Developing leadership within an academic medical department in Canada: a road map for increasing leadership span.


Medicine is dependent on strong leaders to advance innovation in the clinical care of patients. In most academic medical streams, there is no explicit system-wide approach for succession planning and leadership development. In late 2009, it was clear to the authors' department that they were at risk of losing high-potential individuals and division heads. Succession Planning and Needs Assessment (SPAN) was introduced to the department executive in late 2009 and endorsed in mid-2010. An executive coach was hired to assist in identifying emerging leaders and the skills needing to be developed within a mentorship cycle for leaders to be successful. A group of emerging leaders plus observer senior leaders worked between June and October 2010 to develop a manual that would provide guidance to the department executive. Since June 2010 a succession plan has been in place, allowing allocation of leadership roles. A group of 18 individuals has met four times to establish the elements of leadership development. A manual has been endorsed that includes elements such as the traits needed to be considered an emerging leader; the skills agreed on as important to develop; and the mentorship cycle needed. The group has also proposed a coordinator role and a budget for resource material. Departmental leadership development initiatives are important for succession planning and engagement of high-potential academics, who eventually will become our future leaders. In this article, the authors propose a cohort approach to piloting department initiatives that make a difference to developing leaders.

Cite this paper

@article{Craighead2011DevelopingLW, title={Developing leadership within an academic medical department in Canada: a road map for increasing leadership span.}, author={Peter S. Craighead and Ronald J. Anderson and Rosemary Sargent}, journal={Healthcare quarterly}, year={2011}, volume={14 3}, pages={80-4} }