Savvy leaders prepare to be champions of change

April 1, 2006

PITTSBURGH?Healthcare leaders need to be well-versed in leading change as healthcare delivery changes, according to industry experts.

PITTSBURGH-Healthcare leaders need to be well-versed in leading change as healthcare delivery changes, according to industry experts.

Leaders are facing a business environment that is more stressful and demanding than ever before, with increased board and shareholder scrutiny, according to Walker. "They are sometimes thrust into their jobs and not prepared for the complex demands that come with them," she says. "That includes the dramatic business growth that is mandated in most industries, including managed care. Leaders have to balance the growth demands with the need to develop their workforce to ensure the business can continue to flourish and has the talent it needs to take on the future."

While healthcare costs continue to increase, managed care also has seen significant growth, Walker adds. "Success is conditional on that growth being managed by leaders who put the right team in place as the organization evolves, and that every employee understands their role in the organization's future."

DDI recently asked leaders to select the one action that garnered the most respect for leaders in their organizations. The top choice in healthcare was "ability to bring in the numbers."

"Obviously, leaders are responsible for achieving their business goals and this is their top priority," Walker says. "However, what leads to respect is not the same as what leads to failure. Leaders who are not successful mostly fail because of poor people skills and a poor fit with the organizational culture. To be prepared, managed care executives are best served to pay attention to their own leadership style as well as to develop a comprehensive leadership development strategy for managers throughout their organization. It's the only way to get ahead in today's hyper-competitive marketplace."