Case Study: Two Leading Healthcare Organizations
IA Helps Healthcare Leaders Excel
The leadership development crisis in health care has been well-documented. The U.S. health care industry faces shortages of leaders across the board. Increasingly, organizations seek to develop identified high-potentials to increase the ranks of skilled leaders quickly.
Catholic Healthcare Partners (CHP) and St. Joseph's Health System (SJHS) used the Success Case Method to test the effectiveness of developing leaders with Interaction Associates workshop Facilitative Leadership® (FL).
The FL program is designed to help each participant:
- Create a vision of the impact each leader wants to have and an action plan for achieving that impact,
- Examine leadership challenges in the context of results, processes and relationships,
- Develop practical skills and tools for tapping the creativity, experience, and commitment of people on the leader's team,
- Initiate coaching conversations that inspire commitment to excellence, and
- Gain a broader awareness of one's self as a leader.
CHP piloted FL for 71 high-performing, high-potential leaders. St. Joseph's Health System began offering FL in 1997. Since that time, nearly 3,000 participants have completed the program. In addition, SJHS has nearly 30 certified trainers delivering the workshop inside the system.
Both CHP and St. Joseph's completed studies using the Success Case Method.* The Success Case Method uses interviews to discover where learning is having the greatest and the least impact. It then uses that data to discover the accelerators and impediments to learning, and identify and implement best practices and remedies.
CHP partnered with Advantage Performance Group to complete an impact study to determine if the FL program was contributing to business outcomes. Data was gathered via a web-based survey distributed to all 71 participants, with a 66% return rate (47 leader respondents). Interviews with 13 randomly-selected leaders helped CHP learn what impact the leaders were getting from FL, what specific results they achieved, and what was impeding value from the learning.
St. Joseph's Health Care System sent a survey to all currently-employed past FL participants in each local ministry. 482 responded to the survey, a 63% response rate. Follow-up interviews were conducted with past participants at SJO, Mission, and St. Jude.
Key Results from the CHP Study
Facilitative Leadership participants created significant business impact for CHP, according to the survey and interview data. At the same time, the interviews pinpointed three areas for process improvement.
- 63% of respondents reported their meetings were now more effective as a result of the methods learned.
- 42% of respondents said coaching of direct reports had improved.
- Significant and positive "trickle down" effects of Facilitative Leadership were cited.
- Action learning portions of the program need strengthening.
- The pre- and post-engagement of the trainees and their managers needs strengthening.
- The candidate nomination process needs improvement.
From the interviews, specific stories of impact included:
A regional director, new to the position, with four departments, holds regular staff meetings and uses the meeting preparation tools from Facilitative Leadership to better organize meetings and engage direct reports. Team members learned the tools, too, and now use them to lead meetings in their own departments.
A director of acute care applied the visioning tools to create a new patient delivery model with her staff, resulting in redefining job responsibilities for RN's, LPN's, and Patient Care Assistants (PCA's). The staff members applied the processes for decision making and creating pathways to action, for better patient flow results for the team.
An experienced leader incorporated the coaching tools into daily practice, providing support to a new manager who was struggling to form an effective team.
An operational executive with more than 20 years' experience redesigned the way meetings are planned, led and evaluated, giving more attention to clarifying desired outcomes, practicing active listening, and identifying accountabilities for action among team members.
Key Findings from the St. Joseph's Health System study
- According to the participant survey, the most powerful set of tools provided
by the Facilitative Leadership program are:
- - Seek Maximum Appropriate Involvement
- - Coach for Performance
- - Celebrate Accomplishments
- 388 individuals, or 80% of the respondents, indicated of FL that "I learned something new, I have used it, and it has led to some worthwhile results."
- Most graduates have not attended a brown bag session (networking with participants) or FL Refresher course, but many written comments indicated an interest and a need for both.
From the SJHS survey, here are selected comments:
"As the result of the class, we are redesigning our approach to shift change. We anticipate rolling out the new approach within the next several weeks and I will be excited to see what kind of results we get. In the initial phase, we have been able to engage staff members who usually do not take an active role. I am also looking forward to learning to teach this course because I have found it to be so useful and it has helped me in so many ways, not only in my job, but with all communications."
"Absolutely necessary for all management team to be speaking the same language and using the same processes. Thank you to everyone who is involved in making this happen so often. I have had two new managers take this early in their orientation. Immediately they understand our techniques; planning and are able to contribute in meetings."
"I found the program very insightful. Helped me to look at things from a different perspective and was able to find different approaches to situations. It helped to hear different points of views at the refresher courses."
"I have used the techniques many, many times and have incorporated them into daily practice. I found this to be the best class I have taken at the hospital. I have encouraged many of the Critical Care staff to take this class and put it into practice."
Facilitative Leadership "made me a better employee and inspired me to be an effective leader."
"Prior to facilitative leadership, I was threatened by negative comments, criticism from staff. Now I approach it as an opportunity for open discussions and using the techniques learned, I facilitated the staff to reach agreements on the problems and design a pathway to action. The results were very positive for both myself and the staff."
The St. Joseph's Health System survey also revealed that the most-utilized practices were:
- Seek Maximum Appropriate Involvement
- Coach for Performance
- Celebrate Accomplishments
Learn more about Catholic Healthcare Partners at http://www.health-partners.org.
*Brinkerhoff, Robert O. The Success Case Method (2003), Berrett Koehler, San Francisco.