Charming and persistent organisation seeks similar relationship

Featured article - 16 December 2016
By David Archibald, SCIE trustee

Head-shot of the author, David Archibald, SCIE trustee

The search for a new SCIE chair has led me to consider what we need in a good leader for social care.

For a start they need to be an effective systems leader. The complex challenges we face – constrained resources, increasing need and multiple players – means that we need to look beyond any single organisation for solutions. As one of the few national organisations working across both adults’ and children’s care, SCIE deals with a very broad range of stakeholders. Our future chair will need to build and maintain mutually beneficial partnerships across that range – and we need to seek candidates from a wide field.

A good leader does of course need to have vision – but they also need to value the expertise and knowledge of others in creating and fulfilling that vision. SCIE is committed to using knowledge – as well as innovation – to inform decision-making. We take a broad approach to evidence – recognising the critical contribution of people who use services, their carers, and frontline staff as the true experts by experience.

And an effective leader needs to able to adapt to survive. That’s not about bending to every whim – but about recognising opportunities to influence and keeping your eye on the long game. So our future chair will need to be politically astute and pragmatic, as well as passionate about co-producing improvements with people who use care.

A SCIE colleague was speaking to a local leader who – despite the odds – had successfully engaged local residents and voluntary organisations in discussions with the health sector around long term planning. When asked what was the secret of her success she replied simply “Charm and persistence”. Sounds like a winning combination.

There are very few opportunities like this available in the care sector. So if you’ve got the charm and persistence it takes – or know someone who does – we would love to hear from you.

Closing date for applications: 20 January 2017 Interviews: w/c 6 February 2017

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