You come into work, you drink your coffee, and you stay in the office, hospital or lab for the next eight hours or so, likely spending most of your time either rushing between meetings, rushing between wards or filling out piles of paperwork and then you go home again. It’s not hard to see why we all start to feel like small cogs in a machine.
In the healthcare industry, no matter whether from the NHS, pharmaceutical industry or a patient group, we all have the same goal. We want to improve quality of life so people can live longer, healthier lives. We are not cogs in a machine – we can all see the bigger picture and arrive collectively at this goal.
In our daily lives, we all too often focus on short term goals – the monthly target we need to meet, the cuts we need to make, the financial gains we can achieve. These short-term goals can trap us in a system where progress is merely measured in monetary terms with no consideration of our progress towards a common vision.
Leadership by example is one of Aurora’s key Access All Areas dependencies to affect positive change in medicines access. We need leaders who can realign priorities and encourage us to reclaim higher goals. If we can recognise and embrace this we can make better decisions which will improve medicines access.
A leader doesn’t just mean those at the top of an organisation though – we all have the capacity to make positive changes. We need leaders who can learn to accept ambiguity and unpredictability as the norm, and adapt accordingly. Who can embrace models built on relationships, interdependency, collaboration, flexibility and responsiveness. Who have the willingness to give up long-held beliefs, and the courage to try and to sometimes fail. Leadership by example can encourage us to do the same. This will require a strong personal vision and the ability to defend this vision to their superiors and peers across the system.
We could all be better leaders and the following recommendations will help us to ignite change:
- Ask yourself, what can you do in your team to shift beliefs and behaviours?
- Consider what progressive leadership will cost in the short to medium term.
- How can we make managing upwards a reality?
To find out more about this dependency and the other dependencies, read our Access All Areas paper, ‘Creating opportunities for improving patients’ access to medicines,’ available for download here.