Essential Management Skills

Essential Management Skills

Management is the art of getting things done through people

(Mary Parker Follett)

For any organisation to grow and remain healthy, certain basic skills in management and leadership must be present, irrespective of the business of that organisation – skills that will help to avoid the crisis situations where managers have to “do whatever it takes”.

Managers working in Health Informatics require these skills in addition to at least an understanding of the technical skills required for the area under their responsibility, whether that is a project team, a programme, a department or an organisation.

There are a multitude of views on what are the most critical skills or attributes for effective managers, but the consensus includes:

Communication and interpersonal skills

The ability to manage change

Problem solving and decision making


The ability to manage meetings


The ability to motivate

The ability to manage yourself

Good managers also possess additional personal characteristics, which include:

Persistence in overcoming difficulties

Working hard

Being passionate about their work

Being a strategic / visionary thinker

Having an ethical orientation



The effective 21st century manager is likely to be a transformational leader, that is, a change agent who, through the use of interpersonal skills and analytical application, is able to motivate others by sharing a strategic vision, while at the same time adhering to a rigorous ethical code.  Many of these skills may be learned or developed, but there is always a place for helping individuals consider and improve through training.


There are literally thousands of books, websites and courses devoted to the subject of management. A search using any of the leading search engine websites will produce references to many training providers and authors on management skills development.

Within the NHS, local Workforce Development and Skills Development Leads should be able to provide details of learning and development opportunities available locally to staff, whether in-house or from accredited suppliers.  The following links provide further details about management resources and development opportunities:


The Health Informatics Career Framework includes example job descriptions and provides details of management roles and career pathways in Health Informatics. You can map your career, plan your development, and read case studies for how others have developed their careers or staff using the framework.

NHS Careers logo

The NHS Careers website offers advice about the various management roles available in health care organisations.


Leadership Academy

The NHS Leadership Academy is a a centre of excellence and beacon of best practice on leadership development, owned by the NHS and working for all those involved in NHS funded care.  The Leadership Framework provides a consistent approach to leadership development for all staff in health and care irrespective of discipline, role, function or seniority and represents the standard for leadership behaviours that all staff should aspire to.

ihm logo

The Institute of Healthcare Management is the largest representative organisation for individual healthcare managers in the UK.




The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development is is the world’s largest Chartered Human Resource Development professional body;


CMI logo

The Chartered Management Institute offers members a comprehensive range of products and services designed to develop you into a more efficient manager, capable of making a greater impact within your organisation.