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ATD Blog

Next Generation Leadership in Healthcare, Part 2

Friday, March 15, 2019

In a previous post, I talked about the concepts of resilience and democratized knowledge in healthcare. I suggested we must establish a new leadership paradigm that allows us to unlock, or “democratize,” access to knowledge and learning at all levels of the organization to respond to the demands of the ever-changing and complex healthcare landscape and achieve a care delivery transformation.

Let’s take a look at a few companies outside of the healthcare industry that are paving the way in leadership development through democratized learning and transformational knowledge sharing.

Many years ago, Cisco, one of the largest technology companies in the world, experienced a growth slump and, to remain competitive, decided to transform its leadership structure. Cisco’s new leadership initiative focused on innovation and a shift from developing individual superstars to super-teams. The company started to form a series of boards and councils in an effort to flatten the organization and deepen leadership qualities at every level. This transition from traditional top-down leadership to team-based collaboration ultimately led to cost savings and new revenue streams.

In 2014, Adobe launched its [email protected] training curriculum to help employees flourish as leaders and stimulate innovation. An on-demand suite of leadership development e-learning tools, the curriculum was designed to “allow employees across the company to get leadership training how they want it, and when they want it.” Available to all employees, the program offers a rich library of leadership materials from videos to guides and toolkits, and provides virtual training labs and a Leadership Insight guest speaker series.


“The beauty of this program is that it’s for every single employee, not just for people managers. This is Adobe’s commitment to developing the best leadership qualities in all our employees,” said Jeff Vijungco, vice president of global talent at Adobe.


Adobe abandoned its traditional annual performance review to create a process that would stimulate ongoing, genuine feedback and engagement. The process of check-ins gave individuals a feeling of ownership for their development within the organization. If we applied similar strategies to our leadership development efforts within the healthcare industry, would we begin to see a transformation in our care delivery and outcomes?

While significant progress has been made within the last few decades, we still have a long way to go in achieving the holy grail of leadership development in healthcare, as we explored in a recent webcast. Healthcare organizations must learn how to set themselves up for success by teaching core leadership skills at every level, such as building trust across peers and teams, adapting to change, thinking outside the box, and executing strategy in a fast-paced environment. Such skills are crucial for building resilient, high-performing teams and realizing improved outcomes within the increasingly complex healthcare industry.

Has your healthcare company implemented an innovative leadership development approach or been successful at unlocking knowledge across every level of the organization? We’d love to hear more.

About the Author

As a client director at AchieveForum, Danielle Fucci works alongside of a group of sales professionals dedicated to providing support to new clients, primarily within the Healthcare/Pharma/Bio-tech space. Danielle works to ensure that these organizations uncover the best solution that will help to develop and further enhance the skill sets of their leaders, across all levels. Visit our website to learn more about AchieveForum.

1 Comment
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I do agree, regular check in's help a lot. As leaders are held accountable for their own development, line managers are there to facilitate the journey and check ins play a big role. A once a month check in for 30 minutes is a big help.
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