Hans F. Hansen

Never stop the prep!

Thanks, as always, for the feedback about “Life in Lockdown” last week’s post, although if I get another sales email that starts with “these are strange times”, then I might go a bit mad.  I am fairly sure everyone knows that times are indeed strange, sometimes they get stranger by the minute!  Lockdown haircuts were a great source of discussion during yesterday’s team hangout (Google’s version of Zoom).

However, this week, I wanted to revisit some of the themes from the previous posts around learning; doing things differently and the “new normal” that hopefully is getting closer every day.  I think we are all agreed that things will never be the same again, at least I hope not – I hope we take the learning from recent events and transform things into a “new and improved” normal.

When hosting the Lead to Succeed sessions, one of the key themes, particularly in Module 5, Leading and Managing the Inspection Process, is preparation.

“Always be prepared”; isn’t that the motto of the Scouts?  Well, it was perhaps a bit tricky to be prepared for what we have been through in recent weeks, but maybe we can start preparing for our new normal now, so we are ready for it when we get there.

What was normal? (Who wants to be normal anyway?)

Normal meant that CQC would visit us every two years(ish) and everyone would breathe a sigh of relief once inspection was over and go back to “normal” for the next two years, until you got that phone call again…  

Module 5 of Lead to Succeed includes an activity that asks managers and leaders to think of the pros and cons of the different ratings (yes, there are negatives to getting an Outstanding rating) and that return to normal I have just described is one of them, which is why “preparation” forms such an important part of module five.

Never stop the prep!

Clearly COVID-19 is something even the best prepared business continuity plan may have struggled with, but I have heard all sorts of amazing stories recently of care workers and teams going above and beyond to support the people they care for.   

Think of it another way, the best preparation for a business, the best business continuity is investing in staff, building trust and integrity throughout the team.  By learning from each other, our successes and mistakes, the whole team grows together and that becomes the new normal.

Those examples of above and beyond need recording; they need capturing because at some point soon, you will be asked to participate in your CQC Emergency Support Framework video call. People are also starting to talk about insurance, claims, investigations; these are all things you need evidence to support your actions and, more importantly, reassure everyone involved that you have been outstanding in your approach.

You know your staff have done amazing things under the current circumstances, you have heard those stories too, but can you share them?  Can you describe with passion how amazing your staff are and what they have done in really challenging circumstances? 

However, this is not really that different from the normal… 

If we are always capturing what we do, how we do it, who we did it with and what the impact was, on a continuous basis, we will always be prepared just as Module 5 suggests.  Although it takes a bit of effort, it is well worth it in the long run.

Continuous learning, along with continuous evidence capturing, is something we will talk about in more detail next week.