Tag Archives: Staff development

Risk Aversion or Risk-Taking?

Positive Risk-Taking logo

We all work with risk; we all have to make risk decisions, and sometimes those decisions involve the challenge of taking risks. Part of overcoming the challenges resides in our awareness of our own mindset in relation to risk. I have a simple 5-step approach to helping me make the challenging decisions… in work as well as in life.

Click on the following link to access a free webinar that provides 40+ minutes of training in the challenges risk can present, and an introduction to my 5-step approach:

https://app.webinarjam.net/register/21360/99e6026a97

This webinar condenses 30+ years of my experience working in and alongside health and social care services, and 60+ publications around the subject. Risk is something we should embrace from a positive perspective, and this webinar develops this mindset.

Podcast Episode 083: A Staff Strengths Framework

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2How do we help to develop and nurture our primary resource, our individual staff? The research tells us we spend too much time trying to fix their weaknesses, and not nearly enough identifying and exploiting their unique gifts and talents.

A motivated workforce is a profitable workforce, so it makes sense from the personal and business development angles to spend more time developing strengths-based resources.

In this episode I examine some of the questions and steps from strengths literature that reinforce the use of the Strengths Assessment tool outlined in the previous episode. Mike Pegg draws together a useful list of reflections on why we achieved in the past, and how we can nurture success in the future. Marcus Buckingham offers a 6-step process for helping individual’s to develop their personal strengths statements, and to exploit strengths whilst managing weaknesses.

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

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

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/083-staff-strengths-framework/id867043694?i=356270234&mt=2

“The idea of recognising your strengths and using them in as versatile a way as you can is cool to me.” [Frank Ocean]

Podcast Episode 082: Staff Strengths Assessments

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2How do we develop the potential of our individual staff members? We are all individual’s with unique abilities, interests, drives and motivations; but do we really spend time identifying and nurturing these?

The Gallup organisation research suggests that the most successful leaders and businesses do, but the majority are still focused more on fixing flaws and weaknesses. A focus on developing and exploiting strengths makes good business sense, so the question is how to go about doing it.

In this episode I outline the structure and approach of the Practice Based Evidence Staff Strengths Assessment tool. Exploring values, collaborations, creativity, team working and knowledge base. This tool has been accepted as an invaluable addition (or even preferred replacement) for traditional organisational appraisal systems. If it’s staff development you genuinely want to achieve this tool will be a valuable addition to any toolkit.

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

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

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/082-staff-strengths-assessments/id867043694?i=355718153&mt=2

“Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not by eliminating our weaknesses.” [Marilyn dos Savant]

Podcast Episode 081: How to recover our staff

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2With all the expectations placed on providing excellent service to clients how can we truly expect staff to value others when they don’t feel valued themselves? So, the concept of a strengths assessment should apply equally to staff members as it does to their work with clients.

In this episode I explore some of the key messages from the wide-ranging Gallup organisation’s strengths research. The focus is on why we should pay more attention to developing individual potentials, and less to fixing weaknesses. I also explore those feelings we experience when we are engaged in activity that is most likely connected to our real strengths and talents.

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

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

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/081-how-to-recover-our-staff/id867043694?i=355718154&mt=2

“If human beings are perceived as potentials rather than problems, as possessing strengths instead of weaknesses, as unlimited rather than dull and unresponsive, then they thrive and grow to their capabilities.” [Barbara Bush]. 

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.

Podcast Episode 050: Who is management for?

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2It can be argued that over several decades the function of management has morphed from the role of supporting the essential development of a business into a role of managers running the business for their own primary gain.

Recognised management academic gurus have identified the dangers of management for management sake, and the way it can block the functioning of the frontline workers. This has been my experience throughout many structured interviews with frontline clinicians in health and social care services in the UK. Managers need to reconnect with the primary business of its business. The excellent managers contribute significantly to developing staff to identify and make best use of their strengths. Good management is a talent in its own right, but the majority of what constitutes management can frustrate and block creativity, and largely ignore the vital strengths.

To hear 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/050-who-is-management-for/id867043694?i=337535026&mt=2

“Most of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to get their work done.” [Peter F Drucker].

“There is nothing so useless as that doing efficiently that which does not need doing at all.” [Peter F Drucker].

Podcast Episode 048: Team Strengths Assessment

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2We all work in teams from time-to-time but how much do we really focus on identifying and developing the individual talents of the workers, and the overall strengths of good team-working?

A team is a group of people coming together for a common purpose or goal, and often it is the challenges and difficulties that define the work of the team that will most influence its outlook in terms of development. All too often teams and services look on training and developing the areas of weakness, to the detriment of boosting and exploiting areas of success into areas of excellence.

In this episode I outline my categorisation of teams in relation to the degree in which they relate to, identify, and work with strengths, and the Team Strengths Assessment tool that I developed in the early 2000’s to support this area of practice development. Examples of three types of mental health teams are referred to as examples where these tools have been used.

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/048-team-strengths-assessment/id867043694?i=336480841&mt=2

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” [Margaret Mead].