What is it?
Understanding how health and social care services fit together and how different people, teams or organisations interconnect and interact.
Why is it important?
Leaders understand how things are done in different teams and organisations; they recognise the implications of different structures, goals, values and cultures so that they can make links, share risks and collaborate effectively.
What is it not?
- Being rigid in your approach
- Thinking about only my part of the organisation
- Believing only your view is the right one
- Thinking politics is a dirty word
- Failing to engage with other parts of the system
- Focusing solely on the depth of your area at the expense of the broader service
Recognising how my area of work relates to other parts of the system
Do I understand the formal structure of my area of work and how it fits with other teams?
Do I keep up to date with changes in the system to maintain efficiency?
Do I hand over effectively to others and take responsibility for continuity of service provision?
Understanding the culture and politics across my organisation
Do I understand the informal ‘chain of command’ and unwritten rules of how things get done?
Do I know what I need to do and who to go to so that well-judged decisions are made in my organisation?
Do I understand how financial and other pressures influence the way people react in my organisation?
Adapting to different standards and approaches outside my organisation
Am I connected to stakeholders in a way that helps me to understand their unspoken needs and agendas?
Am I flexible in my approach so I can work effectively with people in organisations that have different standards and approaches from mine?
Do I act flexibly to overcome obstacles?
Working strategically across the system
Do I build strategic relationships to make links across the broader system?
Do I understand how complex connections across the health economy affect the efficiency of the system?
Do I understand which issues affect decisions across the system so that I can anticipate how other stakeholders will react?