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Go Back Transforming Talent, Leadership and OD in the Cheshire and Merseyside System

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Talent, Leadership and Organisational Development Lead, Lisa Gresty shines a spotlight on the collaborative leadership activity evolving in Cheshire and Merseyside (C&M).

In Summer 2019, we were pleased to introduce our three Leadership and Organisational Development (L&OD) Enabler roles. The NHS NWLA funded posts were established to be a critical connection point within each of the three North West footprints, to support and shape local system wide leadership development priorities, in line with the NHS Long Term Plan. The three development experts, working together as a community, ensure intelligence and learning is shared across patches.

Lisa Gresty Talent, Leadership and Organisational Development Lead for Cheshire and Merseyside

So what is the Health and Care Partnership anyway? 

The Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership (C&M H&CP) is a developing Integrated Care System (ICS) and brings together NHS Provider Trusts, local authorities, CCGs, Primary Care Networks and the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector to deliver real improvements to the health and wellbeing of local people, in the 9 Places across the geography. 

Establishing Leadership and OD as part of the Journey

I started my role in the C&M H&CP in April 2019, supporting senior system leaders and key stakeholders to explore, scope and understand aspirations for a system level leadership approach and building the future OD capacity and capability for the ICS.  Over the past year I have worked extensively with the leaders across the C&M H&CP geography and have developed positive and supportive relationships with colleagues across Social Care, Primary Care, HEE, and NHSE/I.  In January 2020 colleague Gill Phazey (seconded from the NHS North West Leadership Academy), joined as OD and Leadership Development Associate and has been working closely with our OD Network and system partners to build and enhance leadership and OD capacity and capability.

It has been really fascinating joining the C&M system, and especially to try and establish in role during the Covid19 pandemic.  I have been really encouraged by the strength of relationships in the system, and the can-do approach that our Places and key networks are taking in their response.

As a team we have been working hard to build our strategy for Talent, Leadership and OD and to work with key networks to develop this.  In light of the People Plan our developing strategy across C&M aims to:

  1. Develop system relationships with partners and stakeholders
  2. Support the building of capacity and capability towards becoming an ICS
  3. Work with Place and Programme Leads to support sharing of knowledge and best practice
  4. Lead the C&M OD Network providing a forum for support, collaboration, development and link into the HRD Network
  5. Support the development of talent and succession planning practices to enable a resilient future, diverse leadership pipeline
  6. Develop inclusive, compassionate and collaborative systems leadership culture to reduce health inequalities

During the pandemic we have also been agile and responsive to the need in the system, which has led to involvement in some really interesting work.  We would like to share our highlights with you as we reflect on what has been a whirlwind year so far:

Doing things (really) Differently

In February we established the Doing things Differently System Leadership programme across the C&M H&CP.  Over fifty people from different sectors across the system came together in 9 Place teams to enhance their leadership skills whilst collaborating on the C&M HCP strategic aim of reducing Cardiovascular Disease (CVD).  Days 1 and 2 of the 3 day programme enabled participants to examine their own leadership style, map their system, converse with members of the community about their experiences, develop the ‘Yes, and’ mindset through exposure to improvisation techniques, and start to plan their system based project.  We have been developing Day 3 to take place virtually due to the ongoing pandemic, and have started recruitment for cohort 2 which will also take place virtually with a focus on Mental Health.  It has been really positive to be able to continue to develop and offer the programme in a virtual way.

OD Priorities for the System

There is a vibrant OD community within the C&M system and we have been able to continue to convene the network, virtually during the Covid19 response.  Our aim with the network is to increase OD capacity and capability across C&M by offering a developmental, practical space for connection.  So far, the network of over 80 OD colleagues have shared and developed a repository of health and wellbeing resources, shared thinking on the role of OD in ED&I and shared experiences of doing OD in the virtual world.  Recently, we identified priority workstreams as our people continue to adapt to the ongoing nature of remote working.  Four working groups are progressing looking at a system approach to supporting line managers, improving psychological wellbeing, encouraging coaching and mentoring and maximising digital learning.  We hope that the groups will scope and develop ideas that can be adopted across the system, reducing duplication and improving collaborative relationships. 

In September we hosted a strategic conversation with senior OD leads to discuss how public sectors organisations can act as Anchor Institutes to support the creation of social value, and what the role of OD might be in enhancing the social value our system can offer to the local community. 

One word feedback wordcloud

Above: C&M OD network members share their views on attending the network

Focusing on Health and Wellbeing

Health and wellbeing has, and continues to be, in sharp focus during the ongoing pandemic. We also know that this will be one of the first priorities of the People Plan. Alongside the OD network priority workstreams on this topic, we have also been offering a range of health and wellbeing offers to the C&M H&CP and the wider system. The sessions have focused on staying well whilst working remotely, understanding resilience, teaming and leading remotely and exploring individual differences in times of challenge. We have also supported virtual Schwartz Rounds for NHS colleagues, and have trained to offer NHSEI Leadership Support Circles in the C&M region. We are now working with other facilitators in the network to look at a sustainable system level offer. 

Building Relationships and Leadership Capability

As part of our strategy to support Place and key networks in the system we have been working closely with colleagues from the CCG and Local Authority in Sefton providing virtual team development opportunities during the pandemic. We have also been supporting Deputy Directors’ Networks to explore system leadership fit for the future, and how their roles are changing. This development work is part of our system talent management strategy.

BAME Pledge | Our ambition to improve equality, diversity and inclusion

The C&M H&CP has recently developed and released a Pledge; a statement of intent and commitment, as the beginning of a series of activities to address the inequalities faced by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) colleagues and the wider community. The statement sets out how we will work and lead to improve equality, diversity and inclusion and will be supported by targeted actions and tangible outcomes. We were privileged to be part of the working group to develop and champion the Pledge which was released in August and will further explore this with the networks and stakeholders we are working with in the system. 

As we continue to work with COVID-19 in our lives, we are learning so much about the needs of the system in relation to talent, leadership and OD. There is a lot of amazing work happening in and across organisations and real progress has been made in terms of collaborative working. As we go forward we will focus on creating spaces that encourage and engender an inclusive, collaborative approach as we continue our journey towards becoming an ICS. 


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