Speaking as one of that breed of PCT Managers currently in the spotlight for either “failing miserably” or “having made a real contribution to the NHS” depending on whose opinion you read, I could be forgiven for feeling despondent, pessimistic, undervalued, or a whole range of other negatives.
It’s true that PCTs will cease to exist sometime in 2013. It’s also true that huge management savings have to be made before that. So why aren’t I wringing my hands in despair, writing my CV, and looking for the next opportunity?
Well, there’s still work to be done, and the future is not Orange - in fact, we don’t know yet what it is going to be. I could behave like Corporal Jones from Dad’s Army (Don’t Panic!), wasting energy on fruitless speculation and activity, or I could make sure I am well informed about the unfolding story, and get involved in it.
Of course it helps that my Myers Briggs type is ENTP - this makes me someone who is curious, enthusiastic, self-sufficient, determined - and able to cope with unexpected change.
But what about those who aren’t? How do we support them at a time when they are struggling to make sense of yet another change? When there is insecurity, uncertainty and upheaval?
Organisations facing the need to make management savings may see it as a time to reduce investment in people, but this is just the time when we must continue to support staff. Coaching and mentoring are both cost effective if you have internal resource (and it could be argued that now is the time to skill up your people, or to look to partnerships to make best use of resources).
But it is also vital to give people the skills that they need for the job they have now, and for the job that they may be applying for in the future.
Time will tell if my optimism is justified