As we try to find a way through this national crisis it is probably worth reflecting on the apposite advice of Charles R Swindoll:

‘Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it’.

As we think about our reaction to events, we are also acutely aware of the influence of good leadership – at local and national levels, and there is plenty of advice out there…

So how are we doing, as a Trust and a Government?  Well, for us, it’s for others to decide but a useful frame for reflection is a report by the McKinsey Consultancy titled ‘5 Steps for Decision Making in Uncertain Times’.

  1. Take a break – step back, take stock, anticipate
  2. Involve more people – reject a hierarchical model and involve stakeholders and encourage debate
  3. Make the critical small choices – they can have large long-term implications
  4. Set up a nerve centre – to focus attention on strategic rather than tactical issues
  5. Empower leaders with judgement and character – leaders with the right temperament and character are essential during times of uncertainty

We won’t really know if our decision making has been right, at Government and Trust level, until we’ve come through the crisis, but I take comfort that we have encouraged our leaders to:

  • follow points 1 and 3.
  • act on point 2 (by conducting stakeholder surveys); and
  • increase our ‘nerve centre’ of Trust and Heads’ Executive Team meetings to weekly instead of termly frequency (and there’s certainly robust debate there).

Above all is the quality of leadership at all levels of the Trust – tested daily in the current circumstances.

We certainly haven’t got everything right and we continue to learn from our mistakes but when comparing our crisis management with the Government’s, I wonder who is closest to the McKinsey advice…Perhaps add your own ending here..