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Watching the Olympic women's weightlifting

Watching the Olympic women's weightlifting - yes, I should get out more - I was struck by the sheer focus of a Chinese woman who won gold.

It was clear she was not going to settle for anything but the win. She already held the world record and wanted to set a new Olympic record. On and on she went, lifting heavier and heavier weights. She hardly flinched where others were just collapsing around her - literally.

I then saw Sir Clive Woodward, team GB elite performance coach, being interviewed. Our aim, apparently, was to come eighth in the Olympics.

Sitting on that incredible feat of engineering - the 4,000-mile Great Wall of China - Sir Clive made some interesting observations. Having identified that the UK has "bucketloads of talent", he recognised that a "big step change" was needed to achieve "world class talent". He was clear that people can't deliver success on their own - it takes teamwork. "Every person, athlete, coach and the coach's coach," Sir Clive said, is seeking to "achieve their best - their one moment in time. If they get medals and achieve their targets, that's great. If they don't they've played the game and have tried to achieve their best."

"The quality of local leadership is the key factor in delivering local services as recommended by Lord Darzi. I agree with the NHS Confederation's view that it is a "very significant"

This made me reflect on our world class commissioning goals. Having debated the assurance framework with several primary care trust chief executives, I think it will be interesting to see how many will win medals and if not, whether their strategic health authorities will take Sir Clive's view that they have "played the game and have tried to achieve their best."

I struggled to find a definition of world class in the commissioning documents, so I found my own:

  • ranking among the foremost in the world; of an international standard of excellence; of the highest order;
  • great, as in importance, concern, or notoriety.

Putting aside the notorious element, it is clear that world class status is of a temporary nature - a moment in time.

The quality of local leadership is the key factor in delivering local services as recommended by Lord Darzi. I agree with the NHS Confederation's view that it is a "very significant challenge" and "after so many years of central instruction these changes may not be easy". The cultural shift required to move from centralisation to true and effective local leadership could be, in the opinion of the Confederation, "the hardest yet".

How can local leaders rise to this challenge? We use visualisation techniques with our clients to help them achieve their goals, ambitions and aspirations. Think back to the Chinese weightlifter - she visualised herself lifting that huge weight and breaking her own record, the Olympic record and the world record - and achieved all three.

Now visualise yourself, your own organisation, board, team, yourself. What are your world class goals and aspirations? How will you get there? Who will be in your world class team? Who will be your coach - and your coach's coach?

Author: Julia Tybura.Julia Tybura is managing director of Zenon Consulting and a former strategic health authority interim director of organisational development and workforce.


Current Assignments

Julia Tybura is providing OD support to Kent, Surrey and Sussex Leadership Academy. She is working with senior system leaders as the representative of the Local Leadership Academy, providing expert analysis, advice, support and OD interventions.

Rupert Wainwright has just completed his role as interim Deputy Director of Acute Services at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust.

Julia Tybura - along with Zenon associates - is providing continuing HR and OD support to City and Hackney CCG in London.

Julia is now an accredited Belbin Team Roles practitioner.  As well as giving a greater insight into the benefits of 360°feedback, team dynamics and job analysis, this gives Julia full backup from the Belbin office. Get in touch if you'd like to hear more about Zenon's team building workshops.

Julia facilitated an HR career speed dating event for over 50 people. The event was for the HPMA London Academy and feedback was very positive: "The structured format was one of the most constructive I have encountered.". If you’re looking for an experienced facilitator for team building or a time-out session. then give Julia a call.

Contact us if you need interim, outplacement, programme management or clinical strategy support by emailing Julia at juliatybura@zenonconsulting.com or call her on 0203 059 4599


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