I had a chat with Nathan, my barista today. We were talking about Oakland Athletics and their twenty win streak. “You will NEVER change baseball” declared the pundits of the day. But Oakland did, simply by changing the way they identified talent. The same lesson has the prospect of changing healthcare. By changing the way we identify and grow talent, amazing things will be possible. Let me give you an example: I arrived in Recovery one Friday and saw that it was going to be the usual Friday shitfest, only worse. Two minutes later I was greeted by my Nurse Unit Manager with the words: “You’re in charge in Recovery today,” upon which she turned on her heels and retreated to her office for the day. I looked at my staff allocation and assessed our skill mix: 4 seniors and five juniors. With me in charge that left 3 and 5 to do the clinical work. “Bethany, I'm delegating you 'in charge'. I’ll be just here if you need me.”

We developed a game plan to accommodate the likely pressure points of the day. I paired each junior with a senior and allocated each team to one of the four corners of the room, three recovery bays each. Bethany was a recent recruit to our nursing team.

Coming to us from the Plastics Ward, she had good natural organisational skills.   We did no more than follow the game plan and use mentorship to add confidence and value to each of our developing staff members.

In doing so, each of them rose to the challenge splendidly. On that day, Bethany in particular smashed our difficulties out of the ball park by exercising a talent that came easy to her.  What a day to score a home run! Pete!

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