Talented leaders/managers are a sine qua non of every Health Care System.

Several years ago I had the opportunity to witness the Belgian Health Care System employed as a starting Consultant. Soon after commencement of employment I realized that the Department had all skills and expertise required to provide an excellent care to patients but was not able to identify well established, standardized and recorded standard operating procedures (SOP) for the postoperative management of patients. A common language amongst nursing, junior medical and senior medical staff members.

Obstacles to overcome:

1) Persuade team members of the need of such SOP in an established practice

2) Engage senior team members with established ideas and habits

3) Engage all 3 core teams of the Department (nursing staff, junior doctors, senior medical staff)

The need was obvious but the message was challenging. Being a fresh member and not the most senior I spent a period of time preparing an appropriate business case tailored to the needs of the individual system based on evidence (preparation and tailor made presentation).

I therefore identified and approached individual talents within all 3 teams who were respected amongst peers, were influential but also had the skills and the vision to identify innovation (identify talents).

I offered a period of consultation, allowing the case to become embedded, listening and not just hearing comments and suggestions (team work, sense of ownership, opportunity to be heard).

The most critical step was assignment of segments of the business case to individuals from all different teams with short cycles of auditing and insisting on deadlines (team work, healthy competition amongst team members, global engagement and ownership, team building, delegate responsibilities while coaching and keeping control, identify and employ different styles of leadership).

At the conclusion of the business case and the successful implementation of SOP an official presentation was arranged in Hospital. It allowed other teams to witness a good piece of work, offered a well-perceived recognition to all who worked hard for the completion, teased out the talents within the team and awarded the enthusiasts and innovators of the team. The end result was rewarding as the business case was completed in time, was accepted by all team members as it had several individual flavors, and left a sense of satisfaction and pride to all those who had worked with passion and enthusiasm (sense of ownership, address and reward the talents, share good ideas and market them to a wider audience, keep talents engaged).