Using simulations and real-time feedback to accelerate the development of shared identity and collaboration for newly formed, multi-agency boards.

Nine newly formed Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBB) who were seeking external support to develop a shared understanding of the major policy challenges, enhanced working relationships between Board Members as well as considering how the Board’s relate to their local councils

Working with management consultants Cap Gemini, Tavistock Consulting ran a joint board development day for all nine HWBBs. The day included keynote speeches from leading figures in health and social care; a simulation exercise and facilitated action-planning to create an annual improvement plan for each HWBB. The space was organised as a mix of a marketplace for networking, with designated areas for each of the boards to occupy. The design of the day also allowed pauses for participants to reflect on and learn from their own experiences of the day. Each board was also assigned an observer from Tavistock Consulting to provide feedback on their group dynamics and performance as a team throughout the day. The TC observers also gave feedback on the board’s interactions at a systemic level that emerged during the simulation.

In just one day, the boards made progress on the following critical issues:

  • Understanding of mutual accountability for commissioning plans and agreement on commissioning and de-commissioning policies.
  • Broadened perspective on political oversight.
  • Clarification of board’s role in relation to major investments or divestments (such as hospital closures).
  • Identified opportunities to trial new planning approaches to integrated pathways
  • Clear 12 month improvement plan for each HWBB
The widespread use of observers was seen as innovative with participants saying that their objective input and feedback helped to encourage creativity and accelerate learning throughout the day.

Relevant expertise