The trouble with busy

This week has been hectic balancing two very different jobs in the health service and trying to connect people across continents to deliver a project.  It’s great to hit the weekend and be able to get out in the open air, take stock  and centre myself on what matters.

Busy is the mantra of the 21st century – we have to say that we are busy all the time, that by our very busyness we gain importance.  I have a problem with busy!  As a word it is fine, but it has a cheeky little attitude – ‘look at me’ ‘pay attention to me’ a very demanding troll that needs constant feeding of ego.  I am trying to recognise when that little troll busy surfaces.  When it crawls out of the woodwork to go patiently to that angry, crying attention seeker busy and say ‘look it’s ok, we need to understand if others can help’ and ‘If any boundaries are being broken.’


To reach out across the void of busyness and through a transparent and honest dialogue with colleagues – share the work and how they can support.  This is not easy, but something we need to start doing if we want to encourage healthy boundaries and let people bring their authentic self to work.   Now more than ever we need to walk the walk and talk the talk equally.  This is essential in health and social care where work is a human business, people go the extra mile for others and the dial is set to constant change.

I am no expert, but suggest the following ideas which work for me:-

  • Reflect on a daily basis on how your work fits into the big picture.
  • Get back to nature by going on photo walks, exploring the unexpected and being creative.
  • Use a meditation app  like Simple Habits to take time out on the move.


Citizen power in the social age…..

I am sitting on my sofa typing up my blog whilst hearing that the new president of the USA will be Donald Trump.  A headline not predicted yet again by the polls.  We are starting to see that different power exists which run through formal and informal networks changing the dynamics of politics.  Social collaboration tools help to amplify the narrative for good or bad.  Whilst people connect, debate and challenge the norm.  Julian Stodd illustrates the tension that exists with new and old power in his blog and through this illustration.


New communication skills are needed in the 21st century and it is worth reflecting on the leadership styles of Trump and Clinton,  as highlighted within this article by INSEAD Knowledge.  Leaders now more than ever need to engage both hearts and minds in the social age to bring about change and connect.

Putting politics aside what learning can we take from the uprising in citizen power and change.  One learning point for me is that we have to seize the day and explore the opportunity in the moment.  Seth Godin succinctly covers it when he states ‘If not now, when?‘  There is a chance for everyone to stand up and be counted, to embrace co-creation and work generously with others for good.

This is work out loud week and if you follow the hashtag #WOLWeek you will see that all over the world people are connecting to share their learning and co-create projects in a generous way.  My sharing on the hashtag this week has been around the ‘Peoples Transformathon‘ #CoPro16 an event I am curating with colleagues which will share amazing examples of citizens working in co-production with health and social care to develop new ways of working. We are honoured to be the first UK event to be awarded the #EveryoneIncluded trademark and accreditation from Stanford Medicine MedX.   ei

The event was developed in response to a small group of citizens coming together with shared purpose.  The aim to make an event showing how patients, carers, volunteers, relatives, citizens could provide valuable insight for health and social care.  Working in co-production a virtual design team developed every element of the event.  Bringing alive the concepts within the following documents   The Five Year Forward View chapter 2 and the six principles for engaging people and communities.    A real example of Margaret Mead’s quote at the top of this blog.

It would be great if you could join us too on the 28th November 2016 at the People’s Transformation to make a different kind of change where everyone is included!  Why not sign up here today to be part of a fantastic free online event available to anyone across the world.