It is an understatement to say that leading in health care today is extraordinarily complex. Leaders on the front lines are in the throes of transforming a fragmented, seriously challenged system.
Among the challenges: comprehensive policy changes; the need to attract, develop and retain talented providers and create bench strength for succession; the demographics of aging; electronic health record implementation; widening health disparities; and the perpetual need to increase quality while decreasing runaway costs. With health care expenditures at 17% of the U.S. GDP, and last year’s solutions often inadequate, what is the answer?
Transforming health care requires transformational leadership
Strengthening and developing leadership talent is not just a nice idea. It’s a critical imperative. Transforming our health care system requires nothing less than transformational leadership.
Yet the health care sector has lagged behind other industries in grooming and training leaders. To further complicate the equation, recruitment of health care employees is the most expensive in any industry.
Leaders must be provided tools and strategic professional development. Our leadership coaching programs help leaders build the adaptive capacities and competencies needed to strengthen relationships and results.
Effective leadership is the key to improving organizational effectiveness.
Leadership coaching provides a valuable and pragmatic way to develop leaders. The business world has long recognized the value of coaching.
In health care, leadership coaching can specifically help
- improve recruitment efforts (when offered as part of a benefits package)
- enhance retention through strengthening and developing formal leaders (most professionals who receive coaching consider it a perk)
- develop future leaders (builds organizational “bench strength” for succession)
- transfer knowledge (by strategically shaping individual leadership legacy)
The value of an Insight Shift coaching program extends beyond strengthening and developing essential leadership competencies. Leaders gain critical insight into their underlying beliefs and assumptions that drive behavior and results.
One of the important ways we do this is by helping our clients learn to shift from the traditional mindset of reacting to problems, to consciously creating and co-creating the desired future. This is a leadership mindset that is more congruent with addressing the complex, adaptive challenges of the 21st century.
From reacting to problems to creating the future
While our clients are accustomed to setting goals and accomplishing them, here are some of the challenges they often face:
1) No matter how many weekend workshops attended or best-selling business books read, our clients, like all of us, have blind spots and habitual ways of acting and re-acting. When aspiring to learn, develop and integrate new ways of doing and being such change typically requires more than “aha” moments and good intentions.
2) From physician leaders to technology managers, most clients express a desire for greater collaboration and innovation in their organizations. They want to develop skills such as: the ability to engage healthy conflict; tap a diversity of ideas and solutions; and create full-engagement around organizational objectives. They also often recognize a gap between “how they engage” and “how they want to engage.”
3) An overarching challenge is that our cultural conditioning has been significantly skewed toward a problem-reactive orientation. There are several concerns with this as a predominant or exclusive approach to change (to learn more see The Path of Least Resistance):
- Sometimes fixing problems is the most appropriate approach. Other times, fixing problems only brings temporary relief and a predictable return to the status quo. In leadership situations, one challenge is that the job of leadership is seldom that of maintaining a baseline normal.
- A problem-reactive “fixing approach” is often prompted by emotions such as anxiety, fear, or frustration. When the problem is solved, the energy for change dissipates until the problem recurs. With the loss of energy, focus naturally shifts away from the problem, resulting in the problem’s re-emergence and a perpetual, oscillating loop of problem-solving.
- Habitual problem-solving can drain energy, creativity and relationships.
Learning how to individually and collectively identify and create outcomes that are desired is essential to leadership and organizational success!
In every coaching, training and consulting project, we undertake, we wholeheartedly commit to shift the mindset to identifying and actualizing their desired future. We bring methods that are core to shifting from a problem-reactive orientation to an outcomes-creating orientation. Our aim is to create new ways of seeing, thinking and acting that have value long after a coaching program is completed.