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In my experience in Dutch hospitals and other healthcare institutions with organizing and maintaining these kinds of communication- and leadership programs the only way such a program can be successful is if the physicians see the program as ‘their’ program and the organization helps and facilitates them in making sure the program can be organized. The lead, at least partly, has to be with the main targetgroup, the physicians, and they have to be able to influence the program: intensity, content, desired outcomes, translation to added value in their work etc.
I can imagine that there is a small group of physicians who really want this program and who really see the need en urge to create and maintain such a program? If not: you could find a way to ‘create’ a small ‘winning’ team with both a few ‘physician champions’ (who are open en into this and want to be involved) and a few organisation ‘champions’ (who feel the urge en need and will facilitate the physicians, put time and effort in it). They can become the ‘ambassadors’ for this program by giving them influence on the content and approach of the program. This will take some energy and time. This team also can think about how to communicatie impact, sustainability etc. Involvement of board (med director and HR) is also very important in this first phase.

In my experience I often see that when done intensively and correctly (create a winning team with key stakeholders in beginning) this will create a lot of momentum and value adding in future. I even see on regularly basis that at least one enthusiastic physicians wants to become a facilitor and/or stay involved. And that would be great and can be realized (f.e. by arranging organisational support for such physician to be able to take the facilitating role). And ofcourse then as a hospital you could think about the relevance and importancy and translate this into incentives for physicians who really want to be involved!

Anyway: at least create involvement of a few of the enthusiastic physicians is really relevant en important!

great initiative and totally agree that improving communication skills will benefit patient experience and quality of care…

On May 9, 2017, Jen commented on Managing a Manager :

I see the division director as part of the team? So if you are thinking about teaming up / organising a brainstormsession, the division leader is part of the team and has to be there? it has to become a joined responsibility and I think it is too easy to blame it on the division leader alone. Most of the times this issue is also about the team not taking responsibility in realizing needed targets, not being open to eachother, not knowing targets, not caring, etcetcetc. So even if you change leadership, then still it is at least a very good point to talk with the total team why they as a team don’t realize that they underperform and/or are not ably to take the lead to transform to success. And as a team they have to come up with targetbased improvement efforts in joined responsibility. And then one of the issues is the division leadership. If it is clear that he/she is underperforming and allready a lot of improvement effort has been put in, than you have to make the decision that this is not the right person in the right place? But in my opinion: the problem is broader then only the formal leadership.

very interesting former comments and ideal situation to start working on developing a ‘learning team’ (as in Amy’s book Teaming).
To me on the one hand there is a culture problem of hierarchy and fair where the younger ones can’t deal yet with (personalities like) AB. So like amal I would agree on using this situation as a ‘mirror’ to reflect on there own behavior to prevent it in the future, or at least to deal with it in a better way. A session with the team about this, could be very good.

But also it is a situation with the wrong skills and personality in the wrong position for the managing part of the head role. I would be very curious if AB really likes being the head of the department and if so: why she likes it. Could be that it is about status (she wants control, old school doctor seniority) or could be that she really things she is a good head. In both cases the conversation or integration process should be about really letting her get to know herself better, being straight about the effect she has on her environment and to make sure that she can focus on the things she does good (ofcourse still with respect to her colleagues and within the set ‘boundaries’ of your organisation). In the ideal situation (regardless of regulations and boundaries): let her be the ‘critical and ‘loud’ person, and let her be the senior, but make sure that she will not have to be responsible for the managementpart anymore. In my experience most of the times the person who is in the middle of the misery, is doing things he/she doesn’t like, but isn’t aware of it and needs someone to show her and learn her a more relaxed and better way of working…. But this will take time and is a very delicate process.

Anyway: you do need to work on both issues: context/team/culture and the person herself. Challenging 😉

He Sunita,
Interesting case! My first question would be if when starting the department there is kind of a strategy (|even mission/vision) document being set up by involved stakeholders. Normally this would include the ‘desired’ and ‘shared’ ambition from stakeholders? I can imagine that one of the aims is more and better strategic partnership leading to financial an qualitative improvement?
Derived form this shared ambition, together you would be able to define a few ‘themes/areas’ where improved performance is expected and in those theme’s together with your shareholders you could qualify and quantify KPI’s. And after regularly measure, share and manage ofcourse. Areas that could apply to a strategy and bizz development team could be (a bit Balanced Scorecard inspired:):
– financial improvements (KPI’s like revenues, subsidiaries/sponsorships?),
– market and/or client improvements (visibility, market share, PR/better customer and stakeholders feeling with your company, …),
– employers improvements (stronger brand, more possibilities for working on cross boundary projects, education etc)
– innovation (new technologys entrance by partnerships, etc)
– quality of products/services (…)

During the first 2 to 3 years of a new department which is not in core business from company but facilitates the company to perform better, my experience is that KPI’s are kind of qualitative and work very well if put together with stakeholders. ROI then is hard to quantify, but after a few years, performance improvement due to the acquisitions and collaborations should be measurable? it will be easer to quantify them?