Magical Words: Healthcare Collaborative Leadership

Magical Words: Healthcare Collaborative Leadership

Developing a collaborative leadership model requires relational skills that can make a significant difference in the success of healthcare organizations. Collaborative leadership is a modern day approach to leadership of organizations, departments, and teams. It has become a necessary style of leading in order to tackle the more complex, complicated and situational environment that organizations face today. Having said this, a collaborative leadership model would need to be fully supported by top leadership and exist in a culture that would not be counterintuitive to the model.

Let’s take a look at a possible scenario. The position of a Chief Medical Officer typically has the leadership role with oversight for other providers. In contrast to a singular model, the position of Chief Medical Provider is shared among several Lead Providers with their colleagues. The leaders could also be selected by their peers through a democratic process.

Developing a Collaborative Leadership model could promote the lead providers to serve more as facilitators, than single authority for their medical colleagues in their ongoing business transactions.

Shared leadership among Lead Providers can also be a partnering model to sharing more responsibilities of additional administrative duties with other medical colleagues. This broad stroke of shared leadership among a group of providers allows tapping into greater individual provider input and expertise.

Although this style of leadership has to be consistent with the culture of the organization.

The collaborative leadership model engages more providers to be empowered to have a stronger voice and purpose in the problem solving and decision making in the healthcare organization.

Medical providers oversight of quality of care continues to be the crucial function for continuous improvement of quality of the care for patients provided in our healthcare organizations.

As more organizations embrace collaborative leadership, here are some words and questions that can be used as reinforcement of the model.

Here is a comparison of traditional versus collaborative keywords/questions:

Traditional            Collaborative

I                                                        We

Committee                                     Team

Command                                      Test

Mandate                                         Pilot

Approve                                          Draft

Great Collaborative Leadership Questions:

  • What do you think?
  • How can we make this better?
  • Can we think about this in a different way?
  • Who do we need to add another team member to make our team stronger?

The above are a few examples, but can make a positive difference in building camaraderie in a shared leadership model.

Although collaborative team leadership is probably not the most common method of leading in healthcare, it can be the recipe for greater achievements and sustainability for the modern healthcare system.

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1 Comment

  1. I enjoyed the article and like the collaborative model for leadership, it eliminates burn-out for our great leaders and balances the load and makes goals more apt to be reached then not. I am reminded of an issue that I faced with one of me clients in an emergency room and the doctor in charged kept repeating to my client that he would not call her doctor to get further information about her Sickle Cell because he was in charge and no one could come in and tell him how to run his jurisdiction. I finally got her doctor on the phone and ask him to just listen even if he would do what he suggested. point he used the “I” meaning it was all about him.