The purpose of this paper is to describe how an Academic Health Science Centre, providing pediatric rehabilitation services, research, and education, developed a Centres for Leadership (CfL) initiative to integrate its academic functions and embrace the goal of being a learning organization.
Historical documents, tracked output information, and staff members’ insights were used to describe the ten-year evolution of the initiative, its benefits, and transformational learnings for the organization.
The evolutions concerned development of a series of CfLs, and changes over time in leadership and management structure, as well as in operations and targeted activities. Benefits included enhanced clinician engagement in research, practice-based research, and impacts on clinical practice. Transformational learnings concerned the importance of supporting stakeholder engagement, fostering a spirit of inquiry, and fostering leaderful practice. These learnings contributed to three related emergent outcomes reflecting “way stations” on the journey to enhanced evidence-informed decision making and clinical excellence: enhancements in authentic partnerships, greater innovation capacity, and greater understanding and actualization of leadership values.
Practical information is provided for other organizations interested in understanding how this initiative evolved, its tangible value, and its wider benefits for organizational collaboration, innovation, and leadership values. Challenges encountered and main messages for other organizations are also considered.
A strategy map is used to present the structures, processes, and outcomes arising from the initiative, with the goal of informing the operations of other organizations desiring to be learning organizations.
The authors would like to express gratitude to the Holland Bloorview Foundation, Sheila Jarvis, Jackie Schleifer-Taylor, Diane Savage, Doug Miron, Joanne Maxwell, and past and present Co-leads of the Centres for Leadership, including Shawna Wade, Michelle Keightley, Nick Reed, and Peter Rumney. Gillian King holds the Canada Research Chair in Optimal Care for Children with Disabilities, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
King, G., Parker, K., Peacocke, S., Curran, C.J., McPherson, A.C., Chau, T., Widgett, E., Fehlings, D. and Milo-Manson, G. (2017), "Centres for Leadership: a strategy for academic integration", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 302-316. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHOM-11-2016-0225
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