Ambitious clinical leaders will be judged by ‘what and how’ change is delivered. Working in partnership will be more effective than beating the enermy into submission, writes Simon Potts

Elderly man in wheelchair with smiling healthcare worker

The move towards a 24/7 clinically led sustainable NHS along with the impact of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act is placing greater demands upon our clinical leaders.

In the current climate, to deliver what’s right for patients, we need to optimise the opportunities for clinical leaders to respond with pioneering, contemporary and innovative solutions while creating and shaping the environments for change to happen.

Providers, once sovereign organisations, now operate on a changing landscape made more complex by increased regulation, changing commissioning priorities, workforce challenges, risk management and financial constraints.

‘Building consensus will be more effective than beating the enemy into submission’

Consequently, amongst organisational leaders, the appetite for service integration and budget devolution is building, recognising the need for ‘whole system’ collaboration as the enabler to providing high quality health and social care services that wrap around patients’ needs.

Future sustainability of the NHS is firmly dependent upon the quality of its future clinical leadership and whole systems working together. For trail blazing, innovative clinical leaders with the ambition and capability to lead beyond an organisational level, your moment to thrive is here.

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Ambitious clinical leaders will need to develop leadership skills sooner than in previous generations through taking on several leadership responsibilities in parallel. This will enable progression up the ladder of influence more quickly, rather than simply making sequentially progressive promotions.

Learning from leadership mistakes will be an important aspect of mastering authentic leadership and clinical leaders will need to develop exceptional influencing, team working and negotiating skills to become effective system leaders. This is while maintaining their clinical credibility.

Above all, success will be judged by “what and how” change is delivered. Building consensus by working in partnership will be more effective than beating the enemy into submission.

Delivering the right results in the right way will have the most significant impact on clinical careers; get it right and opportunities are plenty, get it wrong and the opportunities may be hard to find.

Simon Potts is director of healthcare, Veredus

HSJ Clinical Leaders 2015