OD Superstar - Hazel Murgatroyd


28 / 8 / 2015 Midnight

Our August OD Superstar is Hazel Murgatroyd, organisation development lead at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Hazel has worked in OD roles for almost 20 years and has a lifelong interest in ‘making things better’. Hazel started her career in the private sector, cutting her teeth on total quality management, leadership development and employee engagement.  A short stint in operational HR management confirmed her passion for developing organisations and triggered a decision to switch sectors to join the NHS. She has led on OD programmes to support joined-up working across health and social care, embedding improved systems, processes and ways of working. Hazel is a qualified coach and coach supervisor and continues to work with individuals, teams and organisations.  

1. How would you describe your role in the organisation? 

I am the organisation development lead at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust and focus on a range of programmes and projects to support one to one work, team effectiveness and also whole organisation development. I work as an OD consultant for change programmes, drawing on frameworks, tools and or good practice from elsewhere. I can work as expert, facilitator or a safe pair of hands to keep momentum going. Flexibility is a key competence for my role to adapt to each and every situation. Whether it’s working with; the business to further design and deliver a range of high impact leadership development programmes; building a buoyant coaching community; co-creating personal and/or team effectiveness interventions; or leading an inquiry based approach to organisational design. No two days are ever the same. Questions are a strong foundation for my work keeping focus, creating clarity and stimulating innovation.  

2. What does OD mean to you?  

OD is about four things for me – all starting with a P.

  • Purpose - what do we want and how will this make a positive difference for our customers and workforce?
  • Process - what are we doing today which helps us achieve our purpose, how can we improve what and how we are doing our work to make things even better now and for the future?
  • People - how can we work together, engage and support all colleagues, patients, service users and carers to support us to deliver our purpose?  
  • Performance - how can we best measure the impact of our work in the short, medium, longer term? How can we use data and information to meaningfully demonstrate the success of all our development work?
3. What OD projects are you most proud of?

I’ve led a range of diverse projects, so it’s hard to choose. I would say that one of the stand out programmes for me, both professionally and personally, would be an experiential leadership programme which I co-designed and delivered. 

Creative leadership in practice was a powerful programme which offered participants the opportunity to explore their experience of leadership within a framework of great leadership practice. The programme offered a combination of workshops, action learning sets and one-to-one coaching with a golden thread of whole-person learning at its core. Malcolm Higgs’ paper on How Can We Make Sense of Leadership in the 21st Century? provided the mantra for this programme. Great leadership is about 'being yourself with skill' – bringing all of who you are to your life and work more of the time.

4. What would you like to learn more about? 

I’m currently focusing on developing our internal coaching community and have a personal interest in multiple brain use – working with head, heart and guts to activate choices in our lives at work, at home and in life.

5. Who inspires you most? 

Whilst I could name someone famous, my true inspiration is a personal friend of mine, Fiona Rockett-Taylor, who I have known for over 15 years.  She is one of the most authentic and compassionate people I know, truly in tune which her personal values and, even in deeply emotional and difficult times, draws on these to stay strong, determined and focused. She allows herself to be vulnerable and experience the feelings and emotions which come with life’s highs and lows. She brings a warmth, gentleness and respect to all those who are in her life - offering and asking for support in equal measure. She is awesome!  

6. What’s your one 'must-read' book / article / website on OD? 

Margaret Wheatley’s book Leadership and the New Science provides great food for thought for OD exploring the theme of connection, relationships and systems. The recent publication from Oasis School of Human Relations, 7 principles to shape the Workplace of tomorrow, also makes for an interesting read; the paradoxes, in particular, are the ingredients for any OD practitioner to consider for their own work and clients.

7. What would you like to achieve in 2015? 

At work, I’d like to maintain the momentum and energy from our recent 'engaging leaders' programme and create opportunities to further develop 'leaderful' approaches to organisational change. I’m looking forward to working with recent graduates from the programme to handover the baton to our new wave of colleagues in October 2015. Outside of work, I hope to have completed my first half marathon which I am now picking up the pace for September (and feeling it in my creaking limbs!)

8. What would your motto be? 

'Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion' - Rumi

9. What advice would you give to a budding OD professional? 

  • Ask yourself what difference you want to make and how.
  • Get curious and ask great questions to activate and be a catalyst for change.
  • Develop your mindset and attitude for improvement and continuous development.
  • Lean in where others are reluctant to go.
  • Resource your network with significant others who can support you across a range of areas. 
  • Look after yourself – your head, your heart, your soul.
10. What is your favourite sandwich? 

Avocado and tomato with plenty of seasoning – a firm favourite having been introduced to this by an American colleague when I worked in France. 

If you have any questions about Hazel Murgatroyd and her work, then please feel free to connect with Hazel via Twitter, email or LinkedIn.  Find out more about Bradford District Care Trust on its website.

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