Transforming company culture to reimagine medicine: Novartis professor addresses NHS leaders at the Kings Fund
Jul 26, 2019
Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Amy Edmondson, joined NHS leaders earlier this month at the King’s Fund Ninth Annual Leadership and Management Summit. Behind the scenes, she sat down with Novartis’ Managing Director, Haseeb Ahmad, to discuss the company’s culture transformation, offering thoughts and affirming the company’s push for greater collaboration, listening, learning and sharing.
Cited as one of the world’s top management thinkers by Thinkers50, Professor Edmondson captivated the audience of healthcare leaders with her pioneering management concepts: ‘extreme teaming’ and ‘psychological safety’. She then joined representatives from the NHS Leadership Academy to share her insights with Sustainability & Transformation Partnerships (STP) leads and Integrated Care Systems (ICS) leads, about the leadership qualities and competencies needed to create thriving integrated care. It was truly inspirational stuff.
“A team is aboundedgroup of people who work together over some period of time for a shared goal…you get to know each other, you get to figure out what works...” ‘Teaming’ is “coordinating and collaborating with different people at different times in unpredictable ways.”
Taking the time to talk with Novartis UK’s Managing Director and Country President, Haseeb Ahmad, they discussed how the NHS, and healthcare companies like Novartis UK, could benefit from applying teachings, such as ‘extreme teaming’ to create a more agile way of working versus more traditional approaches to team working. Within the NHS, where teams can disband almost as quickly as they are formed, applying a ‘teaming’ mind-set can create better synergy and higher quality care.
Professor Edmondson also explained the notion of ‘psychological safety’. This is a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking where people can admit to errors, address work-related concerns, and call out inappropriate behaviour. She emphasised that it isn’t about “being nice” nor “a licence to relax”, but instead an “aspiration to do the very best work”. By nurturing a climate of openness, people will have the confidence to bring their full selves to work, engage at a deeper level, and ultimately boost performance.
With messaging that aligns with the Novartis UK culture of being Inspired, Curious, and Unbossed, Professor Edmondson’s parting advice was that each and every one of us has the power to take steps, big or small, to create “a more dynamic, ‘psychologically safe’, and engaged teaming organisation”. We couldn’t agree more.