NHS Startup Part XI – Cultivating Criticism

I am receiving more and more feedback about my service.  Both from patients and the NHS staff using my service.

Today was the first time that I had the full backing of the NHS employees using my service.  Before today, I have just felt like a crazy outsider trying to do something ridiculous.  Now that there is momentum all of a sudden it feels like people are queuing up to tell me their thoughts and insights.

NHS staff, in my opinion are treated very poorly.  It is not the type of organisation you should work for if you are a smart creative.  People are told that they should whistle blow in the NHS, be open and be honest, but when they do they end up being persecuted.  This results in a culture of employees keeping their head down, doing their job and trying to stay out of trouble.

It’s this same fear that I have had to overcome when I started my project.  I had to put myself in the spotlight and say “I’m willing to accept full responsibility for something I have no authority over”.  I’ve learnt on this short journey of mine that no one will ever give you authority to do anything that is important to you.  But you can accept full responsibility for something you have no authority over and just do it.

I can now see this same overcoming of fear occurring in the staff using my product.  I am continually asking them to criticise my product, asking what we should do next, how to make things better, why we should take one direction instead of another.  I’ve been relentless.  I drive for two hours every week to meet the staff, I ring constantly and keep asking for feedback.  I’ve refused to accept good feedback, all I’ve cared about is what isn’t working and what needs to be improved.

I think I’ve finally gotten through to them now.

They’ve finally opened up to me and now know that they are 100% safe when giving me any constructive feedback they think is relevant.  It doesn’t matter how small or how silly it may seem, I want to hear it!

I feel that finally these employees are absolutely behind what I’m trying to do.  They can finally see what I’ve been talking about all along and now they want to come along for the ride and be part of something that could make things much better.

It was just such an amazing experience today.  When I met the staff we just literally stood around talking about how we can tackle the next obstacle and what needs to be done, how and why.  It’s incredible as we were all just super focused on solving this problem and becoming the best in the world at this.

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