NHS spend £5,000 on jazz leadership lessons

NHS spend £5,000 on jazz leadership lessons

The NHS has spent £5,000 sending staff on a transformational leadership course based around “the world of jazz and improvisation”.

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Comments (9)

  • Malcaudren
    Malcaudren
    Fri, 14 Feb 2014 12:48pm GMT
    As a freelance consultant, one of my clients uses a company who use a formula 1 pitcrew experience as a method of developing leadership and teamwork. It's brilliant!
    It all depends with these experiential interventions how well developed they are. One bad experience taints the whole barrel of them.
  • Nigel Brown
    Nigel Brown
    Thu, 9 Jan 2014 6:08pm GMT
    Someone cleverer than me once said something on the lines off

    if you always do what you have always done, you'll always get the same results you always had.

    Therefore why not try something a bit different designed to promote more innovative thinking
  • Paul Barrett
    Paul Barrett
    Mon, 6 Jan 2014 8:48pm GMT
    It seems someone in HR within the NHS is yet again confusing entertainment with leadership development. While a 'a day out for a bit of fun' might be a nice reward for a hard-working group of employees, pretending that it is anything but 'a bit of fun' is an insult to those whose brains have not become atrophied by HR gobbledygook.

    Leadership development is a serious, delicate, and tricky business. It is not to be found in the clutch of stupid vaporware 'experiential courses' such as these but in carefully managed, suited to current experience, real-work job-roles into which those who are considered potential leaders might be observed 'in action'. You don't 'learn' leadership suited to an organizational context from mucking around with jazz instruments, playing drums, or finding your way off Ben Nevis armed with a toothpick and shoelace.

    You show whether you have 'the right stuff' by doing it. How HR designs and develops these kinds of developmental leadership trajectories and observation-based evaluations is a measure of their expertise and strategic input for any organization. This is a world away from these kinds of idiot-brained workplace interventions.

    And for those who commented with a stream of well-meant, sound-bite, metaphors. Stop right now. The concepts of which you speak (complexity, adaptive strategy, innovation, insight, collaboration, etc) are sound and valid. But you don't get to understand these from playing musical instruments. These concepts are themselves, complex, multi-faceted, and sometimes completely irrelevant in some decision-making and managerial contexts. By all means entertain some exposure to these as part of a designed development process, but metaphor is not always conducive to thinking about practical problems.

    For those decision-makers reading this (if any), I leave it to Joseph Raelin and Henry Mintzberg to provide a more formal commentary and explanation why =organizational= leadership development is about 'doing it and showing it', and not playing parlour games, musical instruments, orienteering, or being asked to jump through other specious HR hoops:

    Raelin, J. (2004). Don't bother putting leadership into people. Academy of Management Executive, 18, 3, 131-135.

    Mintzberg, H. (2004). Leadership and management development: An afterword. Academy of Management Executive, 18, 3, 140-142.

    And yes, in the grand scheme of things, £5,000 is a trivial amount of money. But the pretence that what it is spent on is somehow considered 'leadership development' is what really causes concern because if those who can spend money on this nonsense really think this way, what happens when it comes to bigger budget tomfoolery?

    And I haven't even touched upon the lack of any coherent 'evidence-base' for these kinds of employee interventions!
  • Haider Imam
    Haider Imam
    Mon, 6 Jan 2014 4:41pm GMT
    As Michelle Obama put it, “There’s probably no greater example of democracy than a jazz band: individual freedom but with responsibility to the group.” Just what the doctor ordered for our beloved & beleaguered NHS, I think... And a good example of adopting a progressive 'growth mindset,' rather than being stuck in the same old, predictable, unsuccessful patterns of the past. **Applauds**
  • Chris Hickey
    Chris Hickey
    Mon, 6 Jan 2014 3:51pm GMT
    As a former NED in the NHS I think this sounds like an excellent and innovative approach to helping managers become more creative and resourceful. Too much Management Training is dull and uninspired and uninspiring. I bet they really enjoyed the session and it will remain with them for many years to come as a stimulating learning experience.

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