Esther Munalula Nkandu took part in discussions on governance

Meeting of minds reveals common challenges in member organisations

A packed room of leaders and professional staff from WCPT’s member organisations, regions, subgroups and networks all over the world got their heads together and shared common challenges at an innovative WCPT forum.

They were led through round-table discussions on the challenges of governance, financial management, teamwork, membership engagement and leadership development by a team of expert facilitators. The session was chaired by WCPT President Emma Stokes.

Representatives were encouraged to explore problems within their organisations with all the other participants, in a supportive environment. And what stood out was that the challenges faced were often very similar – whether the organisations were new or well-established, small or large.

“I was struck by the style of the interactions,” said Marcus Dripps, past President of the Australian Physiotherapy Association and one of the facilitators. “Everyone had similar problems, and here we could find support to be able to meet them.” He pointed to the fact that participants remained talking to each other long after the session had officially ended.

Discussions about leadership revealed a common problem in organisations that reflects a similar problem in health services generally: managers and leaders are often not chosen for their leadership skills, but because they excelled in the clinic, or in academia.

“This is something we have to address,” said Unnur Pétursdóttir, President of the Icelandic Physiotherapist Association, who was another facilitator.

“I think it helps if we relate leadership and teamwork issues to sport. You need a range of skills in a team, and your role may not be on the field but as a leader off it.”

“The sessions were very lively and a lot of fun.”

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