Organisational Development Superstars- Cath Heaney

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Cath Heaney

Cath has been given a space in our OD Superstars gallery because of her work at Frimley Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on the Tools for Change project. The Tools for Change project, co-developed by Cath, is a training course for staff at Frimley to support them to deliver their own improvement projects, through a mix of facilitation, mentoring and coaching. This supports all staff to get involved with organisational development through working on change projects across the trust and contributing to better patient-centred care.

You can read more about Tools for Change in this great leaflet and find out about some of the projects that have been supported by the scheme in this course directory.

OD Superstar Questions

Learn more about Cath and what OD means for her in her great answers to our (sometimes tricky!) questions:

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

I am based in the learning and development team, with a focus on change projects. Our team are similar to others we have met and heard from at NHS Do OD events, in that our OD work is 'under the radar'. Doing OD not necessarily in name but definitely in nature. For example in the past year we have launched our trust values, embedded them into recruitment and appraisals, and we are also delivering an intensive customer care programme.

2. What does OD mean to you?  

OD is about a range of interventions to help organisations be healthy. To me it’s about the humanistic values that underpin it, the potential of people and organisations to develop and grow. For Frimley it’s about our trust values to ensure our continued success as a leading healthcare provider.

3. What OD projects are you most proud of?

Creating and running the Tools for Change project course is something that I am very proud of. I have run study days for nearly 100 staff over the past 18 months. They have delivered a wide range of improvement projects taking them right to the front line of care. The personal journeys that we hear about when they present their learning and progress six months on are truly humbling. Through the course I have discovered a passion for the development of others and in turn this has led me to take up the fantastic opportunity to join the learning and development team.

4. What would you like to learn more about?  

I would like to learn more about and develop into the role of OD practitioner this year. I am very excited to be starting the OD Practitioner’s Programme at Roffey Park Institute this spring.

5. Who inspires you most?

I have to confess that it is my manager. And I’m not just saying that for brownie points, it’s true! Her name is Claire Quinn and she is the Head of Learning and Development here at Frimley. The knowledge, wisdom and patience she has is phenomenal… especially when it comes to me and my questions! The development opportunities and leadership programme here is outstanding and through participating I have learnt so much about myself as well as about leading others. Claire has built this programme and a fantastic team, and it truly makes a difference to everyone who participates.

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

I have only just begun to read about OD recently, and the book that I often dip into is Organization Development: A practitioner’s guide for OD and HR by Mee-Yan Cheung-Judge and Linda Holbeche.

7. What would you like to achieve in 2014?

There are some very exciting opportunities on the horizon at Frimley during 2014, which should give me the chance to put the learning from my OD practitioner course into practice in a very timely manner, especially around organisational culture.

8. What would your motto be?

Well I scratched my head over this one, as I don’t have a motto that comes to mind immediately. I do have something of a mascot though, a character from the Ice Age animated movies. His name is Scrat, a prehistoric cross between a squirrel and a rat. He never gives up on that acorn. So there’s something in there about passion and tenacity, and he always make me laugh too! So maybe “don’t give up and keep smiling no matter what”.

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

Keep doing what you’re doing and listen to your instincts. Find people that inspire you and make a concerted effort to connect with them, so that you can continue to learn and grow.

10. What is your favourite sandwich?

As long as it is very freshly made, my favourite has got to be prawn and avocado. Reminds me of happy times - a wonderful local deli and lunch breaks early on in my NHS career. 

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