitor, NHS England, NHS London, NHS Employers and so on where I rarely see any BME at the top table.

    Recently I attended a meeting of 10 Trusts and 10 CCG senior leadership event. Amongst 200 senior leaders of these organisations there was only me BME Board level leader and another 5 other senior leaders/managers. Amongst 20 speakers there was not even one BME!

    Talented pool of leaders must look at their own conscious and their own values. Not to have any BME role models, senior leaders demoralises BME staff and doesn’t encourage them to take on BME roles. Many talented BME staff with leadership skills, aptitudes are inhibited by NHS culture. One has to read Sir Robert Francis report to know the challenges faced by BME staff in the NHS.

    So before we call talented leaders let us challenge these leaders and ask them are they truly talented? Are they truly good leaders or simply people who occupy leadership positions? Leadership is not a power or position but great sense of responsibility to do the right thing for patients, staff and NHS. If we do not have right leaders then patients, staff and NHS suffer. NHS must appoint value based leaders and in such a culture diversity will be clearly visible.

  2. Tracy,
    Congratulations! We have crossed paths in one of the Master Classes or some leadership programme in the past few years. I sent you an email asking to meet urgently about Global Health Project.
    How do I get in touch with you to discuss with you?
    Regards
    Itai

    1. Hi Itai, Trying to trace you down. How can I contact you? I tried LinkedIn but no luck so far.

  3. I am interested in doing Leadership course to enhance my career within Moorfields NHS Trust

  4. Tracie, excellent article, the challenge for us is going to be how do we embed the inclusion culture and energy into every level of the NHS. It is often argued that the culture is set by the Chief Executive and senior management teams of organisations, based on this thought then one could argue, chief executive and the NHS Board has to initiative culture shift within NHS.