McPhetres says it's exciting to think that a future CEO of the health system could come from among the nine managers in the program. In addition to developing practical leadership skills, McPhetres says the program has other benefits "It's a commitment to people and development," she says. "We believe we have talented people here. This builds loyalty and morale, where people understand that we will invest in them, and they fully invest in this organization. From that great things come."
She says the accelerated program has also changed the way that senior management looks at issues. "We still have the same concerns as every other healthcare business but I feel we are positioned to grow in a different way. We have momentum and new talent and new leaders whose core position is to help us with our growth," McPhetres says.
Now—after a year of leadership training, working together, and sharing ideas—the group mostly runs on its own. The managers have formed close professional bonds and their constant contact with colleagues outside of their area of expertise has torn down a lot of silos and prompted them to think about how their department impacts the entire organization.
"They've become wonderful resources to me and I know that I can call them and bounce an idea off them," Schandelmeier says. "If I have a particular problem with a department or if I need to understand how my department interacts with another department I have a colleague to call. And it's always good to have another perspective besides my own. We have become each other's consultants."
Schandelmeier says Accelerated Development Group delivers the message that CMHC believes in its people. "If the organization that you work for demonstrates that it's willing to invest in you and make a commitment to you in your development, managers and directors and employees at any level are only going to look to reciprocate that and do our best to show our organization that we were worth that investment," she says. "I do believe there are people in this group who will go on to participate in the senior leadership team. We are just very appreciative that we've had this opportunity."