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Catalyst Learning Blog


Articles, case studies, and success stories to guide and inspire healthcare HR, Organizational Development, and Clinical professionals.

Leadership Imperatives for a "New World" Catalyst Learning
Rethink leadership. That's the advice presented by longtime Catalyst Learning customer Trinity Health System at ACHE's recent Congress on Healthcare Leadership. Trinity is currently in the midst of a merger with Catholic Health East that will create one of the largest systems in the country and affect over 87,000 employees in 21 states. This dramatically changing internal environment, paired with external challenges such as healthcare reform and clinical integration, has leaders embracing a new set of competencies to keep the organization agile. Trinity CEO Joe Swedish calls them "new world" leadership competencies: vision; prudent risk taking; collaboration; engaging people; developing talent; integration skills; process excellence; change leadership; resilience; personal integrity; and being spiritually grounded. In what he describes as "must dos" Swedish emphasizes fiduciary responsibility that's more than just financial- it must serve the interest of all stakeholders. The "new world" requires internal culture alignment with the right people-those willing to embrace change-- and structure in place to meet future market demands. Sally Jeffcoat, President of Trinity's St. Alphonsus (Idaho/Oregon Region) shared six imperatives her organization has adopted to navigate the current landscape. 1.            Clarity of Vision, Strategic Direction and Brand: leaders must engage stakeholders and apply values-based decision making to build a high degree of trust and integrity. 2.            Align Talent and Team by consistently defining essential leadership skills and strategic contributions. 3.            Innovation and Collaboration: performance improvement culture is catalyst for new thinking. 4.            System-wide Performance Improvement Rigor. Leaders must link training to organizational goals and apply accelerated change management. 5.            Leadership Development and Succession Planning: Jeffcoat's team is currently focused on the top 200 with development plans for the top 10% this year. 6.            Moving from High Performance Team to Community of Leaders: change leadership mindset and trust: all members are valued rather than valuable. Leaders must come to a common understanding of what is sacred about their work and inspires the community. To illustrate one objective of the new model, Jeffcoat quotes Chinese Philosopher and Writer, Lao Tzu, "A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, 'we did it ourselves." To underscore her belief in this, when asked "what is the one thing you wish you'd done earlier in your career?”, Jeffcoat responded with an affirmation of community-based leadership and decision-making.

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