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Anyone else impressed by the PM’s ‘listening’ approach

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We are, of course, yet to see how much authenticity there is in PM David Cameron’s new ‘listening’ approach to introducing widespread change and reform to the NHS - the public sector bloater – but reading reports it would seem that some positive steps are being taken.

Gone are the days, supposedly, of change being forced upon management and staff within the public sector, instead the PM has promised to take time with the reform and listen to what those close to the NHS have to say.

And this is key, because Cameron is looking to gain something that very few have done in the past, and that is emotional buy-in. Yes, we can all see the benefits of reforming an old-school system and bringing it up to date, but unless the people who will be making the change happen in terms of day-to-day work, put their heart into it, you’ve simply got no chance.

Yes PM, engagement is the right word to use, because if you engage with the people that matter, and not just the ones that matter today, you could be on to something that doesn’t just look like positive change, but it feels like positive change too..

This will resonate with business leaders across the globe, no doubt. How do I implement change that is so crucial, and get people to understand why I’m doing it and buy into the reasons?.

Well, let Cameron be an example, because what he has done is say, “hold on, we’re charging ahead and opposition is mounting up”. So, it looks like he has implemented a listening approach at the right time – it’s so easy for businesses to listen more and talk less.

As every youngster in the world has been told at some point in the early learning years of their lives: You have two of these (point to ear), and one of these (point to mouth)…in other words, less talking, more listening and understanding. I look forward to seeing where this approach to NHS gets us, and whether, as one member of the British Medical Association suggested, it’s merely good PR...

James Pentreath

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