June 26, 2013  /  Jennifer Tomasik
Healthcare Lands: Announcing the Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation By Ashish Jha, MD I’m thrilled to see the announcement of this journal! This post hits on a wide range of inter-related topics — each so critical for helping healthcare leaders manage the transition from volume to value, shining light on where the future is already here in some way shape or form. There’s a common misconception that innovation emerges out of thin air. In our work with healthcare organizations, we find that innovation is more frequently the result of combining and recombining existing ideas. Helping people see how the future is... read more »
July 9, 2013  /  Barry Dornfeld
Tom Gilmore, CFAR Principal, speaks about how CFAR's approach to change invites a different perspective on leadership—in which the leader looks for and leverages seeds of innovation and change already happening inside the organization.
July 28, 2013  /  Debbie Bing
Forbes: 30 Outdated Leadership Practices Holding Your Company Back This list is helpful – and it’s a lot! I think one of the most important ideas here is the shift form discouraging independent thinking because it feels threatening or destabilizing to embracing dissenting opinions. Differences in organizations can be a source of conflict and disruption, and leaders often worry that having direct conversations about them will damage relationships or unleash a set of dynamics that will be difficult to control. The result is an inability to act on a pressing business issue. But as you poin... read more »
August 27, 2013  /  Barry Dornfeld
Jan Jaffe, former director of the Ford Foundation's GrantCraft program, describes CFAR's approach to change as "an invitation to inquiry" - and way to better understand the organization's future and how to get there.
September 11, 2013  /  Larry Hirschhorn
Larry Hirschhorn has recently written about “The Folk-Psychology of Money.” In this post he explores a current forecast offered by many economists through the lens of folk-psychology and conceptions of money and credit. read more »
September 18, 2013  /  LYNN OPPENHEIM
On September 20th, 2013, I'm speaking at a meeting of AAMC's Group on Institutional Planning. My talk is titled “Creating and Implementing Strategic Plans: The Future,” and features strategic planning tactics that most effectively propel academic medicine organizations forward today, allowing them to move from strategy to action quickly. Highlights include how to: 1) Accelerate reactions to turbulence and disruptive changes 2) Engage people through authentic participation 3) Leverage technology to ask the right questions 4) Consider the environment and features of the organization’s network and partners View the presentation here
September 19, 2013  /  Barry Dornfeld

Very thoughtful piece from the Chronicle of Higher Education, and I agree that this kind of inclusive approach to strategy in higher ed is fundamental to success. Grounding this work in good data, both internal and external, is also necessary. In our experience doing strategy with universities, two additional challenges are making tough decisions about what to stop doing, since focus and limited resources are often a challenge, and then thinking about how to manage the difficulties of change in an environment that is often averse to change.

October 28, 2013  /  Jennifer Tomasik

As the migration from volume to value unfolds in the healthcare industry, past formulas for success can lead to the undoing of an organization today.  To make matters worse, while new payment and reimbursement vehicles are emerging, hospital leaders must continue to optimize for the system as it exists today—even as they prepare for the future.  It's a seismic shift:  from a focus on volume and illness, to a focus on value and wellness.  And leaders often feel stuck in the middle while trying to map out a clear path to the future that is coming.

With my colleagues from Second Curve Systems, I'm leading a workshop at the American College of Healthcare Executives' 2014 Congress on Healthcare Leadership (March 24-27, 2014, Chicago) that will... read more »

October 30, 2013  /  Monica Heuer

Moving from strategy to action should be energizing.  It's exciting to have a clear direction, a concrete focus—at last, a way out of the wilderness!  But for many organizations, putting strategy into action is fraught. Some people just don't like the plan, others are unhappy with who was (or was not!) involved in developing the plan, and therefore dismiss it before it's even put into action. There's no question, though, that if you ask people what they think the plan should include, and loop back to make sure they know you heard them, they are more likely to want to be part of the plan in the future — and that can help your propel your strategy forward. If you think of each person you invite into the planning process as a twinkle or bulb, you are i... read more »

November 1, 2013  /   Jessica Geiben Lynn
Give us 60 minutes, we'll give your board of directors or advisors a shot in the arm! Come to CFAR's upcoming presentation at AAMC's Annual Meeting entitled "Working Effectively with Governing and Advisory Boards" to learn more about our approach to getting the most out of your board, be it governing or advisory. CFAR starts with a point of view that organizations usually know what they need to do. It's just that history, culture, relationships, politics get in the way of success. Come and hear how we have helped numerous boards sweep away organizational clutter to help them reengage and revitalize their boards. Be prepared to work: we'll be using examples from participants' experience to illustrate some board "best practices." This engaging and idea-packed presentation is Sunday,... read more »
November 13, 2013  /  Barry Dornfeld

Faculty in higher education don't love meetings, but they want a say in the institution's strategy.  At a school of the arts, where the faculty, under previous administrations, felt disengaged from institutional processes like strategic planning, we helped design and participated in a launch event designed to engage a broad swath of educators and staff in the development of a new strategic plan. We adopted an approach already very familiar to them—a studio crit (short for critique), a teaching and learning technique widely used in design schools, in which student artwork is formally evaluated by a group of faculty and students.  It is a distinctive, unique communal practice that has deep roots in the singular ethos of art institutes.  Its premise is that the... read more »

November 18, 2013  /  Larry Hirschhorn
In a recent post Larry Hirschhorm suggests that administration leaders came to believe that they were engaged in a crusade, and that the psychology of a crusade pre-empts careful thinking about cause and effect, while privileging loyalty over critical thinking. read more »
December 17, 2013  /  Jessica Geiben Lynn

Margaret Thatcher famously said that "consensus is the absence of leadership."  While the statement is debatable, leadership teams—composed of very smart, highly accomplished professionals—often sincerely believe that full consensus is needed  before decisions can be made. This belief springs from an authentic motivation—a desire to preserve working relationships, a fear of alienating people who are needed to make change happen, and the feeling that you'll be making the right choice only if you have complete consensus. If everyone agrees, it must be right—right?  

The desire for full consensus can also come from more problematic places, though—weakness on the part of the formal leader, fear of going out on a limb and... read more »

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