Culture and leadership

Theme 5: Exceptional leadership and a consistent culture are the key enablers for embedding the right values and beliefs throughout the organisation.

The need to exhibit system leadership capabilities in adult social care is critically important. The breadth of responsibilities ranges from statutory accountability for the safeguarding of an individual, to creating and delivering strategic multi-million-pound partnerships with providers which have a profound long-term impact on the wellbeing of the local population. 

Budgetary pressures are unprecedented, and many of the levers of budget control are dispersed through the workforce, which can be making hundreds of micro-commissioning decisions each week. 

Optimising the population outcomes across a wider health and social care system is vital in a sector where the optimum solution for an individual partner may not lead to an optimum system-wide solution, nor the best outcome for individuals with care and support needs. Great joint leadership teams look at maximising the long-term outcome for the individual first, mobilising all their stakeholders behind this and as such moving risk, resource, and reward within and across organisational boundaries.

This section identifies three key principles that culture and leadership are built upon within optimised systems.

Key findings:

  1. Clarity of an organisational belief system
  • ~Excellent leaders clearly and confidently convey and embody a set of beliefs and values rooted in maximising long-term independence and quality of life.
  • ~Similarly, optimised systems encourage and support cross-organisational working and positive team-based risk taking, and critically analyse the success of these endeavours.
  1. Recognising the strength and development opportunities within the workforce
  • ~Great social care leaders recognise the opportunities to develop their workforce to be the fully rounded managers and leaders required to optimise such complicated systems.
  • ~Great social care leadership teams embrace diversity and welcome individuals from varied backgrounds, including those who may not previously have pursued a career in social care, and create a management team who are representative of the population they serve.
  1. Mobilising the broader organisation
  • ~Building productive partnerships is a core capability within the leadership of social care and local authorities recognise their unique role within a place as a catalyst and facilitator in bringing together partners from different parts of the system and unite them around a common set of beliefs and values.