Five Minutes With… Gary Bradder

29 Jul 2021

Today we are speaking to Gary Bradder, healthcare managing consultant who has worked with Develop Consulting for almost three years.

Tell us a little more about yourself?

I have an extensive background in Lean methodology, primarily through working for over 16 years at Toyota UK. I was fortunate enough to have been one of the first staff members there before production started, and was one of a small team that set up the operational areas in the Assembly and Weld shops.

I spent most of my time there in internal logistics and assembly roles, but also worked as one of the offline Toyota Production System and Member Development trainers. I was also very fortunate to be trained by some very experienced Lean coaches in plants throughout Japan, the USA and Canada.

Having been a consultant now for almost 15 years, I brought this skill to my current role within Develop Consulting, working across areas including manufacturing, marine, food and healthcare.

Could you tell us more about working within healthcare?

I have managed and led projects from single GP practices through to leading on a Whole Trust Improvement programmes, I am particularly proud though of the involvement I have had in supporting and developing programmes of work that have gone on to become National Training offerings. My current role remains very firmly in that vein as I am working with a small team developing a new project that will support Healthcare Research and Development.

What do you enjoy about the role?

There are many facets to what we do that I enjoy, but on a personal level, I love working with people and trying to understand what makes them tick. So I guess a key part of my role is providing the right balance and of course this comes in many forms. For example, knowing when to lead and when to step back, especially when I am helping both internal staff and clients develop.

Being able to assess capability levels can be challenging whilst also providing support to help ensure people can achieve targets. Improvement largely can and should come from within, especially where a client has key skills and experience, after all they are the experts of their processes whilst we are the experts in change. To this point it is providing the balance between encouraging commitment and involvement in the project to develop their ideas but balancing that against if and how it can be implemented and taking apart the issue to rebuild a better way.

Even in the simplest form, balance is key. Something as fundamental as the balance between talking and listening, in fact active listening is hugely important but can be so easily overlooked!

How has Covid changed the way you work and give advice to clients?

The most obvious change especially in Healthcare is remote working. Nothing can replace being in a room full of people holding a workshop but we have had to look at ways of how we do this, especially when keeping everyone involved and holding their attention. When together you can see the dynamics first hand, read faces and body language and all at the same time as you are leading the discussion and updating the physical output.

Online, apart from the e-tools and virtual sticky notes you have to approach slightly differently, particularly when showing and working on a document you are unable to read the faces of attendees. I mentioned listening as being important, here it is even more so, keeping mental notes of who hasn’t contributed and including in the conversation.

In terms of advice I often say “I don’t have problems, I have opportunities to improve”, therefore embrace the change be it remote working, Reach out to people whether you feel they need support or not, some people still don’t like admitting they may be struggling. After all we are all in this together

How do I see the sector changing?

I believe that within Healthcare the pandemic has demonstrated the need for research and shown us all that the UK has a lot to offer in helping the development of new pharmaceuticals. Indeed the running of trials up to this point has quite often been moved abroad, going forward we should embrace the skills and staff we have in the UK and help increase capacity and take up of Trusts, up and down the country.

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