Inspiring shared purpose

What is it?

Valuing a service ethos; curious about how to improve services and patient care; behaving in a way that reflects the principles and values of the NHS.

Why is it important?

Leaders create a shared purpose for diverse individuals doing different work, inspiring them to believe in shared values so that they deliver benefits for patients, their families and the community.

What it is not:

  • Turning a blind eye
  • Using values to push a personal or ‘tribal’ agenda
  • Hiding behind values to avoid doing your best
  • Self-righteousness
  • Misplaced tenacity
  • Shying away from doing what you know is right


Staying true to NHS principles and values:

  • Do I act as a role model for belief in and commitment to the service?
  • Do I focus on how what I do contributes to and affects patient care or other service users?
  • Do I enable colleagues to see the wider meaning in what they do?


Holding to principles and values under pressure:

  • Do I behave consistently and make sure that others do so even when we are under pressure?
  • Do I inspire others in tough times by helping them to focus on the value of their contribution?
  • Do I actively promote values of service in line with NHS principles?


Taking personal risks to stand up for the shared purpose:

  • Do I have the self-confidence to question the way things are done in my area of work?
  • Do I have the resilience to keep challenging others in the face of opposition, or when I have suffered a setback?
  • Do I support my team or colleagues when they challenge the way things are done?


Making courageous challenges for the benefit of the service:

  • Do I have the courage to challenge beyond my remit even when it may involve considerable personal risk?
  • Do I take the initiative and responsibility to put things right outside my remit if I see others fearing to act?
Click here to view the nine dimensions