We all know that the key to culture change is the people – and more precisely the relationships between the people. We specialise in understanding, assessing and then intervening in order to build the relationships that deliver change.
New health policies required greater emphasis on public health and the creation of new primary care organisations. GPs have to develop relationships within the new organisations while at the same time developing new partnerships with other agencies.
Health Authorities and lead GPs with responsibility for bringing the new organisations into being and for promoting public health were not confident that the relationships were in place to develop and implement new strategies. In many locations there was a legacy of difficult personal and organisational relationships. Specific obstacles to progress included:
To provide a baseline assessment of the relationship between lead GPs and Health Authorities in order to find better ways of working together and to develop public health strategies for new primary care organisations.
Lead GPs and Health Authority directors completed a Relational Audit questionnaire. These results, together with an analysis of local public health policy development, formed the basis of a half-day workshop to address issues raised by the audit. The combined results from six sites informed two strategy simulations with a wider reference group. This included mapping the new relationships with partner agencies that were required, the creation of a typology of new organisational forms, and assessing the potential of these emerging organisational forms to develop and sustain the required relationships.
The project offered three main benefits:
The workshops and audit results crystallised concerns about organisational relationships which were impeding progress but which participants had not previously been able to articulate and discuss. Examples of issues highlighted included
“Once the weaknesses in the relationship can be shown in a rational way, you can then plan to improve that relationship.” (Participant comment).Discuss your organisation's needs