Finding Time to Think

30 Oct 2014

HGI-second-page-v01By Jean Fagan and Kevin Hardy

Acceleration of change and continual change drains people of time to think and reduces their capacity to take stock at a personal level and at a strategic and operational level. Taking the opportunity to create thinking time is critical. But it requires insight and deliberate planning. It also requires discipline. Sir Muir Gray and Kevin Hardy discuss ‘thinking time’

Muir Gray discusses value as not just about improving the patient experience, but also about adding value through leadership. Creating a mental space, removing yourself from the ruck, grabbing time to take stock, think – is critical to leadership resilience and emotional balance in a constant change environment that requires you to be making new decisions and flexible solutions every day.

People have different ways of taking a ‘helicopter view’, lifting up and taking a look from above. Some people do it by getting to work 15 minutes earlier or staying on when others have left at the end of the day. People make choices for which there are consequences. If you choose to stay in the present all of the time, then you run the risk of making the day operational, or you can choose to make 15-20 minutes where people don’t have access to you – make an appointment with yourself.

On a day to day basis these measures can lift you above the maul, but what is essential is to step off the round-about from time to time. Go to a conference, organise international or interstate travel to compare notes with other systems, spend time with a mentor or attend meetings that give you the opportunity to think.

HGI Learning Sets are an example of successfully creating thinking- time for so many executives and senior managers over years. Amongst membership are some of the busiest executives who live constantly in a pressure cooker of decision making, unexpected events and large scale change. They find time to attend their Learning Set meeting because as they describe it “It’s critical thinking time for me”.

We hope that you take the time to view and find it useful, the short conversation between Muir and Kevin:

HGI youtube channel:
Designing the future of healthcare – Leaders, Managers, Administrators :
Finding the Time to Think – Kevin Hardy (HGI) and Prof Muir Gray (3.02 mins):

HGI Apac2014 channel:
Finding time to think:
Designing the future of healthcare – Leaders, Managers, Administrators :