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Programme for 2015-2016

The Queen Margaret Professorial Lectures offer fresh angles on topics of relevance and are designed to appeal to a wide audience.


Workplace learning in nursing and healthcare: leading at the edge

Professor Jan Dewing

The Sue Pembrey Chair of Nursing

Director of The Centre for Person-centred Practice Research

Division of Nursing, Queen Margaret University

Feeding the beast

Constant drain on energies

Sign in, sit, listen


Fuel the fire

Way ahead yet unknown

Stoking up passion

(Haiku 1 &2)

Imagine three types of organisational culture in healthcare; in the first there is a sense that the targets must be met, almost at any cost. It’s compliance all the way and the metrics and measures must stack up - 100% compliance, no exceptions and everyone knows that they must avoid being caught in the red traffic light zone as the consequences will be uncomfortable.

In the second organisational culture there are signs of a shift away from the straight jacket of compliance, for most of the time and on the good days. We can all breathe more easily and imagine something else; and there is talk of different ways to make improvements. Then, as if the panic button has been pressed, we dive back into the compliance culture. Each time we dive down again, it’s harder to pull ourselves up and find the energy to look to the future. In the third organisation, there is the music of innovation playing in our ears most days. The compliance issues are responded to and our vital energies are directed at re-shaping and co-creating a better future for all.

Professor Dewing will argue that, if we continue to invest in feeding the beast that is the target culture, we will never satisfy its hunger. In the meanwhile, we stifle and even starve our own vital energies. Workplace cultures and organisations need a combined excess of vitality, absorptive capacity and capability to fuel the fires of individuals and of innovation. In contrast, most improvement initiatives rely on a classic planned incremental programme approach to implement or “roll out” change. Now, more often than not, we see the major weakness as being a failure to “move” many individuals, and thus meaningful engagement and transformation is rarely achieved.

Central to the concern of achieving movement in ourselves is learning – not training. Professor Dewing will explore the, as yet, largely untapped potential of workplace learning. She will look at the vital role which nursing leaders have in enabling movement in individuals, whilst accepting that i t is virtually impossible to develop a single process that will foresee all possible needs. Professor Dewing will call for nursing and, in particular, nurse leaders committed to continuous improvement and innovation, to strategically sponsor and promote informal social learning, rather than rely on routine investment in yet more training. She calls for “leading learners to the edge” to be a core leadership responsibility.

Book your place now for this Professorial Lecture on:

Thursday 16 th June 2016, 5.30pm for a 6pm start

Halle Lecture Theatre

Queen Margaret University


EH21 6UU

Registration has now closed.

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