THE SPIRIT OF MANAGEMENT
Survival of the fittest is the case we have to plead
We stand on Darwins’ ladder and our goal is to succeed
The Spirit that is Management informs our every task
What do we do exactly? You only have to ask.
We are the prince of process; The fisted hidden hand
With slightly sweaty fingers and a smile a tad too bland
With powerpoint we state our case; in managegabble speak
We’re here to gouge out value, quantify and tweak.
We are doctors of the dismal science
Kings of business plans
Save a bit on hygiene and we’ll send you more bedpans
The timer set for patients should be just like boiling eggs
Don’t waste time on the dying; don’t waste time setting legs
Each minute is accountable; each decision in a flash
Human values can’t be counted so we’ll have to stick to cash
We’ll talk in any ballpark; each flagpole we’ll salute
We’ll cut the waste and trim the fat; in this we’re resolute
With a firm grip on the pursestrings we’re rationing heartbeats
It’s such a shame that patients can’t sleep on balance sheets
If we don’t describe the target; if we don’t define the goal
It’s like we’re tipping money down the blackest of black holes
The further we look into it the less we understand
Why can’t patients be predictable? It all seems badly planned
So survival of the fittest is the system that fits here
And we’re here to make you fit right in or simply disappear
The ebb and flow of life is naught to flowcharts everywhere
And the empty hand of process choking off the air
George Stone 2009
Managers are patients too. As an NHS manager I’ve been battered by sentiments such as these for the last year from politicians to rabid newspaper cif commenters. Well, we did our best. It’s all yours now, look after it.
Dear Jean, I did say at the begining that the poem wasn’t an attack on managers, but a plea not to treat patients as commodities. I have no desire (nor do most GPs) to manage, I think that managers, more so now than ever, have an undeserved pariah status and I’m horrified by the haemorrhaging of talent from our PCT
Thank you – it just shows the strength of the poem that it got under my usually thick managers skin. If any good comes of this latest upheaval, it will be the development of a much more mature relationship between managers and clinicians as we both strive to protect all that is good about the NHS. Excellent blog by the way, I’m generally in complete agreement….