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No root and branch reorganisation...But a culture change

15-February-2013 0:00
in General
by Dr. Megan Joffe

The Francis report is clear that culture change is required rather than another reorganisation – a refreshing change and welcome response to solving difficult problems in the NHS. But what is culture and what is culture change?  The most useful definition of culture is also the most simple – “How we do things around here” . But this simple definition also raises some complex questions such as How can such an apparently intangible thing as culture be measured?  How can it be changed? and How will we know if it has changed?  These questions bring us to a central issue around change and especially culture change – we know how much it has changed around here because it feels different to before; people behave differently and the consequences are different. So in essence culture change is qualitative.  You feel it! Additional data such as improved HSMR rates are proof.  In order for a culture change initiative to be successful we will need to challenge the traditional, scientific and bureaucratic approach to measuring success – executives will need to find the courage to sponsor change initiatives that are not precisely measurable by targets and they will need to be patient while waiting for qualitative changes in the way it feels around here.

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