As some people may have already seen I had a bit of a rant on Twitter last weekend (what is the term for that by the way?) having just read the NHS Commissioning Board’s “Phase 2 OD strategy update”.
It is rare to find a 33 page document that makes such little sense or conveys such little meaning. I just couldn’t let it pass without comment. Now, I realise that every profession has it’s own technical language and for very good reason, occasionally may need to use it to adequate express a particular technical challenge or solution. God knows, I have in my time produced documents that use complex and unusual language, particularly in the academic context (read some of this if you don’t believe me!)
But what was most difficult about the NHS CB “Ph2 OD strategy update” was the total lack of coherence between the style of the document and Commissioning Board’s stated aspiration to be “lean, light and enemy of red tape”. This verbose, jargon laden piece of management-speak is simply unnecessary. Frankly, it’s a waste of public time and money. Let me give you a bit of a flavour of it (along with my best attempt at translation). You can be the judge.
“To organise around and mobilise all our capabilities around the clinical outcomes domains as vehicles to deliver transformational change” = everyone focussing their efforts on making a noticeable difference to the things that patients, their carers and families think are most important?
“We anticipate that the phase two strategy will continue to operate in the context of complex transition, but with the shift from structural transition to behavioural transition” = it’s all a bit of a chaotic mess but we need to stop rearranging the deckchairs and start doing some things very differently.
We will also develop a longer-term diversity strategy, and a more robust attraction strategy = Nope, sorry – I can’t work this one out at all!
Finally, the NHS CB tells us that “we recognise that 1 April 2013 is a symbolic date (April fool’s day in fact – any irony in that I wonder?) and it is important we mark this new beginning with all our employees. Discussions are underway across a number of directorates about how we can do this in an authentic way, engaging employees, signalling how the NHS CB will be different, and reinforcing our purpose, vision and values” – Well, I for one will be watching the way that you use language as one measure of that change – or should I say “behavioural transition”.