Today I saw a tweet advertising the latest NHS leadership, innovation stuff. Here it is. It’s calling on its leaders to be Agents of Disruption:
No, I don’t understand a word of it either.
If you saw an advert for a film called “Agents of Disruption” you’d expect it to be starring Jason Statham. he would whip his shirt off gratuitously in most scenes whilst sorting out several men who sweat too much and have decidedly dodgy accents. You know what you’re getting with Jason.
I suspect you could scour the entire ballroom at an HSJ awards do and not find a single Jason Statham. Their idea of disruption might be ordering the duck and cancelling it for the lamb shank at the last minute.
The poster tells us that before we can become agents of disruption, we must first be prepared to disrupt ourselves. I’ve been trying that all day. I had my tuna on white toast instead of brown. I put my underpants on inside out. I listened to Roger Whittaker. None of it quite worked. I was unable to disrupt myself to any unsettling level.
What irks me about these silly bloody schemes are that they’re dreamed up by shiny, smiley people. Disruption is just not in there genes. Except that it is and they can be terribly disruptive. Whilst all the leaders at NHS England sit down to run their latest FAB innovation up the flagpole, just imagine if they considered the absolute disruption they’ve caused to the lives of so many people by burying the LeDeR report. Four weeks on since it was sneaked out, I know so many people that are still struggling to come to terms with the fact that learning disabled people die on average, 25 years earlier than their non disabled peers. That must be the ultimate disruption – dying 25 years before “your time”.
But there are two worlds. The world of agents of disruption and the world of the LeDeR report and never the twain shall meet. One is playing (although they will claim they are being deadly serious) and the other has to be ignored because it doesn’t sit well with the game.
I’ll end with a “hoist Mark by his own petard” story. Reading the disruption crap this morning, I realised that it was 40 years ago today that I set out with some mates, intent on causing some disruption on the beach at Brighton. In fairness, I did start out on the beach but it got a bit lary very quickly and a group of us retired to a Seafront cafe. We did take over the cafeteria and monopolized the jukebox but it hardly matched the mayhem that was going on outside. I did disrupt the loved up young couple by taking the mickey out of them for putting Boney M on the jukebox but that was about it. I didn’t want to ruin the cut of my two tone suit.
Perhaps there’s a lesson in all of this. Perhaps I’m no Jason Statham and am more suited to a slightly refined disruption agency.