Category Archives: Personal passions

Podcast Episode 053: Anne Clilverd Interview ~ Pets as Therapy

Full faceIn this interview Anne Clilverd talks about the important therapeutic value that pets provide for their owners and for others. They offer a remarkable range of functions that can help people across all age groups. She also talks briefly about her work with the Pets as Therapy charity.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/053-anne-clilverd-interview/id867043694?i=340049503&mt=2

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Playing with numbers

I am often mindful of the need to criticize the quality of leadership and management in health and social care services; particularly the obsession with numbers, the tick-box mentality, and the blind faith placed in targets for driving change and daily practice across services. I am surely not a lone voice in this critique, but is it valid or just a reaction against the sound of the pips squeaking?

I do believe that an absence of targets or defined outcomes, and a failure to establish high standards for provision of services only leads to inconsistencies between practitioners and teams… what is often referred to as a postcode lottery. Service users don’t deserve to be on the receiving end of either stressed out practitioners fearful of constant criticism, or laid-back practitioners doing their own thing. Audit and regulation have a place, but surely they need to be clearly joined up to practice, not existing in a vacuum somewhat disconnected from the realities within which good practice has to operate.

The ever-growing chasm between person-centred practice and business-focused managerialism does little to promote a culture of organizational collaboration that may encourage a more engaging form of audit and regulation across services. My solution would be to eliminate most of the current audit requirements imposed on practitioners and teams, particularly that which they experience as wholly time-consuming and unhelpful. So far so good, say the practitioners amongst you; please do share your thoughts, but read on before you do…

Over the last 12 years, through the Practice Based Evidence initiative, I have been developing tools designed specifically for use by practitioners and teams. These tools have flexible uses: personal reflection, individual supervision, team development and team evaluation. Used diligently they should be able to provide a host of qualitative and quantitative data, which in turn should offer useful feedback to practitioners and teams for practice development purposes.

Updated Risk Resource (2013)
Updated Risk Resource (2013)

The Risk Decision-Making publication includes examples of these tools, and a specific example of data emerging from their use in a specific organization to help identify good practice and priorities for further development.

So, the sting in this tail is that practitioners and teams need to own the processes of audit and regulation if they are to reflect and develop good practice. For those auditors and managers fearful of losing their jobs if Practice Based Evidence emerged as the norm, you could always make use of the data to tick your boxes; better still, you could prioritise your time more effectively by getting in and alongside practitioners and teams to support a quality revolution. You might then be in a stronger position to challenge and inform the thinking of the inter-galactic warlords from distant planets a.k.a. commissioners, Department of Health, Care Quality Commission.

Manifesto:

A fabulous advert for identifying and working with your strengths.

JamesRadcliffe.com

This post is raw.

There is no fluff, no filler, nothing extraneous.  This post is as near a piece of my own heart as I can make it.  Something plucked tender and fragile from my chest and placed, still beating, on the altar.

I offer it up to you…

View original post 645 more words

Podcast Episode 041: Juno’s View

Full faceIn this episode Steve Morgan reflects on the brief life of his cat, Juno, and the strength we derive from our pets, not just what we offer to them.

Juno’s sudden and unexpected death prompts reflection not just on the life she brought to Steve’s home; no, this was a cat that provided the inspiration for a blog… Juno’s View at http://cardiffcoolcat.com/ offering a creative option as to how to view a local city. All pet owners and lovers are challenged to take a long look at your pet(s) and identify the source of strength they provide for you.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes or Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/041-junos-view/id867043694?i=330253170&mt=2

Podcast Episode 040: Light Camera Action

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2The turn of the year is the time when many people set the resolutions, that quickly become forgotten, or are a repeat of the ones set previous years. This is not the best way to make meaningful changes in your personal or business life.

Planning and goal-setting can be an invaluable component of successful change and sustaining achievements, but it requires thought and focus if it is to be followed through with any genuine intent. As an example of an excellent process for goal planning Michael Hyatt has an influential programme ‘5 days to your best year ever’, but this type of process doesn’t always have to apply to the turn of the year.

In this episode I outline a 5-stage process to setting those SMART goals, from personal belief and reflection through to specific goals, actions and the all-important need to review… keep on your own case if you want to make best use of the idea of planning and goal-setting. This episode asks you to focus goals broadly across your life, so they need to be personal as well as business oriented.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/040-light-camera-action/id867043694?i=328856579&mt=2

“Never mistake motion for action.” [Ernest Hemingway].

Working with Strengths

Working-with-StrengthsAt a strategic level we are continually expanding the language, but essentially using new words and phrases to say the same thing… recovery, personalisation, self-directed support, person-centred planning, re-ablement/re-enablement. Nobody can seriously disagree with the premise that service users should be given a voice in order to say what they need and want, to reflect on how best to meet their wishes and aspirations, to exercise choice and feel supported in their decision-making. However, there is often a gap between what we are saying we are doing as services, and what service users are experiencing on the receiving end. The distance between strategic vision and practical reality rarely conforms to anyone’s idea of close proximity.

This is where the Strengths Approach or Working with Strengths come into their own… call it what you will, but we need some way of translating the big picture into something that is clearly understood and able to be delivered by workers with service users (and carers). We can talk about journeys all day long, but unless you can walk it unaided then we need a vehicle, a route map, a travel guide or companion… a means of travelling that journey. The Strengths Approach sets out a clear statement of values and principles to guide and support good practice; it provides fit-for-purpose tools and the necessary guidance on flexible use of such tools; and it sets out practice-based policy statements that help to tie-in the organisation – team – practitioner levels to an agreement on what we are doing to support people to experience the rhetoric of person-centred services in reality.

Check out my 2014 publication ‘Working with Strengths…’ for the full story, complete with ideas and tools to support the implementation of best practice.

Podcast Episode 036: Blight of Bureaucracy Part 1

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2As western industrialised societies have drifted into a post-industrial service industries world, one thing proliferates more than the most infectious of diseases… bureaucracy! Now anything to do with paper, or its electronic offspring, reigns supreme. Managing, auditing and regulating have become effective barriers to creativity and innovation.

The new mantra is standardisation, systematisation, uniformity and safety… conformity ensures mediocrity will be the outer limits of permitted imagination. Do the children of today dream and aspire to become a bureaucrat when they grow up? Do they loose sleep over the excitement of their first suit and form to fill? Take with a large degree of caution any bureaucrat promising to reduce the plethora of bureaucracy. It is not in their interests to free up other people to exercise their talents, initiative and decision-making skills.

To access the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/036-blight-bureaucracy-part/id867043694?i=327153565&mt=2

“Bureaucracies force us to practice nonsense. And if you rehearse nonsense, you may one day find yourself the victim of it.” [Laurence Gonzales].