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Tension 4 – permission vs stepping in

This blog is part of a series of reflections by the Re-imagining Healthcare SIG. Here Matthew Bell shares his thoughts about the fourth of six 'tensions' that surfaced during his efforts to create organisational change.

It’s a bit like being a vampire. Make sure you have the permission of the organisation, team or individual to enter their space and explore more deeply what makes them tick, what challenges they face. I unconsciously assumed that coming into the organisation through a recruitment process was in effect an invitation to have the conversations I wanted to. I didn’t check at each stage, with each team or individual whether it was ok to carry on with the conversation. At times I perhaps lacked the necessary permission to have the conversation I wanted. Just asking ‘is it alright if we have a conversation about…’ or similar means that actually this can be done very simply.

But this as a CEO, or anyone in the organisation, you surely have to assume a level of permission to enter conversations you feel are in the best interests of the whole organisation and the people that make it, and more importantly the people whose lives you aim to improve. So at times you may not have the permission, but you have to carve it out because you feel it is best?

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