Corridors of power

63 - Gavin Sykes

Gavin, one of our volunteers in the East Midlands, explains how a simple change he made in his workplace demonstrates the wider power of NHS Change Day.

After hearing I was involved with NHS Change Day I was asked “So ya think you can change the world or something?” Well it set me thinking: can I really change the world? Simple answer, YES, I believe I can – it’s all about perception, I believe I can change the world as I perceive it. After all technically it’s my world that I live in every day.

The coffee analogy I don’t like a certain brand of coffee so I have a choice to make: do I either just put up with it simply because it’s the coffee that’s there or do I get something different? There you go, I just made a change in my world, easy as that. Except it’s not just my world I’ve changed. Think about it. I now have two brands of coffee, so if I have a guest in my home they too can choose to change their world because changing my world has enabled them to change theirs too.

Obviously that’s probably a silly analogy but be honest, it really can be that simple to change someone’s world.

Corridors of power Now let’s apply the same logic on a bigger scale, a few months ago I decided that I didn’t particularly like the decoration on a certain corridor at work. So I asked our mental health day hospital if any of their patients had recently done any artwork. Two hours later, screwdriver in hand, I replaced the drab pictures with some amazing and colourful masterpieces. Changed my world again! (I’m getting good at this).

Question is how does this change other people’s worlds? Well, thanks to my selfish behaviour, I got to see several patients beam with pride as they witnessed staff and visitors just stop and take a minute to look at these pictures: changed their worlds by giving them that extra sense of pride. I created a talking point, something to make people engage with each other: changed the staffs’ world there. Awesome!

My little change just impacted on a larger scale. It doesn’t stop there though – without realising, I’ve not just changed our collective worlds. As a by-product I’ve actually inspired people! Yes people have seen the change in my world and think “It’s a great idea”. Then crikey: they’re all at it now! There’s fancy, colourful and creative artwork hanging everywhere! In my opinion our worlds are better just through making that one little change.

Think about it Now reading this, whether you know it or not, I’ve changed your world too! Think about it again... I’ve just rewritten three words that I used in the first paragraph. Like it or not, think I’m silly or not, it doesn’t matter I’ve changed your world simply by asking you to “Think about it”. The first step of change starts with someone thinking. None of our worlds would exist the way they do without someone thinking.

We wouldn’t have an NHS without someone thinking we need to change the way we care for people. Way back then they changed your world. Maybe now it’s time for you to change the world. I’m not saying go create a whole new amazing care system, I’m saying just think about the stuff that niggles away at you and then think “Do I really just have to put up with it?” Who knows maybe you could inspire others to change their worlds too!
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