The healthcare leadership matrix, how to create a 'win-win' after the deal is done


The healthcare environment continues to undergo rapid and profound change with mergers, acquisitions and new business models forever changing the landscape of how we lead and deliver healthcare for the next millennium.  In my previous article, I discussed the concepts of leading your team through complex problem solving.  Today the focus is on you, the leader, how you successfully navigate yourself through new relationships, complex reporting structures and multi-entity healthcare business models. 

As leaders in this new matrix and/or multi entity models, we are challenged to rethink our leadership style and model into a much more collaborative and creative approach to be successful.  New relationships, business or otherwise require us to lead together, build upon individual and team strengths and become much more resilient to change.  In my experience, I’ve had the opportunity to both model and observe what I call best practices when leading in a highly complex and matrix environment:  

  1. Understand and advocate for the goals and objectives of being part of a larger organization.  Embrace your role in helping the local organization achieve their goals for the larger community and the mission you serve.  In many cases, economies of scale, reduction of duplicative services and brand name and recognition were central discussions in driving the decision to come together.  As leaders it is up to us to leverage those new relationships in providing improved services to the communities we serve.

  2. Lead from the front when engaging your leaders, front line staff and community members.  This is an opportunity for you as a leader to demonstrate your commitment to the new relationship, detail the benefits and more importantly the value proposition that will benefit the organization and the community.

  3. Understand and own your role as a System leader.  Position yourself as a credible voice within the organization, advocating for local issues, but understanding the bigger picture.  When the System is successful, the communities share in that success and vice versa.  Look for the win/win in each situation, and avoid the win/lose perspective, its not productive and will impair your judgement and perspective on solving the big issues.

Today’s healthcare environment is challenging and effective leaders who are skilled at managing relationships and navigating the complexities of local and system priorities will be well positioned for success.  When we are successful together, the community benefits from that success, and at the end of the day, this is the ultimate win/win for the values and mission of the organization and the communities we are privileged to serve.