Top 10 lessons from LEADS: Building collaborative health systems

- 01:00 PM

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It has been said that the function of good leadership is to overcome the ‘natural fragmentation’ occurring within systems. Any province grappling with health-system transformations (e.g., the creation of Ontario Health Teams, a provincial ‘shared services’ system in Manitoba, and physician engagement in the newly created Saskatchewan Health Authority) needs to embrace leadership that can integrate action across silos within jurisdictions. Leaders are doing so while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, often in ways that work across the boundaries that separate provincial, organizational, and service delivery processes (e.g., efforts to reduce the spread of the virus, supply chains for PPE, vaccine roll-out plans, and semi-isolation of extended-care services). Integrated people-centred care is a central goal of many of these transformations and responses. To achieve this goal, collaborative leadership across all structural and cultural borders that differentiate the multiple parts of the Canadian health eco-system, is necessary.

Drawing on decades of experience and research, Bill Tholl (Canadian Health Leadership Network) and Graham Dickson (Royal Roads University) will explore how a focus on collaborative leadership—in the form of the LEADS framework—can help leaders to integrate processes and systems province-wide for people-centred care. They will speak to three ‘simple rules’ of LEADS as a change model: focus on results, build relationships, and embrace change dynamics, to outline a LEADS-based approach to overcoming fragmentation in systems. They will provide examples from across the country -- from integrated-care transformations like OHTs and other provinces aiming at regionalization -- and multi-sector pandemic responses like those for COVID-19. They will also share more general insights about leadership from the second edition of their book, Bringing Leadership to Life in Health: LEADS in a Caring Environment--Putting LEADS to Work, published in 2020.

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