#Blogtober: Rocking the boat

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22 / 10 / 2014 12.01am

By David Bell

#Blogtober Day: Wednesday 22 October

I am sure I don’t need to remind an OD community about the wonderful grassroots-led NHS Change Day? It attracted more than 800,000 pledges in 2014, including my own, which was, to apply my own knowledge and skills to making the NHS better for staff and patients as an HR and OD practitioner. Don't forget it’s all happening again on 11 March 2015.

However, it is probably a little less likely that you know about the fantastic School for Health and Care Radicals, but I really recommend finding out more. Led by the amazing Helen Bevan, we radicals joined an online programme to help give us the tools we need to be change agents in our everyday working lives, to put us in touch with other radicals, to help us make a positive difference to health and care and most of all to learn how to rock the boat without falling out.

More than 1,500 people took part during the term and over 60 people became certified change agents and boat rockers as part of the school. Somehow someone worked out that it had a Twitter reach of 2.6 million.

It seems to me that this is a great example of what OD practitioners are trying to achieve for our organisations.  We know that a healthy organisation is one in which everyone is valued for their unique contribution and where there is open and honest communication and trust and we also know that people value and support something they can influence and help to build. We want everyone to be focussed on safety, quality and innovation and so we want everyone to be raising concerns and having them addressed and we want everyone to be making suggestions about how to make things better for patients and staff.  And most importantly, we need to welcome these concerns and suggestions and to say thank you. 

It’s not always easy to manage the suggestions and ideas and it’s sometimes easier to wish that they had not been made. It can be very frustrating and time consuming. But we know that that’s how we learn and how we make things better and it’s how we include everyone in the journey.

Does anyone else remember the advice the Hues Corporation gave to us in 1974, about not tipping the boat over?

David is not currently working, but until recently was the HR & OD Transition Director for NHS Improving Quality (NHSIQ). He can be contacted via Twitter @DavidMBell or via LinkedIn.

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