One aligned vision

Alignment in any organisation or team is vital to delivering success, writes Karen Middleton, as she explores how our strategic aims are connected 

CSP chief executive Karen Middleton
CSP chief executive Karen Middleton

Alignment means everyone is pulling in the same direction, with a common purpose and vision that is underpinned by a strategy. I’m interested by this month’s Frontline and how what can appear to be quite different and divergent subjects do align under our strategy.

Once again, we celebrate Black History Month and draw attention to our equity, diversity and belonging work, but equity is also a feature of our loss of rehab space campaign and our physiotherapy workforce projects.

Easing the Pain, our excellent online report, highlighted how the lack of rehabilitation affects a higher proportion of the population facing systemic discrimination and marginalisation. One aspect of delivering high quality rehab is the importance of space to do the job effectively. And far too much space was lost during the Covid-19 pandemic and in response to the pressures on A&E during winter periods. 

Lessons learnt are that, whilst everyone needs to be flexible and pragmatic during the unprecedented scenario of a pandemic, it is important to be clear about what ‘temporary’ means and then hold others to account. Secondly, it is clear now that we have such a ‘flow’ issue in the acute sector, that to prioritise access into the acute sector (A&E) over the route out (rehab) creates a dangerous situation.

When it comes to the physiotherapy workforce agenda, the link with rehab is clear, but equity, diversity and belonging is also present. This is seen in our work with universities on their curriculum and the student experience, our anti-discrimination training for our workplace representatives, the development of CSP equality representatives, or our leadership development work. 

With our strategy, we started with a clear vision of what it will look and feel like if achieved. I recommend setting out a strategy to get to that vision, with detailed short-term plans that align with each other and the strategic aims. It’s then important to ensure colleagues’ personal objectives also align – that sense of us all being on the same page – because holding to account is critical.

Alignment means that no matter what someone’s role is, their work is about achieving the vision. For the CSP, this means we are all engaged with helping to achieve our three big strategic priorities. 

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