Dedication and passion have fuelled the substantial transformation that Queensland Health is undergoing at the moment. From its culture to its procurement processes, tele-medicine systems, and boards, Queensland Health is seeing significant changes across its organisation. Director General Ian Maynard recently spoke to The CEO Magazine about this impressive journey.

The CEO Magazine: You’ve radically shifted the culture at Queensland Health to build a strong, engaged, and resilient culture. How did you achieve this change?

Ian: We'’re in the process of changing the culture. For a large organisation, changing the culture can take time and it occurs incrementally. There are three key areas that we focused on to put pressure on the old culture and move towards a new culture.

The first was the establishment of a core set of values. These values were defined by our staff as part of a broader Queensland public service initiative, and seek to go beyond the more traditional sector values like integrity, impartiality, promoting public good, and accountability. The five core values that our staff developed are: customer first, ideas into action, unleash potential, be courageous, and empower people. The behaviours, or ‘ways of working’, that sit below those values really outline for individuals where the standards sit, in terms of the way we expect them to undertake their roles.

The second step was to launch the blueprint for better healthcare in Queensland. That was launched in February 2013 and it outlines the key priorities of government— specifically, having services that are centred on patients and people, empowering our workforce and the community, focusing on efficiency and value for money in the services that our communities receive, and investing, innovating, and planning for the future. We wanted to be intentional about our long-term plans and the direction that we needed to take Queensland Health to meet the challenges that were ahead of us, such as spiralling healthcare costs.

The third area that we focused on was around being accountable and transparent. In terms of accountability, we publish how we’re performing across our hospital and health services at the end of each quarter. Accountability is at the heart of the creation of our hospital and health services, creating interdependent organisations with local boards where the boards are appointed from community members and people of significant standing and credibility in the community. They are empowered to make decisions that meet the needs of their local community.