Whose Shoes? is all about values – putting the person in the centre… and MAKING IT REAL!

The last few weeks have been busy. I have been running Whose Shoes? workshops demonstrating the new electronic tool, firstly at the fab #KentDigiCare event which I wrote about here and then at an interesting collaborative event at Loughborough University, spanning the East Midlands region and bringing together a plethora of acronym based organisations. To bring together a LETB, CLAHRC and AHSN under one roof can’t be bad!

Seriously, it is wonderful to see health, social care and academia (and hopefully other key ‘integration’ partners, including housing) having a strong will to work far more closely together and to engage deeply with people using services. Similarly, they are starting to recognise the power of  passionate, innovative, grassroots initiatives to make a difference!

My favourite thing in Whose Shoes? workshops is when we have genuine ‘lightbulb moments’.

It can be really exciting when an individual or a group suddenly ‘gets’ it and sees an issue in a new way, invariably seeing it from someone else’s perspective and making powerful connections.

Getting feedback from others similarly brings lighbulb moments for me. It is fascinating that people see the tool I have created and describe it in words I have not really used.

Whose Shoes? is based on the values and attitudes that need to be embedded in health and social care if we are to bring about the transformational, person-centred change that we all crave.

Whose Shoes? is  a change management tool with a difference. The new electronic tool is aligned to the Think Local, Act Personal (TLAP) ‘Making It Real’ agenda, but not defined by it.

It  is underpinned by compassion, person-centredness, creative approaches and has the key aims of promoting independence, self-management and quality of life.

It puts people ahead of process and works across hierarchical or organisational boundaries.

Rather excitingly, Whose Shoes? is popular with both ‘sides’ as a tool to help tease out the ‘real’ conversations that need to happen to break away from traditional, paternalistic, medical model approaches.

In other words… It gets ‘blobs and squares’ talking to each other – really talking, without a pre-set professionally defined agenda!


It promotes leadership at all levels and recruiting for values rather than just competencies. it promotes collaboration and teamwork, which comes in many guises:

It supports the wider social movement, promoting equality, inclusiveness and focusing on people’s strengths rather than deficiencies.

Bringing these threads together and seeing how the thinking aligns and contributes to current thinking on leadership has been fascinating. I wrote a guest blog for TLAP about how, from the beginning, I saw the need to engage people rather than bludgeon the personalisation agenda through from on high.

What is becoming clearer is that Whose Shoes? offers a process:

Process - WSThe Whose Shoes? tools can be used as an iterative process: a programme of change at the right pace to take people WITH you, not leave them behind at the starting blocks.

It can grow to pick up new issues that are important to you as we add new scenarios, additional modules. We are all working as part of a grassroots-led social movement wanting big changes to happen, consistently and quickly. I meet people almost daily who are working towards positive change so any attempt to list them all would feel a little like painting the Forth Bridge. How exciting is that!

Meanwhile, Helen Bevan, NHS Improving Quality Delivery Team, is writing a brilliant series of blogs for the British Medical journal exploring the concept of positive disruption, recognising the importance of both internal / organisational radicals and (us) external radicals.

I am thrilled that she values my work in this context … as well as my strong network of ‘J*DI’ contacts, particularly our wonderful #dementiachallengers 😉

Last week I was very honoured when Helen invited me along to an influential NHS Improving Quality / SCIE meeting, pursuing just these ends…

I’ll leave it to Helen to share the detail in her own time. Suffice to say that, in the words of  Mr Sam Majumdar, an inspirational, passionate consultant surgeon on Twitter,  the future looks Orange:

Some hugely strategic thinking is happening and the reality looms of linking internal and external radicals for change and scaling things up – quickly!

And now I have run out of space to tell you about the
‘Whose Shoes? special event’ we held here in Coventry on Friday
at the NHS Improving Quality HQ.
It will just have to wait until next time… 😉

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About Gill Phillips - Whose Shoes?

Passionate about personalisation in health & social care. Creator of Whose Shoes? - an imaginative approach to helping people work together to improve lives. http://nutshellcomms.co.uk
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18 Responses to Whose Shoes? is all about values – putting the person in the centre… and MAKING IT REAL!

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