Leadership Centre Contributes to National Institute for Health Research Paper

Apr 13, 2022

We’re delighted to have contributed to an important piece of research focussed on exploring leadership within integrated health and social care teams and systems, recently published by the National Institute for Health Research.

The paper, published in March 2022, drew on the findings of our publication, ‘The Revolution Will be Improvised Part II’ as well as the contributions of Debbie Sorkin, our National Director of Systems Leadership, who formed part of the Specialist Advisory Group.

Debbie Sorkin

The research, co-authored by Ruth Harris, Simon Fletcher, Sarah Sims, Fiona Ross, Sally Brearley and Jill Manthorpe, sought to understand how best to support and improve the effective leadership of teams within health and social care as the system moves rapidly towards greater integration.

The paper identifies seven potentially important components of leadership in integrated care teams and systems:

  • Inspiring intent to work together
  • Creating the conditions to work together
  • Balancing multiple perspectives
  • Working with power
  • Taking a wider view
  • A commitment to learning and development
  • Clarifying complexity

The work of the Leadership Centre helped, more specifically, to inform some of the thinking around complexity and systems leadership.

Debbie Sorkin, the Leadership Centre’s National Director of Systems Leadership, said: “It’s been fantastic to be involved in this piece of work as it draws together thinking from a wide range of sources, helping to unsurface some of the barriers that may exist to truly integrated systems leadership within health and social care.

“This is an area that the Leadership Centre has worked within for some time now so we have developed a level of expertise helping leaders working across unclear boundaries, structures and processes, whilst navigating great uncertainty. We are delighted to have been able to share our knowledge and experience with the National Institute of Health Research, helping to inform such an insightful and much-needed publication.”

To find out more about the work that the Leadership Centre does working with complexity, click here.


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