Key points

  • In order to ensure that good people and good science are facilitated, rather than overwhelmed, by systems, leaders have to expand their attention from ‘what individuals do’ to ‘how the pieces come together’.
  • High quality care and great performance involves leaders making problem solving, improvement, and innovation part of the regular routine of daily practice.

Professor Steven Spear argues that the way to achieve great operational performance and value has often been misunderstood.

At the Health Foundation, the drive to find new ways of doing things that will improve the delivery of health care is central to our work. Our improvement programmes develop, test and spread new ideas. Our research also strives to identify and share best practice. For a number of years, we have been running leadership development programmes, and working with healthcare leaders on the front line, to strengthen and improve leadership within healthcare.

Health Foundation thought papers are the author’s own views. We would like to thank Professor Spear for his work, which we hope will stimulate ideas, reflection and discussion.

Further reading

Thought paper

Fast discovery

January 2017
Thought paper

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