“Leadership …and a company’s culture are inextricably interwined.”

Morgan, J.M. and Liker, J.K. (2006) The Toyota Product Development System

For many people who manage healthcare, culture is the most difficult part of the organisation to affect. This is not least because the very concept of “culture” is hard to define. The following is a good summary:

The culture of a group can now be defined as a pattern of shared basic assumptions that was learned by a group as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems.

— Schein, E.H.   (2004)   Organizational Culture and Leadership.  John Wiley & Sons Inc. (p.17).

Forcing change on people is problematic and leads to resistance. Sustainable strategies for effective change require knowledge of the mechanics of change at the level of the individual as well as at an organisational level.

Culture change is brought about by influencing the thinking in an organisation and empowering people to find their own solutions.

Better Value Healthcare can help you in this endeavour.


Healthcare leadership needs to develop a culture that:

  • Focuses on patients

  • Hates waste and loves sustainability

  • Uses technology to best effect

  • Values healthcare systems higher than it values healthcare bureaucracies

  • Values healthcare networks higher than it values healthcare hierarchies

  • Is ready to face the challenges of the 21st Century