Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsIAN KIRKPATRICK: Welcome to week three. In this week, we're going to look at the critical issue of leadership in healthcare organisations. In particular, we're going to explore why the nature and quality of that leadership is so important to deliver the kind of quality improvement initiatives that we've been talking about and innovations in healthcare systems. To understand this, we're going to explore the topic of leadership in three parts. First of all, we'll explore the broad definitions of leadership. What do we mean by leadership, and reviewing some of the very extensive academic literature on that topic. We'll also introduce the issue of leadership in healthcare and give you an example of transformational leadership in a health service.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 secondsIn part two, we're then going to turn to the whole issue of clinical leadership, and why this has become such a hot topic in recent years. Indeed, Chris Ham, the UK academic, recently described clinical leadership as moving from the dark side to centre stage. We're going to ask the question, well, why is clinical leadership so important? What does it involve? What is the evidence base to support the idea that clinical leadership can transform services? And what are the obstacles to recruiting doctors, nurses, other clinicians into leadership roles? Thirdly, we're going to turn to the broader question of alternative theories of leadership.

Skip to 1 minute and 24 secondsIn particular, we're going to look at the issue of distributed or shared leadership, this idea that leadership is not the preserve of heroic individuals, but something that's shared across teams or clusters of professionals working together. To understand this topic, we'll be hearing contributions from a number of practitioners and academics. So on the practitioner side, we'll hear from Erwin Loh from Monash Health and from Matthew Cripps from the NHS England. For academics, you'll hear from Graeme Currie from Warwick Business School and from Rick Iedema from Monash University.

Welcome to leadership for healthcare improvement

Welcome to week three. In this week we build on the insights from week two (on the organisational context) to turn to the critical importance of leadership. While, as we have seen, there are many tools and techniques for healthcare improvement, the extent to which these can be successfully introduced and sustained depends heavily on the nature and quality of leadership. To explore this issue, we focus on three main blocks of content: Introducing leadership; Clinical leadership; and Alternative perspectives on leadership.

First, we briefly introduce the academic literature on leadership and provide examples from healthcare settings of how successful leaders can have a transformational impact. In the second block, we turn to the more specific issue of clinical leadership. In recent years, there has been a growing enthusiasm for the goal of empowering doctors and other clinical professionals to take on leadership roles in the belief that these leaders are more likely to have the skills and credibility to initiate and drive change. However, while there is considerable evidence to support this view, we shall see how the task of recruiting and incentivising clinical leaders is often far from straightforward.

In the final block we turn to alternative views about leadership which move away from the notion of individual or ‘heroic’ leaders to the idea that leadership activities might be shared or distributed across teams or groups of professionals. This approach may be more aligned to the realities of health organisations, discussed in week two, and has become increasingly popular in many counties. To explore these themes, week three will include contributions from leading practitioners, including Professors Erwin Loh from Monash Health and Matthew Cripps, from NHS England. You will also hear from academics based at Warwick Business School and Monash University.

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Leadership for Healthcare Improvement and Innovation

The University of Warwick

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