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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 28 July 2021

Ann-Marie Streeton, Fleur Kitsell, Nichola Gambles and Rose McCarthy

The improving global health (IGH) programme is a leadership development programme that aims to develop leadership skills and behaviours alongside quality improvement methodology…

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Abstract

Purpose

The improving global health (IGH) programme is a leadership development programme that aims to develop leadership skills and behaviours alongside quality improvement methodology in National Health Service (NHS) employees in a global health setting. Through collaboration, experiential learning and mentorship, the programme aims to produce both vertical and horizontal leadership development in its participants. This paper aims to describe the programme and its impact, in terms of leadership development, in a sample of participants.

Design/methodology/approach

Open coding and thematic analysis of leadership development summaries (LDS) completed by 39 returned IGH participants were conducted. LDS are written on completion of the overseas placement; participants reflect on their personal leadership development against the nine dimensions of the NHS Healthcare Leadership Model (2013).

Findings

These IGH programme participants have reported a change in the way they think, behave and see the world. A development in sense of self and experience in developing team members are the two most commonly reported themes. Adaptability, communication, overcoming boundaries, collaborative working, “big picture” thinking and strategic thinking were also identified.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited by the relatively low number of completed LDS. More work is needed to understand the long-term effect of this type of leadership development on the NHS. Other leadership development programmes should consider focussing on vertical and horizontal leadership development.

Originality/value

This more granular understanding of the leadership skills and behaviours developed and how it is the programme’s design that creates it, has not previously been described.

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