The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic - Peter Drucker

The TurningTides Blog

Ideas and inspiration from Turning Tides

Eileen Moir is the founder of TurningTides and has a wealth of experience leading change and improvement in complex public sector services. Her career includes eleven years as an Executive Director within the NHS, encompassing five years as Director of Implementation and Improvement in Scotland’s quality improvement body. 

Nine Dark Angels and a Highland Retreat

Dark Angels and a Highland retreat? What’s that all about? Has she been dabbling in black magic?  

Actually no, Dark Angels is the name of the Creative Writing for Business course I went on last week. Moniack Mhor was the venue - a writing retreat near Beauly, in the Scottish Highlands. As a burgeoning business writer and keen blogger I wanted to bring more energy to my writing.

It's an experience I would recommend for anyone wanting to engage with people through writing. I was astounded at how my language was dominated by bureaucratic words. In my head I was communicating in a human language, but somewhere between my brain and the tips of my fingers my thoughts were converted back into management speak. It was like stretching an elastic band......then letting go!  

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Guest — Andy Hayes
Lovely piece, Eileen. You capture the spirit of the course so well.
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 19:42
Guest — John Simmons
Terrific. And I'm still thinking about the spider's web - a moving story and reading on the last night
Thursday, 31 October 2013 08:42
Guest — Mandy Orr
I'll second that. I like your metaphor of the elastic band. When I sat down today to write a report, for a few minutes I hesitat... Read More
Thursday, 31 October 2013 21:00
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A Society that Embraces Dementia

Kate Swaffer's moving blog reinforces just how important current efforts are in improving the outlook for people with dementia. The numbers are expected to double over the next 20 years, so unless a cure is imminent then it has to be about preparing future generations to live with the impact. 

Nearly 25 years ago my first Charge Nurse post was in a unit for people with cognitive impairment (mainly dementia). As the clinical leader I was in a position to challenge the traditional model of care. Culture change, as we know, is never easy but by introducing new practices and modelling different behaviours, persistence paid off. We eventually reached a tipping point where everyone began to pull together to create a new norm.  

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This new cultural norm meant working in partnership with patients and their relatives to create a 'circle of care' that was as inclusive and enabling as possible within the constraints of a hospital environment. I look back on my time there as a sculptress might view a creation that she considers to be among her best work. Against this backdrop I was delighted to be asked to support the Scottish Government with the National Dementia Care Improvement Programme (NDCIP).  

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#Compassion - what can we learn from the natural world?

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Watching wild geese flying in formation this morning I was reminded how magnificent a species they are. A few years ago a colleague sent me the poem 'Wild Geese' by Mary Oliver. I had undergone surgery and was deeply touched by the gesture. She added this story: 

....when wild geese are in flight and one becomes ill or injured, two other geese drop to the ground with the ailing goose. They provide protection and care for the goose until it recovers and is able to fly again or dies. It is only when the job of caring is complete that the geese fly off to catch up with their own flock or join another passing group.  

Her simple gift and the sentiments behind it made me feel cherished, respected and part of something bigger.

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