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| 4 minutes read

International Fellow, NHS Horizons #jodemeontour

Who would you look to, be inspired by and learn from if your passion is creating shared purpose to ensure meaningful change in health and social care? Most of us would say Helen Bevan and the NHS Horizons team.  The truth is, I have been looking to Helen for more than 20 years for inspiration, knowledge and a sense of belonging to the broader change movement.

Fast forward to today and she has asked me to be an inaugural international fellow.  I could write about how humbling and emotional this has really has been. To be recognized and acknowledged by someone who has served as a guiding light for me and for many of us...that's a blog for a different time but its a reflection and experience I want to share one day. 

My name is Jodeme Goldhar and I am from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. My passion is convening opportunities for those in health and social systems to work together in shared purpose. In addition to being the newest member of the NHS Horizons team, I am also a member of another amazing team at The Change Foundation in Ontario, Canada which serves as a catalyst to support large scale meaningful and transformative change and ensures change opportunities are co-designed with patients, their families and providers.

I want to share the focus on the fellowship and my commitments to it: to be in service of creating shared purpose, to learn, take risks, lead from the edge (without falling out of the boat), to share what I am learning broadly and to contribute to the absolute best of my ability. 

Today I started two weeks in the UK with Helen and the NHS Horizons team… 

Day 1                      Ambulance Leadership Forum, UK

We have joined the Ambulance Leadership Forum annual conference.  We arrive to the session an hour before the conference starts so Helen can review her keynote and to touch base with the conference organizers to make sure she is speaking to what’s most important to them.  Helen is speaking on ‘unleashing the transformational power of staff and patients’ and doing this with folks who work in a highly structured and hierarchical environment.  Within a minute of her speaking, she finds the common humanity amongst the few hundred in the room and provides coaching on how to engage in a way that everyone is included in solving the largest challenges… ‘letting go’ in order to let change thrive.

NHS Horizon is supporting Ambulance Services through #ProjectA which mobilizes frontline ambulance staff (both frontline clinical teams and in control centres) and patients in collaboration with the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives to contribute to improvement through innovation, service design and problem solving.

How do you engage everyone when people work on the frontline every day? Essentially through ‘bottom up and top down’ approaches, through virtual means and by travelling to where people are…  One such example, on a crowdsourcing platform thousands were engaged and 31,000 change ideas were generated, 608 ideas were seen to address the priority issues and 12 are being prototyped.  By using virtual platforms, by creating investors (everyone engaged at the beginning) and rejecting the notion of leaders getting others to ‘buy-in’, by not going through hierarchy, and by engaging the super connectors.  Check out more about #ProjectA and see Helen’s keynote from today @helenbevan.

Next up was Professor Michael West, Head of Thought Leadership, The Kings Fund @WestM61 “We have a system set up to promote #health and #welfare that at the same time is so damaging to many who work within it. That can't be right, can it? "  His key message, we need compassion and collective leadership, shared purpose and ability to listen, genuinely listen and hear. 

There were many more speakers at the annual ambulance leadership forum meant to ignite a culture shift that allows for shared purpose and a movement for cultural change in ambulance services.  Follow #ALF2019 on Twitter to see the conversations.  

My key take away from the conversation today:

The way to make change happen is changing.  This is a cultural shift for everyone and its important to start wherever you are at but the key is to start.  Starting means having courage do go about change differently, by involving everyone. I’m humbled by the Association for Ambulance Chief Executives for acknowledging why this is important and putting it front and center to support a shift in their culture. I experienced a lot of courage and heard many people in side conversations saying, ‘we need to find our supper connectors”.  Shifting cultures from where power is held by a few to where it is shared, is a new way to engage and it requires leading through ambiguity, trusting the process and each other.  It’s a humbling process but so important because people are mobilized to be part of solving the most complex problems. 

I was also reminded today of the critical role ambulance services and its people play in our lives.  We discussed #integratedcare  too.  Integrated care cannot be achieved without ambulance services…that’s for sure. I am also reflecting on the work we have done in Ontario with ambulance services and feeling proud of those integrated models of care.  

My take away from spending the day with Helen Bevan:

Despite more than 30 years as one of the most influential change leaders, Helen’s humility pervades her every move.  She checked in multiple times to ensure her presentation is meeting the needs of the conference organizers, she checked in with participants to see their reactions and to get real time feedback.  Helen’s humility takes my breath away because it requires a vulnerability in her active leadership.   She role models compassion, hearing what’s most important to others and being open and curious so she can continuously learn and grow.

Looking forward to day 2….