Tag Archives: Positive risk-taking

Dementia and Positive Risk-Taking

JRF screenshotSteve Morgan (Practice Based Evidence) and Toby Williamson (Mental Health Foundation) were commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to produce a ‘Viewpoint’ think piece for their published series of thought-provoking topics. The focus was to apply the concept of ‘Positive Risk-Taking’ (developed from 1994 by Steve Morgan) to the relatively new UK government initiative of ‘Dementia-friendly Communities’.

Check out the following link for the full publication, which sets out an explanation of ‘Positive Risk-Taking’, ‘Dementia-Friendly Communities’, and the benefit of taking risks to support people to live with dementia better:

http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/how-can-positive-risk-taking-help-build-dementia-friendly-communities

 

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Tables turned

Steve @ Hydra 2Well, it was only a matter of time. Your host and occasional interviewer was recently approached by Nicola Cairncross, who runs the Business Success Factory podcast show. So, who am I to turn down the possibility of being interviewed by a successful business source?

Here I discuss a little bit about my career falling into and out of things, and why I focus on a strengths perspective in my own work. Nicola is also interested in business success and money success tips, though why ask me about such things I have no idea… certainly not because I am coming to you weekly from a sun-drenched tax haven in a particularly exotic part of the world (don’t be fooled by the background in the picture above!).

Click on the following links to hear the full interview:

http://TheBusinessSuccessFactory.com/iTunes

http://thebusinesssuccessfactory.com/tbsf-070-steve-morgan/

“What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.” [Robin Williams].

 

Podcast Episode 020: Confidence Tricks [2]

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Positive risk-taking and risk decision-making are challenges that can be achieved with greater confidence if the right conditions are in place. For practitioners in health and social care services, and for others beyond these services, a number of factors can influence your degree of confidence in your decision-making.

Being genuinely person-centred, as we are always dealing with an individual with their unique combination of strengths alongside the problems and risks. Good team-working, and support and supervision, can greatly influence the quality of decisions influenced through the culture of the team or service. The issue of ‘culture’ should also extend to the wider organisation, through the understanding of positive risk-taking and processes of risk decision-making, and supporting people’s decisions irrespective of the outcome if they have followed reasonable guidelines of good practice.

Accessing appropriate tools to guide and influence decision-making, as well as prioritising the time needed for those more complex and challenging decisions.

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/020-confidence-tricks-2/id867043694?i=317753484&mt=2

“When you train your employees to be risk averse, then you’re preparing your whole company to be reward challenged.” [Morgan Spurlock].

Podcast Episode 019: Confidence Tricks [1]

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Risk-taking is part of a healthy way of living, and we make decisions every day. However, just occasionally we are confronted with potential life-changing decisions, such as changing a job, moving our home, expressing feelings for others, marriage, children, divorce, and end of life choices.

How can we face some of these major decisions and make them with greater degrees of confidence? This episode offers a number of common sense tips to help us develop that confidence. Being reflective, checking things out with trusted friends, being aware of consequences, being open to learning not just seeing things as simple as success or failure.

Fir 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/019-confidence-tricks-1/id867043694?i=317489992&mt=2

“But he learned long ago that a life lived without risks pretty much wasn’t worth living. Life rewarded courage, even when that first step was taken neck-deep in fear.” [Tamera Alexander].

Podcast Episode 016: Risk Taking v Risk Aversion

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Are we risk takers or are we generally more conservative in our risk decision making, more risk averse? There is no blanket answer to this question for any of us, as there are different situations and circumstances that influence us in different ways.

Health and Social Care service practitioners may become more risk averse in particular situations, and some will be more risk averse depending on their own experiences. When is it ok to be risk averse? When it is the clearly reasoned decision based on careful consideration of the information available to us.

Risk decisions will be part of everyday experiences within health and social care services across all sectors e.g. mental health, learning disability or older persons services. The same principles apply to all of us in our personal lives, when we are confronted with situations that require a difficult decision.

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/016-risk-taking-v-risk-aversion/id867043694?i=316511320&mt=2

“There is a short window at the beginning of one’s professional life when it is comparatively easy to take big risks. Make the most of that time, before circumstances make you risk averse.” [Joshua Foer].

Podcast Episode 015: Positive Risk-Taking

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2We live and work to varying degrees in a blame culture, which can drive us unintentionally to make more risk averse decisions on occasions. But taking risks is an essential part of a healthy life. The questions that we need to address are why we take risks, and then to consider how we go about taking risks.

The concept of Positive Risk-Taking is discussed in this episode, as something that emerged in the thinking relating to mental health services, but is equally applicable to everyone’s lives. The concept is firmly based in strengths-thinking, because we gain confidence in taking risks if we are more aware of our or others strengths. The discussion highlights the importance of clearer use of language in order to communicate more precisely what we mean.

A further message is that a risk averse option is not a risk-free option. Quotes are used to illustrate the importance of taking risks in our lives.

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/015-positive-risk-taking/id867043694?i=316182597&mt=2

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” [T. S. Eliot].

 

Playing with numbers

RD-M 2013

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. 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 ifPractice 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 aquality 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…

These are just a few thoughts I am passing on as I reflect on years of connections with so many people who are desperately trying to do good work despite rather than because of their masters. Do feel free to offer your thoughts and ideas (with an accompanying dictionary from those of you who find ordinary language an alien concept… with all due respect to the demands of the Plain Language Association).