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jan filochowski

Pit-stop hearts and the imperfect manager

Great Ormond Street Hospital's chief executive and inspirational leader is namely Jan Filochowski. Jan has advised various national organisations, including the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit and the Department of Health, on service change implementation in the NHS, and been chief executive at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust since 2007. He is also author of Too Good to Fail? Why Management Gets it Wrong and How You Can Get it Right.

Speaking to the New York Times, Jan discussed how unusual Great Ormond Street is. Jan described how, when operating on children’s hearts, they needed to get the time of the heart being "offline" down to the smallest time possible. Determined to get the time down from 9.5 minutes, Great Ormond Street brought in Ferrari and McLaren pit-stop experts, who scrutinised the procedures and managed to get the time down to an impressive 8 minutes.

Jan is also inspiring because of his frankness about good leadership – something that's been on our minds since we discussed it at the Maritime HR Forum conference in June. Jan told the New York Times “the imperfect manager is the good manager and the manager that will get better. If you are imperfect, you accept that you're on a road…and you'll make mistakes on your way."

Jan also said that "management is about understanding. If you don’t understand detail, you get the wrong big picture, and you're unlikely to make the right decision."

As founders of the OSCAR (Ocean and Shipping Community Advancing Children's Health and Research) campaign Great Ormond Street means a great deal to us at Spinnaker. You can read about the excellent fundraising progress of the OSCAR campaign here.

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