Performing The Heart of Care (Compassionate Care conference presentation)

Here’s a link to a PDF of the presentation I gave at the Compassionate Care conference at Teeside University in April. The presentation develops on some of the points I made in earlier talks I gave in Toronto and Tasmania with regards to our attempts to practice kindness, compassion, and healing care in culturally unsustainable and toxic environments. The programme of the Compassionate Care conference is below. McCann The Heart of Care Teesside 2015    

Culture(s) in Sustainable Futures (Helsinki) conference proceedings

All the material related to the Culture(s) in Sustainable Futures conference (Helsinki, 6-8 May 2015) is now available at the conference website: Streamed plenary sessions with the keynote speeches: http://www.culturalsustainability.eu/helsinki2015/programme/conference-programme#videos  Students’ reflections from the conference: http://www.culturalsustainability.eu/final-conference/Reflections_2.pdf List of abstracts:  http://congress.cc.jyu.fi/helsinki2015/schedule/proceed.html List of participants: http://www.culturalsustainability.eu/final-conference/COSTconferenceparticipants_all.pdf The final publication of the COST Action IS 1007 “Culture in, as and for Sustainable Development” and the Executive Summary: http://www.culturalsustainability.eu/outputs Hard copies can also be delivered if requested. Feel free to share the information about the publication and the conference in your networks. You may use the media release which is attached and also available at: http://www.culturalsustainability.eu/final-conference/Mediarelease.pdf On behalf of all the conference organisers, Katriina and Sari Culture(s) in Sustainable Futures | 6-8 May 2015 | Helsinki  

Staff burnout could derail NHS efficiency drive and move to 7-day service (Nuffield)

Read the full press release here. “The Nuffield Trust today warns that plans for an unprecedented £22 billion in savings and seven day working by 2020 will not be realised unless the health service reconnects with staff and develops their skills to better meet changing patient needs.In a new briefing, published as MPs prepare to debate the health elements of the Queen’s Speech, the think tank highlights the growing trend of hospitals relying on agency staff, problems recruiting and retaining GPs and a rise in staff sick leave due to stress. The Nuffield Trust argues that these factors, together with the continued effects of holding down staff pay, suggest that disengagement and burnout could hamper progress at a time of immense pressure on the NHS. The warning comes shortly after official figures showed NHS spending on agency workers soaring by 31% in just one year, largely accounting for an £800m hole in hospital and community service finances.”

Cultural Climate and Culture Change

The core of the work of Hummingbird is that cultural climate is the key driver of behaviour, expectations, analytic frameworks, and quality of relationship within organisations.The most important dimension of an organisational culture might be characterised as its “cultural climate”, or, in shorthand, the personality of an organization. The cultures of organizations differ in the way that each person has a different personality, that is, a dynamic pattern of variation in attitude, behaviour, and social interaction that tends to be consistent over long periods. The better you understand the personality of your organization, the better you will be able to respond to the challenges it faces.To speak of “a cultural climate”, then, is to speak of the dispositional quality of a particular organisational culture, considered in comparison to other organisational cultures or to other times or places within the same organisation. In colloquial terms, the cultural climate of an organisation here means, “what has tended to happen, what tends to happen, and what will tend to happen in a particular organisation (specified by location(s) over a designated time).“Culture change” is the process of actively intervening to change the cultural climate of an organisation, and supporting that process by way of

Thinking About “Culture”

“Culture” can be a very confusing term. People use the term in so many ways. At its most empty and rhetorical, “culture” can be used as a catch-all term to express positivity, and aspiration, without people actually saying what they mean when they use the term. At its most specific, “culture” can mean the everyday details of our lives, down to the clothes we wear and the food we eat. In the spaces in between, the meaning of “culture” tends to rely heavily on the perspective of the person speaking, and on the richness of their imagination or the restrictions of their personal or political agenda. For me, “culture” refers very simply to what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen. This is deliberately broad – it is important to not automatically exclude anything from our understanding of culture as a general concept. This then provides a comparative baseline, against which it is possible to make sense of the diverse meanings and rhetorics of the term. To what extent does someone’s meaning of “culture” diverge from this broad sense of it? Is a particular understanding of “culture” only limited to what has happened, what is happening, and what

Self-care and Enclosure

Self-care isn’t impossible in culturally unsustainable environments of enclosure (difficult, even toxic working environments), but it does tend to be rendered unlikely, unless you make ready, strengthen your sense of presence and resolve, and clarify what’s important to you before entering the arena.  When all around you is swirling, it’s important that you don’t start swirling too. You can go into it convinced that all will be well, that the integrity of your ego and confidence will remain intact. Some people go the other way, actively wanting their personalities to be displaced, dissolved, and reformed, but the consequences of that can be disastrous. People work in difficult environments for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes it’s because they love the buzz, the conflict, and the drive. That stress can get addictive. Sometimes it’s because they feel like they have no option but to, on account of financial necessity. Sometimes it’s out of a sense of family loyalty. Whatever the reason, the most difficult work environments often shroud their cultural unsustainability through high employee turnover. Staying in a difficult environment for a number of years will grind anyone down, even if you rise to the so-called top of the pile. Sometimes it’s as simple as your adrenal system

The 2015 Behavioural Finance Forum

I won’t be able to get over to it myself, but tomorrow morning (8am – 10am) there is a very interesting Culture Change event happening in London, the 2015 Behavioural Finance Forum: “Since the financial crash of 2007 and 2008 there has been huge pressure for reform and change in the culture of the financial services industry – and how it recruits, rewards and motivates its people, how it treats its customers, and how it communicates with its shareholders. The Forum will bring together thought leaders from the leading financial and professional services companies, universities, business schools and the media, to discuss and debate: A war for talent: why recruitment models need to change Culture change in action: the balance of ethics, risk and profit Serving, not selling: culture change and customer relationships Big Data tsunami: HR, technology, change” For more information and some interesting Culture Change resources, visit:  http://www.behaviouralfinanceforum.com

Free conference 10th June: Towards a Wellbeing Framework for Northern Ireland

From 2013-2015 The Carnegie Rountable on Measuring Wellbeing in Northern Ireland developed a report with seven steps to improving wellbeing by developing and delivering a wellbeing framework for Northern Ireland. You can read the Carnegie Roundtable report by clicking here. Now the Carnegie UK Trust is organising a conference to discuss how to place wellbeing at the heart of governance in Northern Ireland. The event is for everyone who is interested in improving wellbeing in Northern Ireland – citizens, volunteers and staff. It is for those working in the public, private and community and voluntary sectors. The event combines sessions with experts and politicians with workshops to explore wellbeing and help develop the wellbeing framework further. The conference takes place at Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast on Wednesday 10th June 2015 from 10am – 4pm. It is free but registration is required – go to Eventbrite to book your place.

Gentle Method: from actor training to culture-change leadership

Draft, please only cite the published version in the May 2015 edition of the International Practice Development Journal (www.fons.org)  when it comes out. Last September I presented a keynote on healthcare and culture change at a Practice Development conference in Toronto. On the day before I left I spent an entire day auditing a marathon six-hour session at Miriam Laurence’s Integrated Acting System studio. I was grateful to experience a working studio before setting up my own, which I did in January 2015. I established the Hummingbird Actors Studio in Bangor, Northern Ireland, because I love acting, theatre, and film. Another reason is because we need to start experimenting with new ways of thinking about leadership training for long-term culture change. As I’ll explain, actor training is for me one of the best places to start reimagining what helpful training might look like. What strikes me while watching actors in training is the emotional courage they bring to performance, their commitment to vulnerability in the cause of learning. I taught for 17 years at university level, and the height of expectation for students was always that such levels of courage and vulnerability might be a destination for them. Possibly. Occasionally. Hopefully. For

The He(art) of Care: Changing the Cultural Climate Equation (full text)

This is the text of a keynote address for the Enhancing Practice 14 conference for Practice Development in Toronto in 2014.         The audio recording of the talk is available here: http://soundcloud.com/dr-anthony-mccann/the-heart-of-care-changing-the-culture-change-equation. *** I’d like to thank Nadine and the organisers for the invitation to speak here today. If keynotes are anything like giving a speech at a wedding, I suppose I’m obliged to start with a joke. Two fish in a tank. One turns to the other and says, “How do you drive this thing?” My relationship with healthcare goes back a long way. I was born in a hospital. And I wouldn’t have been born at all if my Dad, a young seminarian training for the priesthood, hadn’t fallen in love with the good-looking nurse that tended to him while he was waiting for an operation. And on behalf of my family, thanks to all of you who work in hospitals as nurses and doctors. You’re awesome. My wife is chronically ill and lives with a myriad of complications that come with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder, and epilepsy, and we have two kids under two. Without the support of health workers our