Charan Sarai - Practice Manager Adviser

Why curiosity will be key for practice managers in 2019

I believe 2019 is the year to be curious. Working within the shifting landscape of primary care, engaging our curiosity is the best way to make informed decisions to help us solve those recurring problems in our practices.


We all know the saying "let’s think outside the box". Isn’t that a bit old hat? Why makes people so convinced they are in a box anyway?

I recently had the privilege of meeting with two colleagues in a beautiful space where creativity took hold. Stepping into a place away from our usual surroundings we found that our everyday distractions vanished. A freedom to share, explore and play emerged – yes, play! It’s OK… haven’t you heard the phrase ‘we played around with a few ideas’? It's a saying that we use a lot at Thornfields!

 

Have you got the gift of curiosity?


We became the revolutionists who asked more questions, dug deeper and investigated more. We knew where to focus our thoughts and curiosity without things getting in the way. We noticed each other and openly shared, eventually getting to that all-important decision-making stage.

I strongly believe that if we hadn’t come together this way then we could have opened ourselves up to the possibility of surprising or even unwanted situations going forward.

Hindsight is great, but hey what about 2019 being the year of foresight. Didn’t Einstein say:

“I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious”


The word passion jumps out to me from that quote. Working at Thornfields I see that the best training sessions are those from people who are passionate about the topics they deliver. Sometimes, we don’t know what we want to know - however, we can always ask in a curious way.

I often say, “I am curious as to why you went down that particular road”. This will invite a conversation. Why do we do things the way we do them? Going forward have people who are curious about how things join up. Just having the knowledge isn’t always enough.

How to think differently and solve that puzzle


Stepping up and believing there is no box to step out of needs someone who can solve the puzzle, but more importantly they need people who are curious about the mystery behind it and are competent to solve that too.

So, are we making a pledge for 2019 to think differently, be unconventional, view things from a new perspective and be creative with what we have to manage? How does that happen in a busy GP Practice? We have the tools to help you!

Firstly, we need to understand how important it is to stop, remind ourselves, take a risk, dabble in something new and have freedom to express.

  • Find a beautiful space to think, this could be away from the office, or just a change that makes you feel more comfortable where you already are. A new environment can fill your mind with new and inventive ideas. For 2019, why not give yourself that challenge to change the environment. 
  • Have a word with yourself- yes, I do often this! I have built up relationships with professionals who have an exemplary work ethic, yet they too have to challenge that inner critic. Make 2019 the year to challenge the nagging voice and recognise any habitual thoughts of fear or self-judgement. We are our own fiercest critics, we need to learn to be our greatest cheerleaders too! 
  • Have a play – YES, it’s OK. Peter Himmelman, author of Let Me Out, points out: “If you encourage yourself to envisage the most positive outcomes, ‘kid-thinking’ can lead to all sorts of new and innovative ideas”.

    Team building or team playing is the way to go, giving us more scope to use the creative left side of our brain. At a recent session delivered in this vein to a whole practice team, it was fascinating to see how the team communicated, thought about the problems and challenges they were faced with, then worked together to solve them. 
  • Grab a book I had an opportunity to read a book recently that was outside my preferred genre. It’s amazing how you begin to nurture a different thinking style. Give it a go, and then write down your learning points. 
  • Remember there is no limit to ‘silly’ ideas because out of them comes that one jewel that hits the mark. Creativity is one of the best tools for success. If you don’t try you die.



Make your mind up to go for it in 2019, enjoy the experience, change the ride if that’s what it takes, but don’t let yourself feel confined to being inside or outside of some box.

Asking the really big questions


Afraid to play? Challenge yourself to trial innovations and try something different if it doesn’t work out the first time - don’t give up.

Have a tendency to become complacent? Do you just stick to your own area of expertise and convince yourself that someone else will pick up the other elements? Don’t we need to ensure that everyone understands that transformation is everybody’s job? It looks at what we are trying to achieve, change, review and rethink.

We all have areas we can improve in, but often the solution is to ask more questions, get back to basics if you need to, let staff have the freedom to be creative, and encourage that step of faith.

Go back to them again and again; ask questions about what they would do in any given situation and open the door to outside help and learning. Curious about thinking out of the box? We say… What box! 


If you are interested in stepping outside the box and developing your own practice leadership skills, why not take a look at award-winning primary care training providers 
Thornfields’ ILM 3 and ILM5 courses? 


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Salary: Dependant on skills and experience

Practice Manager - Chapel en le Frith, Derbyshire

Closing Date: 3 May 2019

Salary: £37.5 - 40K depending on experience

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Closing Date: 29 April 2019

Salary: £32,000 - £38,000 (pro-rata) p/a dependent on experience

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