Digital leadership – kill or cure?

Digital leadership – kill or cure?

Is there such a thing as digital leadership? This article for the Harvard Business Review makes the case for it and this online course says it will teach you the requisite skills. But is there anything qualitatively different to being a leader and to being a digital leader? This question has been on my mind recently: firstly because I was recently invited by Mike Chitty and James Freed to speak on this topic at their ‘kill digital’ session at eHealth Week in which they put the notion of digital leadership under the spotlight and gave it a good kicking about; secondly because I’m co-delivering an mHabitat learning set for a group of leaders who are responsible for transforming care through digital technologies in eight of the new models of care vanguards. What are the qualities required of NHS and social care leaders who are transforming services enabled by digital? Here is what our learning set participants identified: Enthusiasm– the ability to enthuse and engage others Tenacity – keeping on when others might give up and remaining focused on the task Curiosity – being open minded and keen to find novel ways to improve services Reflective – learning from mistakes and finding new ways to move forward Credible – the ability to gather information, to be well informed and to make the case Collaborative – being willing to collaborate to get things done Having courage – trying new things and take calculated risks Pragmatic – starting small and adapting to new circumstances. None of the above qualities are specific to digital technologies but all relate to the ability to work...
How to get the *un* into *awards* #PDDAwards15

How to get the *un* into *awards* #PDDAwards15

An unconference is a participant-led event that rejects the trappings of conventional conferences (such as sponsored presentations and top-down organisation) and whose content is generated by the people who participate. A typical format is an agenda set collaboratively at the beginning of the event and without a hierarchy of speakers at the podium. I’ve been using this format for a number of years now and find its generative and equitable nature both appealing and productive. I’ve written previously about value of the unconference format here. Putting the *un* into awards So as a lover of the unconference, I was most intrigued when comms2point0 ran their inaugural unawards in 2014 in the spirit of having an event that was accessible, fun and a little bit out of the ordinary. Inspired by the idea of unAawards and keen to support a growing community of ground up digital innovators a, who don’t often get the limelight, the People Driven Digital unAwards #PDDAwards15 were born. The lovely Anne Cooper and I joined forces and got to work convincing organisations to help us out with some modest sponsorship to cover our costs and help make it happen. There were a few things that we important to us – an event that was simple to enter, judged by peers, free to attend (recognising that people would have to get there under their own steam which was tricky for a few) was informal and was fun. The awards created a focal point, but we were equally keen to get people along to collaborate, share and learn, as well as be inspired. We wanted the entrepreneurial spark...
#DearMentalHealthProfessionals – Twitter as a learning resource

#DearMentalHealthProfessionals – Twitter as a learning resource

There are all sorts of compelling reasons for health and social care practitioners to use social media, both as part of their professional development and in their day-to-day practice. But yesterday a Twitter conversation around the hashtag #DearMentalHealthProfessionals gave a visceral and powerful sense of the potential afforded by Twitter to be an invaluable learning tool for every mental health practitioner. You can find a storify of the tweets (so far) here. Amanda O’Connell set up the hashtag in the morning and started tweeting messages, from her own experience, to mental health professionals. The conversation grew and spread throughout the day with all sorts of different perspectives – from negative experiences through to appreciation and many in-between. In the NHS we spend a lot of time and effort organising events and groups and activities to ask people for their feedback and help improve services.  And it is important that we do so. But there is something about the spontaneity, the starting point and the ownership of this conversation which provides a most compelling argument for any mental health practitioner to engage with Twitter as a platform to learn, share and contribute. A big thank you and congratulations to Amanda, both for setting up the hashtag and for her encouragement when I asked if I could write a quick blog post about it 🙂...
Sharing the learning – digital innovation in health & social care

Sharing the learning – digital innovation in health & social care

There are two things in particular about Twitter that appeal to me: firstly, I love how I can make connections with others in ways which side-step barriers of time and space; secondly, I enjoy seeing the fruition of those connections – new ideas, support and even projects that occasionally emerge. Digital Innovation in Healthcourses grew from just such a connection I made with digital consultant, Abhay Adhikari , over twelve months ago, initially through the #DigiHealthCon event organised by Claire Jones and then followed up in person.  I’m incredibly grateful to Becky Malby and the Centre for Innovation in Health Management for supporting and partnering with us on this adventure, giving us invaluable advice and helping us extend our reach further. The aim for our Digital Innovation in Health courses is to engender a similar experience to that which I describe above – bringing people working in health and social care together to learn the basics, think about their digital identity and take advantage of the potential of social media for both professional development and in day-to-day practice – making the connections. We have free spaces for people who are keen to use social media in a personal capacity to connect with others who have similar experience of, for instance, long term conditions. There are also courses for people working corporately in involvement, communications and strategic roles to develop how they use social media at an organisational level. But this is only the beginning – already conversations are developing about how we can use Digital Innovation in Health as a hub for people to share learning and collaborate –...