Leadership in a Crisis

Critical Learning for WHEN it's Critical


Out of Necessity… Preparedness!

Firstly, I am not in any way an alarmist individual but I am alarmed. I remember watching so sadly, the video of the tsunami hitting the coast of Japan, as people stood and watched it approach, despite the warnings and alarms, even taking pictures (seeing it coming but not realising that or quite how they were caught up in it themselves), only to find themselves in the most dire of circumstances whilst not knowing what to do. If you think that this is a terrible analogy to start off this description with, because lives were lost at the hands of that disaster, then reflect on this: on 16th February 2016, it was announced that England experienced the sharpest increase in year-on-year death rate since the 60s, the unexpected element of which literally dwarfs Japan’s tsunami death toll. Perhaps the difference is that their crisis was so sudden, when you could say that ours is not, after accelerating rates of failure in financial stability, A&E timelines, social care access, cancer referral to treatment times, elective care and a collapsing primary care infrastructure. The focus may be on finance but the effects are on health and healthcare, not just the national bank balance. And this is the tremor, not the earthquake.

I have spent the last decade writing and pushing to encourage an intelligent debate on what the data and conditions were suggesting is a ‘when’ and not an ‘if’ and you could say that I have failed. What I do know, is that to continue to do ONLY that, is to effectively say “I told you so” without engaging in the more valuable use of time – readiness and how to lead in a crisis. I certainly know that this is what is now necessary. The bigger question is do you? And do you know how urgent it is becoming?

Returning to my starting point, I am not alarmist. If you feel that I am being then I am going to challenge you by asking:

  • Is that based on properly examining the underlying data, or are you just hoping?
  • Have you read the policies that virtually state what is happening?
  • Do you understand the Budget changes that literally give one last throw of the dice at the expense of almost guaranteeing collapse in 2018?
  • Do you understand or even know about the implications of Place-based Planning?

I am not in any way trying to be argumentative or even rude. You almost certainly couldn’t know the full extent of what is happening or why. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening and my concern is that you might be stood in the middle of it, camera in hand, not realising that ‘observing’ it unfold without being adequately prepared has huge consequences. I am trying to help but I also understand that a fair bit of human psychology is pitted against me… and more importantly against you.

However, if you are able to put it aside, I’d really like to help and if you think that’s worth the gamble, you may be enlightened. It’s not even a gamble because I have already said I am providing a guarantee too.

Welcome (if that’s the right phrase under the circumstances) on board…


Andrew Vincent
Partner, Academyst LLP

£65 + VAT for Learning Life Insurance Policy – Understanding the Programme

This isn’t really like any other programme because you can’t just passively learn (you can, but I strongly suspect you won’t) and collect your certificate at the end of it. There’s a process through which I’ll facilitate you as a group, resulting in high awareness, a higher functioning intellect response and a great deal of preparedness. In truth, we should have started it earlier but it would have been even tougher getting you to engage. Now it’s pretty unignorable (although plenty will, all the same). What we’ll do is:

  • Deep, rapid immersion into the unfolding crisis – data, policies and all – to ensure you understand what is happening and how
  • Facilitated exploration, to help you overcome our natural tendencies towards denial and defensive reasoning – natural but disasterous
  • Understanding how to control your natural emotional responses – crucial to effective leadership of self and others
  • Development of knowledge and insight into how to lead in a crisis
  • Exploration of different scenarios and how to best prepare for them, approach them when in them and lead through them to safer waters
  • Whatever else you feel is important as the programme unfolds

Consequently, we need to unfold this as a group and that’s why we are recruiting only until year end and then concentrating very much on the programme and the preparation. I’ll be able to get you started immediately though and so the sooner you do sign up the more time you’ll have to do it (and yourself) justice. I would definitely like to get the initial cohort through this before a true hard Brexit as this really is a potential crisis point – not specifically for healthcare but healthcare has the potential to be an inadvertent casualty.

Costs & Content

Only £65 – really?

Yes, really. Hopefully you recognise that this is so not about the fees. It’s a genuine desire to ensure as many are ready and equipped with a very unique set of leadership skills and preparation strategies as is possible in a short space of time. It’s enough to cover costs with a bit to support the work but not enough that anybody would miss the money or feel that they couldn’t invest it in themselves personally. I know some will be cynical. That’s OK. Don’t do it then.

Key Programmes

There’s a huge degree of learning already but some of the more important aspects of the programme will be what you reflect and and what’s discussed. I am also going to be producing and adding a whole series of bite-sized programmes based on understanding specific risk factors or concepts that I think are useful. I am going to do this with two aims in mind:

  • Expanding the understanding around specific complex issues that have significant adverse potential
  • Providing a series of ‘how to’ snippets that expand key principles AND provide a bite-sized reference library for the heat of the moment


Insights – Understanding the Evolving Healthcare Landscape (50+ hours of CPD)

We’ll examine this as the basis for understanding and accepting what’s unfolding and how. It will be challenging but I guarantee you’ll look at literally everything differently as a result and it’s all evidence-based or referenced, not opinion. I will be challenging you to ask yourself what YOU think it means when you are fully armed with all the facts. I’ll augment this with a series of snippets around key topics such as the Budget effect, or Place-based Planning and Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP). Even if literally nothing adverse unfolds, you’ll find yourself in a hugely better position to engage in and face what’s happening around you.

Leadership in a Crisis (6 hours of CPD)

This programme is the backbone of understanding just how to lead in and through a crisis. Armed with this insight and core principles, we can begin the process of preparation in earnest, creating contingent strategies for different scenarios. It will allow us to know how to act and influence when we need it most. Just like Ebola, some of the more difficult things we need to do are BECAUSE they are so time-sensitive and yet that time-sensitivity is one of the things that leads to paralysis and under-action. We’ll look at how to overcome those sorts of challenges, create clarity in the moment and then sensible, steady-handed action.

More than learning

I’ll guide you through the learning programmes but I want to point out that it sits in a collaboration platform that allows us to discuss, debate, clarify, tell war (horror) stories and solve problems. It’s full of documents and models, things you can download and use to do what you want to do. It’s a community, not just a programme, use as much or as little as you need or want. This also means you won’t be alone. I am not going to ‘persuade’ anybody about anything but I will be asking you what things mean, collectively, and as a group, I’ll be encouraging and supporting you to reach consensus – an important concept in a crisis where there are often no clear answers.

Learning format

Most of the actual programmes are video-captured live programmes that have been edited together with the slides to provide a near-classroom experience but with the convenient of ‘on demand’ and bite-sized chunks.

CPD certificates

You can take short tests to demonstrate that you’ve done the learning and you can then download a certificate for each one you do. So, if you want to claim this as study leave, you’ll have a clear and meaningful output to justify that.