David Fillingham: leadership for improvement

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  • Posted:Wednesday 23 May 2012

David Fillingham, Chief Executive, AQuA (Advancing Quality Alliance) and Visiting Fellow, The King's Fund, spoke at our recent seminar on leadership for improvement. He considered how we can take improvement forward across sectional boundaries and what skills will need to be found to implement this.


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Comment date
18 June 2012
Nice bloke and some sensible commentary but, occasionally misdirected, so here's a quick response to the 5 compelling reasons for "leadership" at 2:01 minutes:

The ONLY place the challenge can be solved is within organisations, as only the people in the system understand the system. Talk to people who do the work for a living and they know all of the answers to improve practice. It's the Judislamianity model of leadership that prevents them from acting on their knowledge. Had a chuckle at "radical restructuring" which is more commonly known as redisorganisation!

Improved health is completely about the NHS, improved lifestyle, social relationships and constructive activities certainly help to give people resilience when compromised, but only healthcare gives you your health back when it's almost gone, sews back on the leg, restarts the heart! This isn't about leadership, this is about practice!

Austerity is a myth, the UK doesn't have any, read the blogs, articles and interviews with Paul Krugman (Nobel prize winning economist). The austerity measures are being used to pursue an ideologically based Tory objective to enhance a few rich people at the expense of many poor people which includes crippling the public sector.

Diversity and creativity doesn't happen in leadership it happens in practice, what's more diversity and creativity are neither necessary nor sufficient to create innovation. The introduction said this was about improvement science, within which disruptive innovation is about PR?

Last point is a shambles with all the other stuff that came to mind. Competition is the opposite of collaboration, blend them and you get compromise 2+2=3. Choice is contextual so simply having more of it isn't a good thing, people are put off buying Jam when there are more Jams to choose from. Integration is only effective for people with the most complex needs. Jamming organisations together often results in single points of access, call centres and other industrial archaeology that makes it harder for people to get in and get simple responses to low level need.

Like many well meaning people higher up the hierarchy he doesn't realise that leadership as an idea, reinforces command and control hierarchy, just with softer rhetoric and some coffee shop psychology. The strap line should say: From industrial age leadership to connection age practice. Just a couple of thoughts!

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