This blog is taken from a recent HealthStream webinar entitled “Level Up Your Leaders – A Conversation with Chartis.” The webinar was moderated by HealthStream’s Jaclyn Franklin and featured the following speakers:
The process of shepherding leaders and leadership teams towards being the best version of themselves from a professional and organizational standpoint, and ultimately towards board-readiness can be a challenging one. In this webinar Chartis Just Health Collective defined the steps that are necessary to support personalized professional development and monitor leader performance.
Dr. Newman began with an overview of Chartis Just Health Collective. Chartis offers expertise in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion and much more. Their goal is to help healthcare organizations accelerate health equity and belonging for all by helping healthcare organizations to translate their DEI aspirations into achievable, strategic, operational, clinical, programs and initiatives with strong strategic outcomes.
While there are many competencies that might be considered important for board-readiness, Dr. Newman identified the most critical ones. Among the most critical are:
Stepney addressed the importance of incorporating equity and inclusion into leadership training. In addition to bringing diverse perspectives to business issues, Stepney pointed to research that shows a relationship between equity and inclusivity training and a leader’s ability to foster innovation, creativity and better decision making. She also shared that equity and inclusion training helps create the kind of inclusive environment that is critical to fostering great relationships, building trust and psychological safety, and creating opportunities for employees to truly thrive.
Stepney also addressed the significance of the increase in consumerism in healthcare. “Embedding inclusivity and equity gives leaders a chance to understand what those market changes are and how to meet them,” said Stepney.
So, what steps should organizations take right now to begin to develop board-ready leaders? Dr. Newman explained that there is a growing expectation that boards will reflect and be responsive to the needs of the demographic groups in the communities being served. She went on to outline the phases that can help create board-ready leaders.
She stressed the importance of not just meeting leaders where they are today, but having a long-term plan to help them get where they are going and continue to grow.
Stepney shared the importance of moving beyond mentorship into sponsorship. Mentoring is important, but until leaders shift into a sponsorship role, they have not fully supported rising leaders. Stepney shared that true sponsorship is the next step after mentoring. It demonstrates that leaders are really sponsoring that rising leader to be board-ready when the next opportunity arises.
Sponsorship may also mean having some difficult, but critical conversations at the board level to address such issues as changes in nominating processes, creating opportunities for board members to meet rising leaders, and discussions about term limits.
Referencing Jack Mezirow’s Transformative Learning Theory, Dr. Newman recommended focusing on three critical components.
She also encouraged respect for adult learners by ensuring that the content is applicable and speaks to their needs as rising leaders. “Adult learners tend to do somewhat better when they are on a self-directed path,” said Dr. Newman.
Dr. Newman recommended that organizations begin the assessment process with their education initiatives including pre- and post-assessments as well as 30, 60, and 90 day assessments to help identify shifts in behavior. She encouraged healthcare organizations to ensure that the measurement process include senior leadership – an aspect of measurement that is often overlooked.
She also recommends building a robust 360 feedback approach that can inform accountability plans so that leaders can really hone in on those areas most in need of improvement. In addition, she recommended incorporating other metrics such as employee retention and engagement numbers to help build a more robust evaluation for leaders.
Stepney recommends that efforts to level-up really should be built on a foundation of great strategy. She encouraged organizations to mine insights from their data to inform that strategy. Dr. Newman also encouraged leaders to incorporate assessments into initial efforts and use insights from both organizational data and assessments to identify the education that is necessary and appropriate. In addition, she encouraged leaders to think of the educational component as an ongoing process that can help contribute to building better connections, growth in accountability, and support for the advancement of leaders as they prepare to serve on boards.
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