I’m sort of messing about a bit, trying something new and then seeking a bit of feedback (I hate that bit already), maybe just a bit of a reaction to see what this blog might generate.
Glenys has said a couple of times – ‘why don’t you write a book’? This is usually when I’m sharing a story of an event because sometimes, there is a back story to a headline which would make your toes curl. But that’s maybe for another blog.
I suppose the quick answer is, I rarely sit down long enough to think through what I want to share. Although, I am a sharer by nature and like connecting people who have shared interests to help them make their things happen.
So this week during a coaching session, Claire encouraged me, in a very gentle way, to start blogging. Its raining outside (finally), so I’ve registered with WordPress and I hope to use it to share further experiences through ‘What Lisa did next….’
Earlier this year, I blagged a place on the Innovation Agency’s Coaching Academy for Spread and Adoption programme. They are recruiting again and I’d recommend it to anyone with an idea or innovation that they want to share. I say blagged because I’m actually in the North East AHSN patch but I couldn’t see this course in my area, so felt it was worth an application. I was about to take a sabbatical and test if I could start working in other areas, both geographically and in other sectors, as I was ready to change in career direction.
I hoped the programme would help with one of my regular challenges at work; trying to spread a message about using digital tools, techniques and services to a large majority of people who don’t quite get what I’m talking about. I know that sounds vague but all I’m trying to achieve is to bring the everyday technology and experience of our life outside of work into General Practice, where I’ve worked as a Practice Manager for 8 years. I’m talking about the sorts of things we take for granted; we bank and book train tickets, holidays and events online, we chat and network using Social Media, we use ‘phones, tablets, gadgets and devices, software and apps to carry out these activities, yet in the parts of the NHS if you talk about using this type of ‘Digital’ stuff to deliver services or make workload efficient, many people glaze over and then often get confused with IT, Tech, hardware and infrastruture and geekiness – or at least it seems that way in General Practice and in many areas of the NHS in Cumbria. That’s perhaps understandable given the pressures in General practice where its hard to innovate when practices are struggling to keep going. I said to a CCIO recently, ‘sometimes, I feel like an alien amongst my Practice Manager colleagues’, they replied, ‘that’s because you are like one, to them’. Yet, I know this isn’t the case everywhere and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with the Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria Digital Workstream on the Primary Care Digital Exemplar Programme. This has provided me with the space to try to develop my message and also to realise that if the context and environment is ready for this message, its heard and spread with enthusiasm. I am meeting like minded General Practice colleagues who are ready to adopt these new ways of working.
By the way, I’m none of the above – neither alien, technically gifted or geeky and I most definitely suffer with imposter syndrome when working alongside truly talented individuals who know about User Experience & Digital Design, Technical architecture and infrastructure and System configuration.
But I do know a fair bit about introducing new ways of working, going at the pace that people can cope with when introducing change, about the need to explain what we hope to achieve and why, also about how to help people learn to use something they feel a bit unsure of. And I mean both NHS employees and people who use our services.
So that last paragraph helps me a little to understand myself a little better. I think that I’m able to look for the stuff thats out there, see the opportunity for its use in improvement, maybe interpret the strategy and then link it to delivery, whilst understanding the pressures and level of competence in general practice. I’ve no idea what job title you would give to that role. Any suggestions? Feedback and reaction most welcome.