The leadership team that you have today may not be the team that can help you move to the next level of performance, a new peak that may mean the difference between success or selling to a competitor.
The road ahead for healthcare providers is fraught with unprecedented challenges. Today, more than any other time in the last 30 years, CEOs realize that waiting too long to fine tune their leadership resources could lead to serious consequences.
There is an emerging trend — CEOs are giving their organizations a “leadership checkup” using their internal organization development team or an outside consultant.
This is a dicey proposition, especially if you have a stable team that, up to now, has consistently produced good results. You do not want to embark on a assessment strategy that will put valued members of the team “in play” – sampling the job market in an over abundance of caution because the leadership assessment could cost them their job security.
To succeed – that is to say to produce a realistic assessment that provides insight while valuing the contributions of the team – you must begin by selecting the right consultant, one who offers a balanced set of skills, from diplomacy and compassion to operational insight and a keen understanding of the challenges ahead. But more importantly, you must have a consultant that, in the privacy of the CEO’s office, will tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear, free of financial motives.
Most consultants come to the table with a set of built-in weaknesses – most of which are built around the desire to secure additional add-on consulting or a future engagement. Not everyone in the market is concerned with doing the right thing, particularly if their performance and financial incentives favor the art of winning add-on business.
Subject matter expertise is also important. Healthcare is a complex and unique industry. Legendary management guru Peter Drucker posited that hospitals are among the most complex of human organizations every created. Leadership experts or coaches that lack a depth of knowledge of healthcare delivery and the impact that budget deficit reductions will have on healthcare providers are not ideally suited for this work.
The game is changing for executive recruiters as well. The traditional transactional model of “order placement” will not work. CEOs need more than an “order taker.” They need a leadership consultant who understands the issues, and who is as obsessed with the results as their Client.
The solution for CEOs is to look for executive recruiters who understand that their 50-year-old business model has changed and that it is not just about the fee.
In the end, we will all change.
© 2011 John Gregory Self