High performing NHS boards

A recent study reported in the HSJ suggests that the best performing boards have a number of things in common.

  • They have had CEOs in post for more than 4 years
  • They have more women on the boards
  • Their non-executive directors (NEDs) contribute more
  • They are probably a specialist or tertiary trust

The study by Manchester Business School looked at published data including board reports and focussed on three factors to identify high-performing organisations.

These were: customer experience, business performance, and employee satisfaction.

They identified organisations which scored in the top 20% in the last two or three years and from those selected the ones which were high performing on at least two of these factors.

NB Only 3 organisations scored high on all three and interestingly none of the Acute Trusts scored high on employee satisfaction.      

 It makes sense that stable leadershipin organisations, particularly in turbulent times, helps them plan strategically and develop a positive organisational culture. Research by Hay shows that leadership style contributes significantly to an organisation’s climate or culture. And Hackman’s research on teams shows that generally speaking (R&D excepted) stable teams perform better as well.

 

Having more women on boards has been shown to have a positive impact of performance and profit and recent research suggests that women have a constructive influence, probably through their emotional intelligence and social skills, on raising the collective IQ of a team.    

There are obvious problems in this kind of research, as the authors note, but the findings feel intuitively right.
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