Five Core Strategies for Developing High-Impact Physician Leadership: Common Ground for the Board and the C-Suite

Executive Summary

The emerging health care environment has changed the game for health care organizations and for physician leadership. The turbulence of that environment is going to require what could be called “agile organizations” adept at matching leadership and decision-making styles and setting and executing strategies appropriate to the nature and depth of environmental change. The challenges come in many forms, such as growth and the integration of physician practices, creating patient-centered medical homes or accountable care organizations, developing integrated delivery systems or aligning with value-based purchasing goals and requirements (see sidebar The Five Challenges for Trustees).

Agile organizations are going to rely on many more physicians in formal and informal leadership roles and in much more collaborative relationships with administrative leaders. Physician leadership is the missing piece for most health care organizations, whether they are systems, hospitals or large physician practices.

This publication presents an architecture or roadmap for developing the required web of physician leaders. It is designed to help executives and boards reach common ground. Developing physician leaders is a major challenge for health care executives and requires an investment of resources to realize the desired return. The board can play a key role in encouraging executives to make wise investments in physician leadership and supporting them in “holding the course” to achieve this essential goal.

To