Author: Chris Woodgate, ISAS officer for the SCoR and RCR
Do you remember the old joke “can you tell me how to get to ....” answer “well I wouldn’t start from here”; the collective groan probably means I haven't started the New Year on a high?
However, whether we like it or not, we do have to start from where we are and not the ideal ‘nirvana’ we all dream about.
How about starting from where we are but with renewed optimism, vigour and determination and considering that actually we are ‘better than the sum of our parts’.
This is easy to say and harder to do with the increasing pressures on time, budgets and targets; so how do you reclaim your positive perspective and be ready to face the year ahead?
Who do you admire, what leadership traits do you want or would you like some perspective glasses, along with a step stool to see the way ahead?
Taking time out for you is hard but strategic thinking is best done when you have some space in which to think.
How can you share your load, access support so that you can gain perspective and the clarity needed for the ever changing environment you work in?
Do you have a mentor/buddy or active discussion with your senior team to get collective wisdom?
WHY am I asking these questions – well, I have walked in your management shoes and it is lonely and difficult at times but not impossible.
January brings about the new revised ISAS standard and one of the key components is the new Leadership and Management domain.
The standards are there to help you, to point you in the right direction, to light the path (which is often booby trapped) so you lead safely and competently.
Reflection is not a bad thing and history has much to teach us, so a New Year can be about a ‘new start’ looking forward; but if it is based on the learning of the past then some of the pitfalls can be avoided which make managers lives so much easier.
Given a choice as a senior manager would I have started a new year from the position I was often in – NO; but then we often don’t have a choice, we can only start from where we are.
The new standard will help you ‘see’ where you are, the standard review has resulted in an overall reduction of standard statements and criteria, reduced duplication and should improve clarity; learning from the past, your feedback etc to ensure that the standards are fit for the dynamic environment you now work in.
WHY not have a look and make it a tool for your own reflection and practice, you may find out you and your services are ‘better than you thought you were’; perhaps enhance your positive perspective and start off on the pathway to seeking ISAS accreditation, it may not be as challenging as you think.