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  • John Kiernan

The Next Generation: 5 Competencies of Future Healthcare Leaders

Updated: Jan 10, 2019


Imagining healthcare 50 years from today seems like a far reach to me. Yet, this question was the focal point of a panel session I attended at the CAHME 50th Anniversary meeting in Philadelphia, PA. It opened up a discussion focused on the skills that will be essential for future generations of leaders and practitioners. My recent conversations with CEO’s and other healthcare professionals suggest that new tools are needed right now to navigate the disruptive trends and shift to value based care models.

The expert panel pointed to the following leadership competencies and mindset characteristics:

  1. Ambiguity - Comfort with ambiguity and the ability to make decisions without a complete set of data.

  2. Transfer Experience - The ability to successfully transfer experience and apply it to new problems and less familiar scenarios.

  3. Matrixed Organization - Skill in leading projects and influencing results in an increasingly matrixed organizational structure where key stakeholders are remote and may have different priorities.

  4. Partnerships - A collaborative approach to embracing partnerships and alliances and the recognition that “we can’t go it alone.”

  5. Customer Obsession – A deeper understanding of customers as a core principle and driver of product and service innovation.

From our work as executive search consultants helping organizations position for the future, I’d add the following skills and qualities common to the DNA of Entrepreneurs:

  1. Risk Tolerance and the willingness to fail.

  2. Resilience in the face of short term adversity.

  3. Creativity to solve problems and innovate.

  4. Flexibility to adapt to unforeseen changes and seize new opportunities.

  5. Sales skills to engage people and promote ideas and solutions.

  6. Urgency to execute business plans.

  7. Ownership of results and/or outcomes.

What are your observations? I’d welcome your feedback and comments.

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