Making Leadership Development a Priority in an Ever-evolving Healthcare Environment

shutterstock_450253297Leading Courageously and Bringing Others Along

Optimizing leadership skills and building a deep pipeline of executive-ready talent is more critical than ever, given a fast-and-ever-evolving healthcare environment. With the introduction of new laws, regulations, care coordination, and payment models, new leadership styles need to be implemented to effectively lead and manage in the new paradigm. However, alongside the need for modern leadership competencies is the need to address an impending talent shortage of leader ready talent. In fact, executive turnover is expected to increase due to a high number of leaders eligible for retirement, combined with a shortage of senior leader ready talent.

To survive, and thrive, healthcare organizations must take advantage of all its institutional talent. Yet, this can only be achieved if leaders widely embrace the need to address the issue of leadership development. Healthcare organizations, like many, are slow to invest resources to identify and develop next generation talent. This is problematic in light of our research that shows a significant gap between what directors do well and what is needed to be a successful executive. This is a classic case of "what got you here, won't get you there".

Preparing Director-Level Talent

The most obvious place to leverage existing talent to fill future executive leadership vacancies is your Director-level talent. Executive roles are the next natural stepping stone for Directors, but in what ways do they need to change or develop in order to succeed in the new role? This question is vital to address given that the skills required of a Director are vastly different than the skills required of a
Senior Executive.

Understanding the skill gap between Directors and Executives is the first step in aligning development activities to the required behavioral competencies of Executive roles. Development plans should help Directors build upon their strengths and pinpoint the competencies that will grow them into successful Executives.


Key Competency Gaps Between Leadership Levels

XBInsight collected competency data on Directors and Executives in several healthcare industries (pharmaceutical, biotechnology, staffing and hospitals). After conducting sophisticated statistical analyses to identify competencies where Executives scored significantly higher than Directors, a vital skill gap between the two groups was uncovered...

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