Monday, September 06, 2010

3D Juggling 492: Commissioning

Jane writes: 'I was speaking with an Organisational Development Manager at a City Council last week who explained that their current focus was on commissioning.  Ring any bells?  It certainly will if you’re involved in the provision of health or social care, whichever sector you are operating from. 

Lynn and I are currently designing a leadership development programme for an NHS organisation, and one of their requirements is that we help participants explore their responsibilities in relation to commissioning and delivery.  The outcomes required are changes that improve the quality of, and access to, patient care.

We won the opportunity to undertake this work through a competitive tendering process.  We were successful because we offered an approach to leadership development based on our belief that the people in the room will know the answers to the questions they need to answer – our role is to help them find them.  They may find them by drawing on their collective experience, knowledge and other resources.  They may find them through others or via research.  But they will find them.  And by finding them they learn how to find answers to questions that haven’t been asked yet – the questions of tomorrow, next month, next year.  They will also develop new networks of useful resources, and learn how to help others to do the same.

How do we achieve this?  By asking purposeful questions, with confidence that they can be answered. 

Here are some examples of questions we may ask about commissioning:
•    What do you need to know?  How can you find out?
•    What might you need to predict?
•    What tools and techniques can you use to engage with/understand client needs?
•    What might you need to keep/make flexible/integrate/separate/let go of?

Here are some examples of questions we may ask about service provision:
•    What is the service and what does it deliver? Different viewpoints - stakeholders/partners/ team members/clients...
•    What is the context in which it is delivered? Now and in the future.  What do you know? What can you anticipate?
•    If you weren’t providing this service, who would be?
•    How can you be a proactive provider?

And here are some questions for everyone:
•    Who do you need to be speaking with? What’s stopping you?  What do you need to do?
•    Where are you now?  What else do you need to do?  Who can help you?

We will also introduce, where needed, relevant tools and techniques such as LEAN and Experience Based Design.

Who do you know that is involved in some way with commissioning? How could we help them to find the questions they need to ask – and the answers?

Love this? If you need some help in your organisation to develop your approach to commissioning, whether as commissioners or providers, come out for a cup of coffee with us to talk about how we can help you.  We'll pay!

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