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Breaking Through

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					NHS Leadership Centre - Breaking Through Programme


1. Introduction

1.1   Managing for Excellence launched the Breaking Through Programme with the
      intention of establishing a national development programme to support the
      progression of Black and minority ethnic (BME) staff into leadership roles.

1.2   Currently, approximately 5.6% of our managerial workforce is from a BME
      background, but this drops to around 3% at executive director level and to 1% at
      chief executive level. The Vital Connection commits the NHS to achieving a
      target of 7% of its executive board members to be from BME groups by 2004
      (around 235 directors and 47 chief executives).

1.3   In January, 2003 the Leadership Centre ran the Breaking Through Diversity
      Conference, which brought together BME staff at different levels across the NHS,
      HR managers and senior leaders to explore the types of development activities
      that would support the progression of BME staff into senior leadership roles.
      Feedback from the conference, an associated conference survey and 2 project
      reference groups in the north of England and London suggested that BME staff
      were keen to have a development framework that offered modules on achieving
      career success, understanding the leadership role and preparing for promotion.
      They wanted the development programme to:

         Be mainstreamed and feed into other Leadership Centre development
          activity;
         Link into existing development activity targeted at BME staff;
         Incorporate alternative development activity such as job shadowing,
          secondments etc;
         Provide development activity to support groups that consist both of mixed and
          BME-only groups;
         Ensure that providers of development activity are sensitive to/ trained in
          diversity and inter-cultural sensitivity and are able to field BME and women
          facilitators;
         Incorporate profiles of successful BME staff within the NHS and externally;
         Give the opportunity to network with other BME staff;
         Provide access to senior NHS leaders and policy-makers;
         Provide access to formal mentoring schemes; and
         Address feelings of isolation, exclusion, harassment and oppression.


2. Programme Objectives

2.1   The Breaking Through Programme has been established to support the
      progression of BME staff into leadership roles and to improve the diversity of
      leaders at senior levels within the NHS. To support this agenda the programme
      will provide a range of leadership, management and personal development
      modules offering development on personal and career development; cutting-
        edge management and leadership skills; mentoring; networking; and access to
        senior NHS leaders.

2.2     In particular the programme will help participants to:

           Take stock of their career and create clarity around their career aspirations.
           Increase personal confidence and motivation and be encouraged to apply for
            promotion when the opportunity arises;
           Understand their own relative areas of strength and development with
            regards to their career aspirations;
           Develop skills that will increase their current performance and leadership
            capability;
           Engage with the agendas for modernisation, health improvement and clinical
            governance and their responsibilities as NHS managers; and
           Create networks for support and sharing ideas.


2.3     Participation in all or some of the recommended development modules will offer
        the participants:
         The opportunity to produce an individual development plan that will support
            their future career aspirations;
         An understanding of the skills required for effective career development;
         An improved appreciation and understanding of the management/leadership
            challenge in the NHS and the wider agenda of modernisation and health
            improvement;
         The opportunity to discuss and explore how these challenges affect their
            potential to progress and identify ways to overcome the challenges they face;
         The opportunity to explore the specific issues faced by managers who are
            from a BME background; and
           The opportunity to assess their current leadership capability against the
            Leadership Qualities Model and identify ways to bridge any gaps
2.4     Success of the programme will be measured in a number of ways: take-up;
        personal stories and case studies; building the reputation and profile of the
        programme; over time a change in the profile of leaders at different levels in the
        NHS. Evaluation will be led by the Leadership Centre and will focus on
        measurable and achievable outcomes and take into account other factors which
        support or inhibit achievement of these success criteria.



3. Type of development activities

3.1     This framework will not be a standard development programme. Participants will
        develop leadership skills tailored to the NHS from a variety of providers in the
        field of health management and leadership development.

3.2     A number of development techniques will be used. These may include:

           Leadership development modules;


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           Career development workshops;
           Access to experts in the field of diversity, leadership and career success;
           360 degree feedback using NHS Leadership Qualities Model;
           External conferences, seminars and organisation visits;
           Development secondments;
           Job exchanges;
           Using case studies to work through issues and challenges;
           Motivational speakers;
           Peer learning networks;
           Action learning groups; and
           Coaching and mentoring

3.3     The participants will be encouraged to challenge their perceptions of themselves,
        their abilities, their organisations and others in the NHS in order to develop their
        leadership capability.



4. Structure of programme

6.1     The framework should offer flexibility and choice - each module will be “stand-
        alone” which will be more responsive to individual and organisational resourcing
        needs. Structured this way, participants can mix and match modules against
        personal development objectives.

4.2     The programme will be spread over an extended period to take account of
        backfill needs and to ensure minimal disruptions to staffing levels. It is anticipated
        that off-site development will be limited to blocks, with a minimum of half a day to
        a maximum of 5 working days. Priority will be given to the activities that will
        provide value to the most number of participants in as many geographical
        regions as possible.

5.3     The formal development modules described later in the document reflect the
        immediate development needs and issues identified by BME staff and other
        stake-holders. Over time Breaking Through intends to develop a more flexible
        portfolio of activities which combine formal development activities with
        opportunities for work-based development experiences, such as secondments
        and „placements‟ into other organisations, shadowing, and opportunities to work
        on projects outside their normal responsibilities. This will allow BME staff to
        develop practical skills and demonstrable experience, and to raise their profile in
        their own and other organisations. Modules will be evaluated and reviewed on
        an ongoing basis to ensure they are relevant, meet individual and organisational
        needs and incorporate leading edge development delivery methods.


5.      Target Participants

5.1     The national programme is designed to support the development of BME staff
        who are expected to progress in the NHS. The programme is primarily targeted
        at BME staff at senior management/aspiring director level.



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5.2     There is a need for some of the modules to have a “safe space” element and be
        targeted exclusively at those from a BME background. Examples of such
        modules that will require will be those involving an element of self-disclosure
        concerning experiences of racism, sexism, discrimination, harassment and
        oppression. However, some modules will be offered to more mixed groups.


6. Development Modules

6.1     The following describes the type of development activities suggested by BME
        staff across the NHS. However, we would welcome innovative suggestions and
        ideas for activities which will help support this agenda, including mentoring and
        coaching programmes.

6.2     Creating Influence
        The module will focus on identifying key stakeholders and decision makers in
        careers and identifying ways to influence them so that they are supportive of
        individual career aspirations and facilitate development projects. Central to this
        module will be developing the ability in participants to get other people to say
        “yes” to their plans and proposals. Using 360-degree feedback mechanisms,
        participants will assess their own style of influencing within the context of cross-
        cultural communication styles, and learn how to deal with opposition and plan
        influencing approaches more effectively. It will identify strategies for marketing
        oneself to a wider, more influential audience.

        Duration: 3 days

6.3     Assertive Conflict Resolution
        Using real life scenarios, this module will explore how participants can manage
        difficult situations and people at work. This will include developing a personal
        toolkit to deal with discrimination, exclusion and covert forms of harassment. This
        practical course will enable participants to make requests assertively, say “No”
        effectively and cope with difficult situations. It will encourage participants to
        develop assertiveness skills and use problem solving skills to deal with problems
        while maintaining performance at work. At the end of this module, participants
        will be able to build personal defence mechanisms to deal with stress and conflict
        and to use conflict constructively.

        Duration: 3 days


6.4     Building Success Through Self-Empowerment
        This module is a personal development module aimed at self-esteem and
        confidence building through self-insight, self-awareness, building on strengths
        and working on areas that need development and collating feedback. In addition,
        it will consist of sharing success stories of other BME staff within the NHS and
        externally. There will be an opportunity to reflect on personal behaviours and
        decide how behaviour may be adapted in future.

        Duration: 4 days


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6.5     Career Development Workshops
        This programme offers staff an opportunity to identify a specific career goal and
        build a development plan around that goal. It will share leading edge thinking on
        how to get on, what makes some people progress while others struggle to meet
        their aspirations. It will encourage participants to make informed choices about
        proactively developing themselves and their careers.

        Duration: 2 days

6.6     Getting Promoted
        This module will seek to demystify the promotion process and give participants
        the skills required to do well. Activities will include practice/ role playing
        interviews, writing CVs that have impact, common mistakes when filling out an
        application form, the role of different types of personality and ability tests, writing
        a cover letter and presentation skills.

        Duration: 3 days

6.7     Being Successful in a Senior Leadership Role
        This module will use the Leadership Qualities Framework to help participants to
        diagnose their own leadership capabilities. It will incorporate the journeys of
        successful chief executives and the secrets of effective leadership. It will
        examine power structures within organisations and how to navigate progress
        through an organisation.

        Leadership assessment is a critical component of the module and critical
        leadership-specific feedback on how they interact with colleagues and develop
        others will be used. Participants will be encouraged to use this feedback to map
        out a plan to address individual obstacles to leadership and capitalise on inherent
        leadership strengths.

        After the module participants will be assigned challenging work projects within
        their organisation to foster the application of newly acquired leadership and
        management skills. Experienced Chief Executives will provide plenary sessions
        on the challenges they face as leaders.

        Duration: 5 days


6.8     Stepping Up To The Board
        This module will outline the role of a board member. It will incorporate a self-
        diagnostic assessment using the Leadership Qualities Model. Participants will
        hear from experienced board members and have the opportunity to explore the
        difference between senior management and board-level roles. To prepare
        individuals for the role, participants will get practical exercises in exploring the
        external forces of change within the NHS, crisis management and risk analysis,
        clinical governance, modernisation and service improvement, strategic
        management, managing change and communicating with impact.

        Duration: 5 days


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6.9     Introduction to Successful Leadership
        This module will provide an insight into the differences between managers and
        leaders and what makes people successful leaders. Participants will be given
        guidance on the role of senior executives in the NHS and the challenges facing
        the NHS as an organisation. Participants will be given the space to take stock of
        their progression to date and develop a personal and career development plan. It
        will also enable managers to consider their role within the wider framework of
        patient care and enable them to develop their capability as senior managers and
        future leaders.

        Duration: 2 days

6.10    Developing Leadership Through Mentoring
        This module will examine how mentoring can enhance chances of career
        success and promotion. It will also focus on what to expect of a mentor and how
        to acquire and manage a mentor (s). It will cover how to enhance mentoring in
        participant‟s organisations and how being a mentor can enhance their leadership
        ability (particularly for managers with few or no direct reports).

        Duration: 2 days




Tehmeena Ajmal
Programme Lead, Breaking Through Programme
07887 574 187




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