Influencing Policy Key to Leadership

by Adam Carter, Managing Director

In health and social care, great leaders who inspire and understand the pressures of working in an emotionally challenging environment are always in high demand. So too are leaders who are able to delegate and accept their own limitations in the workplace. However one important leadership trait is often overlooked – the ability to influence policy.

Senior healthcare leaders who have risen up the hierarchy will recognise that they are in a position of influence. Senior leaders can help shape future policy by building relationships with key figures and bureaucrats. Networking with political figures who have the power to legislate and pass laws is essential to policy reform. Making society a better place is all about making good ideas known before networking these ideas to people in power who have the authority to implement change. It is not about being partisan; it is about being persuasive and passionate about public health policy. Leaders who recognise that they are in a position to influence policy must have the determination to do it.

Sir Bruce Keogh, the medical director of the NHS, remains one of the most influential professionals in British healthcare. As head of the publically funded National Health Service, Keogh has 1.6 million people in his organisation working under his guardianship. Keogh is an example of a leader who will always be working to push health reforms that benefit the NHS and the British people.

Leaders are sometimes thought of as pioneers who find innovative solutions to save more lives and shape the future. But sometimes it is about taking other peoples’ great ideas and innovations and persuading people in higher power to take them seriously. There is a need for a “whole system collaboration” where communication exists from top to bottom.

Success is judged by “what and how” change is delivered. It is usually delivered by working in tandem with people who are capable of delivering it. Do you agree? Is influencing policy essential for leaders in health and social care? Let us know your thoughts on our Twitter page.