26 / 06 / 2013
For Owen, leadership is getting as many people as possible to feel passionate about providing the best care for local people, and for them to have the skills and competencies to make a difference.
“There are not many major changes that I think one person can do on their own,” he points out. “I often think it’s about getting the combined
brainpower of all the people I work with focused on meeting the key challenges, and that’s where you start to see real change taking place and at pace too.”
This approach helped him to lead Rossendale District Council out of a difficult period when he took over as chief executive in 2003, and subsequently served him well during his time as chief executive at Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council.
When Owen arrived at Rossendale, the organisation was struggling with its performance, had received a critical report from the Audit Commission and the Government had intervened. Staff morale was low. Owen saw his role as getting the people inside and outside his team to believe in what they could achieve, and helping them
build the skills to do it.
Building belief – internally and externally – in his teams’ abilities to deal with tough challenges is a theme Owen aims to continue in his current post at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.