A trap to catch us all
November 26, 2018
By guest blogger Dr David Zigmond
John Burton’s blog of January 2st again takes to task the CQC’s senior executives. He finds more examples of clumsy mismanagement and their avoidance of discussing the consequences.
This is a familiar pattern throughout our welfare services. As a veteran NHS doctor, I have seen this increasingly in the NHS. In particular, large organisations know how to game the system; smaller ones tend to be more vocational and nakedly honest, so are more likely to be found ‘inadequate’, taken into ‘special measures’, or even closed – all these despite clear objections from those who know and use the service most.
John Burton has long been doubtful that our culture of ever-more regulations, management and inspections is helpful or even sustainable. Most experienced practitioners strongly agree. Notably, the system’s few defenders are its administrators.
Yet, when I have managed to talk to these senior officers, they too are stressed, entangled and compromised by this system: they are caught in a publicly accountable, but doomed, mission. That mission is to provide machine-like efficiency to our welfare services. Why is this doomed? Because humans are not machines, and to get the best from one another in complex care we cannot simply command-and-control by increasing our use of sticks and carrots.
A good system is one that is likely to bring out the best in us, while a bad system does the reverse. This is true whatever the claimed intent of the system: the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Our lives are now largely dependent on brilliant machines that we do not understand but which we command-and-control, usually by finger-tapping, to immediately grant our wishes. Magic!
Adopting the same mindset with humans in complex relationships and activities is leading us into a swamp of foolish misunderstandings. John Burton’s catalogue of CQC follies provides excellent examples of this cultural trap – to manage our fellows like machines.
This trap can catch us all alike: practitioners, clients and managers…
If you want to read more try Playing the ball not the player, on my Home Page, http://www.marco-learningsystems.com/pages/david-zigmond/david-zigmond.html Letter 95.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.