We are not trying to state the obvious. For the past four years, HealthLeaders Media has sponsored our annual Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare program to reward the best senior leadership teamwork at a hospital, health plan or medical group practice. Ingenuity, enterprise and flexibility are all values that every successful healthcare organization must have, but the “root” value, we believe, must be teamwork.
Again, we are not trying to be obvious. Saying that teamwork is essential to running a multi-layered modern healthcare enterprise is like saying oxygen is ideal for respiration. The problem is that the subject of teamwork is usually discussed in similarly vague terms, often left to a bastion of puffy management books and trust-building adventures at an off-site retreat. What we hope to find with our program are the real-life success factors in building a true healthcare team. It’s not a mission complete yet, but in the first four years we have uncovered some of the common factors. One of our Top Leadership Teams judges, Jim Stokes of m21 Partners, found that all TLT winners:
- Respect each other.
- Empower each other.
- Promote teamwork.
- Place a high value on longevity.
- Help others develop.
- Work well with physicians.
Our awards program is growing again in 2007, as we add a mid-size hospital category for a total of three hospital categories. We are also opening our health plan category to national plans and allowing single-specialty medical groups to enter the medical group practices category.
We are so passionate about the importance of teamwork that we will continue to take the Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare program to its next iteration. Beyond the awards program, we will host our second Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare Conference, set this year for Oct. 11-12 in Chicago. I attend many fine conferences in healthcare, but none are as dedicated to practical, best practice-oriented teamwork strategies as this two-day event will be.
We encourage all hospitals, health plans and medical groups with a great teamwork story to share it with us. The deadline for entries is March 28, and all the information you need can be found at www.topleadershipteams.net