Three competencies effective change leaders and effective organizations have that make change happen

Effective change leaders and their organizations have three competencies that makes change happen. As you read these, give to the strengths and professional development opportunities of your leadership and management team, and organization as a whole.

One: Come up with good ideas. Change doesn’t happen without ideas to move forward. This ranges from the big vision about where the organization can and should go, to the many specific ideas that will get it there. Healthcare organizations are too complex for simple, linear ideas. Good ideas need to be creative — and extend beyond working inside departmental silos, shifting the burden to other departments, or forcing people to do more and more with less and less.

Two: Get buy-in for those ideas. Many healthcare organizations have people who can come up with ideas — or at least find out what other organizations are doing that are considered best practices. However, they often struggle when it comes to getting others to embrace those ideas. This competency covers the skills of reading the political landscape of the organization, forming strong professional relationships throughout the organization, understanding that there are different approaches to influence people in different situations, and then being able to have effective conversations that influence groups and individuals.

Three: Implement. Healthcare delivery systems do well when responding to immediate patient needs. However, when it comes to executing on initiatives that are not so urgent, they often fall short. Goals are not always clear, and projects don’t have realistic schedules or budgets. People are not held accountable. Communication and follow up are sloppy. People are spread thin with multiple other priorities, and use that as an excuse. There is lots of finger pointing when milestones don’t happen on time, on budget, or at expected quality.

The above framework is simple: come up with good ideas, get buy-in for those ideas, and implement. How would you rate your organization and leadership team on each of these? If you have a major change initiative and would like to discuss how to build capacity of your team in these areas so that change happens more seamlessly, please don’t hesitate to contact us.