I hear continually about making improvement between staff, clinicians and service users but this has always been the case and therefore nothing new. I feel there are often unobtainable targets to reach causing pressure on everyone and I think at times it is difficult to say how it really is.
The existence of 'leadership' as anything useful is the problem. Theoretical alignment of some behavioural characteristics of some influential individuals does not a system create.
Similarly engagement, recognised for many years in the literature, is only one rather unsophisticated step on the road to sustainable improvement and far less profound than for example, 'participation'. Knowing the Jonkoping work well, that is all about participation. And this is not semantics it is a quantum shift in thinking that takes you to a very different place. Engagement is to participation as a slap is to a handshake. Technically the description is very similar, but the outcome and response very different.
If you just get really good at doing the thing your patient wants, leadership and engagement are unnecessary. I do see that developing people is good, but let's develop them in the context of their work. Leadership if anything is a sweet glaze, on a cherry, on a decoration, on a centre piece, on the icing on the cake.