Lessons for leaders from a front-line healthcare team

CIS Team Charter

I couldn’t fail to be impressed by a slide in a recent presentation by the community health director at the NHS Trust that I have chaired for the past eight years.  It described the Team Charter developed in a programme of mutually agreed behaviour workshops in the Hammersmith & Fulham Community Independence Service in which community nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and care workers support patients to keep them out of hospital.  They are a high performing team delivering a great service, facing challenging demands, working with constrained resources, juggling priorities, and taking difficult decisions.  The Team Charter illustrated above speaks for itself.  It may look like a “motherhood and apple pie” recipe, but it is no worse for that.  And, what’s more, it provides a lesson for teams and their leaders everywhere.

A “Big Read” feature in the Financial Times recently (23rd February 2023) described how the isolation of Vladimir Putin within the Kremlin and narrowness of the circle he consults contributed to his disastrous decision to invade Ukraine and subsequent conduct of the “special military operation”.  Pictures can paint many thousands of words, but if there was anything to illustrate the need for the Kremlin to take a lesson from the healthcare workers of Hammersmith & Fulham, the photograph below, used by the FT to accompany its article, does the job.

Putin with foreign minister Sergei Lavrov - a clue to why we're in the mess we're in?
Putin with foreign minister Sergei Lavrov – would they benefit from a team charter?