Spring has sprung! A feeling of optimism and looking forward to the future has at long last started to stir within us. Also the light at the end of the Covd-19 lockdown tunnel is allowing us to make plans and cautiously return to our pre-pandemic lives. I think we are all looking forward to seeing family and friends again and reconnecting with our loved ones.
This month I have been working with the leadership teams of two CCGs within the NHS, this is in preparation of the CCGs changing in March 2022. Discussions have been around moving out of crisis management, linked to the Covid pandemic, into a more strategic space. Planning ahead and prioritising worked well and allowed the teams to put their attention and resources into ensuring the transition into PLACE based services of the new Integrated Care System approach to healthcare.
Later this month I will be working alongside a group of Associate Directors to challenge their impact and influence strategies within healthcare. I will be delivering an online team away day, with one of the acute services in the NHS, we will be discussing personal effectiveness and how our personal approaches to challenges feed into team dynamics and team approaches. I have also been working with these teams on the principles of Elite Performing Teams.
In addition, Dasala is facilitating another away day with a local authority’s leadership team. These sessions will be based around the ‘how tos’ of maintaining strategic thinking in a world that requires operational delivery. I will be asking and getting the teams to understand ‘How do leaders LEAD, not drop down into delivery?’
In more exciting news, I am proud to report that Dasala has been appointed to see how we can best support a national plan in the NHS to integrate services, to reduce costs and duplication across regions. We are very much looking forward to sharing our expertise in this field.
As the lockdown continues, it is easy to feel frustrated and spiral into a negative mindset but adaption is key and applying the principle of solution thinking. I have altered my working practice with many more remote, online meetings and although this has been beneficial for my clients, it has made me appreciate how much I enjoy that ‘real world’, face-to-face contact with my clients and the nuances of body language, instead of the barriers a screen can bring. Don’t get me wrong, technology is fantastic but it also has its limitations when brainstorming in particular. One of my challenges during the pandemic has been isolation and not having people around that support my energy in discussing and thinking about possibilities not limitations. So, being a naturally gregarious personality, I am very much looking forward to seeing my clients once I am able to travel and meet with people again. You have been missed!
Some of the lesser challenges I have been experiencing, and I’m sure this will ring a bell with many of you is cooking every day! I normally love cooking and entertaining friends but the lack of guests around the table has made cooking everyday a chore. Cooking for myself has become a necessary function and not the wonderful experience I liked to do occasionally, when I wasn’t eating out!
I have definitely struggled with not having the usual ways to release personal frustrations, such as, dining out, taking part in sport, going to the gym and chewing the fat with friends in the local pub. However, as we, as a nation start to tentatively look ahead, it strikes a chord with me of all the things I miss about ‘normal’ life and now with the end in sight, it reminds me how long we have survived the pandemic. I am so ready for the next chapter, as I’m sure we all are. Hold tight we are nearly there!
Some of the things I feel proud that I have achieved recently are: setting up a home studio to allow my online sessions to work far better than would otherwise have been the case, signing up for a 1000 mile walking challenge for charity over 12 months, managing and maintaining personal discipline daily, holding on to habits that serve me well from a well-being point of view, whilst recognising that some habits have been formed due to the pandemic and appearing in ‘Lifestyle Magazine’ in Liverpool and now Cyprus as a columnist. None of them are ground-breaking but occasionally we need to reflect on how far we’ve come and recognise our little achievements along the way, especially in light of our current lockdown situation.
On a personal note, the things I am looking forward to spending my time on, once we are released back into ‘the wild’ are: Golfing with my friends on 29th March, I know we won’t be any good after so long but that’s not the point; just to have a taste of normality and hearing the accepted cheap jokes and ‘mickey taking’ will be as enjoyable as any tournament and most importantly we will not be talking about Netflix or Covid! I’m also looking forward to travelling and exploring the UK, something I have threatened for a few years but always travelled further afield. I’m excited about having someone cooking a meal for me, having a pint of real ale at the local pub, watching live music, spending time with friends and reclaiming my energy.
If I could leave you with any pearls of wisdom this month it is – life experiences will return and eventually we will look at the last year as just that, a life experience. We don’t all remember what we did or didn’t do in 1997, 2203, 2015 maybe, but we will never forget 2020-21. What do you want to remember it for, other than Covid? We all write our own stories based on our own perspectives? How do you want to recall this paragraph of your book? The year I learnt…………………………………………………