As part of our commitment to developing leaders in community and primary health care and igniting cross-sector collaboration, the LeaderShift project team has been monitoring and evaluating the impact of our leadership development activities.
With roughly a third of the planned LEADS Learning Series cohorts already delivered, here’s what we can report so far, based on the findings of an independent interim evaluation of the LeaderShift initiative by Cathexis Consulting Inc.
Who We’re Reaching
LeaderShift is designed to support leaders at different career stages, with some emphasis on early and mid-career leaders. So far, the majority (80%) of participants in the LEADS Learning Series identify as early and mid-career leaders.
A key goal of LeaderShift is to build capacity and collaboration amongst the three sub-sectors in community health. We’re delighted to see equal representation from each in the cohorts that have graduated so far.
To date, participants in the LEADS Learning Series have mainly come from small to mid-sized organizations, with 1 to 100 Full-time Equivalent (FTE) staff.
Relevance of the LEADS Learning Series
For leadership development to have an impact, leaders have to be able to take new skills, awareness, and tools and apply them inside their own organizations. For that to happen, they have to see development activities as being relevant both personally and professionally. According to our surveys, LeaderShift is hitting the mark.
Participants in the LEADS Learning Series also report that they value learning and networking with leaders from across community and primary health care, as well as leaders with different levels of experience, confirming the choices we’ve made in designing the LEADS cohorts.
“Bringing together leaders from across the 3 community health sectors was helpful in thinking about collaboration and coalition opportunities…”
Impact of the LEADS Learning Series on Leaders in Community and Primary Health
Reports on the impact of the LEADS Learning Series are overwhelmingly positive, both in terms of building competencies and providing leaders with the tools and supports they need to be effective. The net result? Participants are becoming stronger leaders.
We asked participants to rate their confidence in key leadership competencies before and after the 5-day LEADS Learning Series. The graph below shows the increase in “high confidence” ratings in five key competency areas.
“As a relatively new senior leader and a woman, I have sometimes not felt very confident. This workshop gave me more confidence and has given me more of a voice to speak up and express my opinion and expectations in a calm, firm and supportive way. I am less concerned about being liked and more confident to express myself and my rationale in a transparent way.”
We also asked leaders to rate their agreement with four statements about their experience before and after the 5-day LEADS Learning Series.
The graph below shows the increase in “strongly agree” ratings for participants before and after the training and shows that, through the LEADS Learning Series, leaders are getting the supports that they need to fulfill their roles.
“I feel I have been given a better foundation for how to direct my ideas and work… I think about different things I learned as I go to meetings and I try to apply them. I feel like I have tools that I can use.”
Join the LeaderShift
Our independent interim evaluation shows that LeaderShift is achieving its goals and helping leaders across our sectors develop the capacity, confidence, and connections to lead our sectors into the future.
Thirteen LEADS Learning Series cohorts have already been completed in 2018. If you haven’t attended yet or if you have a colleague who wants to attend, don’t worry, there will be 10 more deliveries in 2019. Applications for spring 2019 are now open! Sign up now to secure your spot and join the LeaderShift movement.
As we outlined in 3 Leadership Lessons from Geese, the landscape of leadership in our sectors is changing fast.
And it’s no surprise. As we move farther from the Industrial Age into the Information Age, we’re recognizing that mechanical, rigid organizations built on hierarchy no longer support our ability to handle tough challenges, innovate, and pivot on our path. We’re now seeing that organizations are more like systems or organisms, where people constantly interact with and impact one another.
Inside these systems, management authority doesn’t come from intimidation, chains of command, or the “knight in shining armour” myth of one person doing it alone. Instead it comes from understanding leadership as a practice, not simply a position. In the language of the LEADS framework, leadership is about being, not doing.
The practice of leadership today involves transparency, collaboration, and adaptability. Leaders are increasingly not rewarded for their subject matter expertise, but for their ability to engage, inspire, and motivate teams to do their best work, together… For their skill in creating an intentional workplace culture... And for making people feel like they’re part of something, and that their contributions matter.
This evolution reflects not only the changing landscape of work, which is increasingly complex and inter-connected, but also the evolving expectations of workers. As millennials and baby boomers engage together in the workforce, there can be tension between the way “things have always been done” and the fresh ideas and perspectives that up-and-comers are bringing.
Adaptive Leadership helps organizations leverage and engage these fresh ideas and perspectives to produce better outcomes, solve more complex problems, and produce a more engaged and engaging workplace culture.
Coined by Harvard Professor Ron Heifetz, Adaptive Leadership is essentially about evolving purposefully in real time. It’s patterned after what happens in nature, where successful adaptation allows an organism to thrive despite challenging or changing environments.
Heifetz contrasts Adaptive Leadership to a model he calls Authoritative Expertise. In a world where the problems are known and the solutions clear, Authoritative Experts get the job done. They know what they’re doing, have experience, and can direct everyone around them effectively.
But in environments like community and primary health, which are increasingly marked by complexity, uncertainty, ambiguity, and rapid change, both the problems and the solutions may be unclear or unknown. This is where we need Adaptive Leaders.
Adaptive Leaders are values-driven. They emphasize finding the right questions over finding the right answer. They think in terms of systems and recognize that several solutions can be right at the same time. They’re not afraid of experimenting. They share power. And they seek out diversity, knowing that diversity truly is strength when it comes to collaborating and innovating.
Adaptive Leaders truly engage the people around them in coming up with ideas, finding solutions, defining problems, and sharing their expertise. They celebrate the contributions of others, and earn loyalty from their teams by allowing them to try new things and fail forward.
Want to learn to become a more Adaptive Leader? Here are some tips to get you started:
LeaderShift provides a rare opportunity for leaders in community and primary health care to develop their capacity, ignite cross-sector collaboration, and play an important role in shaping the future of our health care system.
Response to LeaderShift – and the LEADS Learning Series that lies at the heart of it – has been tremendous. Thanks to the efforts of our excellent project team, collaborators, and partners, we’re well on track to meet (and probably exceed!) our target of supporting 575 current and emerging leaders in enhancing their skills, advancing themselves and their organizations, and extending their impact.
While we’re excited about the transformative potential of this large-scale capacity building initiative, we’re also sensitive to the reality that leaders in our sectors often face significant barriers to participating in professional development – especially the kind of deep development opportunity that the intensive 5-day LEADS Learning Series offers.
The LEADS Learning Series is a unique opportunity to build your capacity, extend your impact, and prepare to lead the future of community and primary health care. It’s also a great chance to build your network.
Having a peer group to learn, grow, collaborate, and work with can be transformative, both for you and your organization. So how can you keep the relationships you develop at LEADS alive?
Here are 4 tips for staying connected with your LEADS peers. Combine any or all of them to create the approach that’s right for you and your LEADS cohort.
Now more than ever, the community and primary health care sector needs effective, dynamic leadership.
Why? To understand that, we have to consider the current challenges facing the entire health system and the new government’s proposed approach to solving them. We will only be successful in ending “hallway medicine” if all sectors across the continuum are part of the solution. The community and primary care sector will be key in increasing access and reducing wait lists, keeping patients informed and engaged, and empowering front line workers.
Integrated service delivery is a major trend right now, intended to create seamless pathways to move people through the health care services they need. Here’s what you need to know about this powerful force in Ontario’s health system.
Change is a constant in Ontario's health system. And while, historically, that change has been incremental, the pace of change has been speeding in recent years.
Here are 6 trends you need to know about to stay on top of what health care transformation looks like today:
For the past several years, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has been supporting increased access, integrated services, informed and engaged patients, and a sustainable health care system for the province.
Fulfilling that vision means doing things differently – and engaging Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Executive Directors (EDs) in Ontario’s community and primary health care sector as “on the ground” system changers, using their strong leadership skills to fulfill sector wide transformation.
Covering both the individual and organizational leadership landscape, the 5 Leadership Domains of the LEADS framework represent the key skills, behaviours, abilities, and knowledge required to lead at all levels of an organization:
Historically, health care has functioned on a “knight in shining armour” model of leadership, where one person is largely responsible for saving the day. But our sectors are changing. As millennials bring new energy, new ideas, and new, more collaborative ways of working into our sectors, perspectives on leadership are changing.
A perhaps surprising source of inspiration can be found in one of our national symbols: the Canada goose. Like people in our sectors, Canadian geese have a strong sense of family and group loyalty. Their leadership style suggests some interesting ways forward for humans in health care: