“Systems create some of their own potential”

In my most recent blog for Staff College: Leaders in Healthcare I refer to C. West Churchman’s work on a systems approach including in healthcare.

As a leader, for your patients and your staff it is very likely that they see you as ‘The System’. That is quite a scary thought! You lead a system that is embedded within the larger system called the NHS. You are responsible and accountable for how your system works, for its culture, its ways of working and its care. As a leader, you are both an output of the system, in that you provide patient care, and you are also part of the inner process of the system: Put another way, as a leader, you are part of the innards of your system. So, to quote West Churchman again, a system creates some of its own potential (1).

A final thought: what is the potential that you are creating in your system? Highly capable leaders consider not just the output of their system but how well it works and how well they develop their teams.


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