Transformational Leadership: CNO Perspectives

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I have the luxury of working every day with incredible CNOs across the US. Our job as a data analytics provider is to give substance to gaps that are identified and provide tools to help move the CNO’s agenda forward. This article includes some of the observations we have made over the past 8 years to provide leadership insights.

Leaders are called upon to build a level of energy and passion that others are not willing to, or able to, create in themselves.  A transformational leader is one who can go into a group or organization and create foundational change. The kind of change that secures or builds the basis of the culture to achieve great results.  Transformational leaders awaken the passion of the organization to achieve vision and goals that are too lofty for an individual to achieve on their own.

Here are some common threads we have seen in Transformational CNO leaders we have worked with at Sphere3®.

Transformational Leaders know the why and it drives them relentlessly.

One of the greatest pieces of life advice I ever received was from my husband’s Cardiologist. He told us “know your why”. Why are we doing all this work to get healthy, why is it worth it, why do I want to be here? Know your why and revisit it because it will not always be easy and when things are hard you need to be encouraged.

Great Leaders recognize that every project and every task is not glamorous…Caregivers, you know what I am talking about…..but sometimes the most unglamorous tasks are the most influential in delivering exceptional care. Day in and day out, these tasks become draining and if you don’t know your why, then it’s hard to stay focused on doing each task with excellence.

Transformational Leaders keep the organizations “Why” at the forefront and encourage each individual to find their own “Why” to drive them.  Transformational leaders realize that “Why” corporately and “Why” personally may be different but they must resonate at the same frequency. They must produce a similar feeling to enable alignment.

Things to ask yourself:

  • Do you know the organization’s why? Can you describe it easily with an example of a story about a patient?
  • Have you written it down?

Transformational Leaders communicate constantly and consistently.

At one of our client sites, the BioMed Director would say at every meeting “It’s about the kids”.  Every vendor and every staff member in that room understood.  In every project, engagement or interaction with this hospital it was communicated clearly that what we were doing mattered. He held us accountable for the mindset and our technology deployment. The real job – was to support the care team that helps children heal and supports their families.

Why was it verbalized so often? Because it’s what his boss said, it’s what his bosses boss said – it was infused in every aspect of communications around that health system. If this is the level of focus a leader wants at their organization then it must be communicated, and expected.

Clinicians have the most noble of jobs, to work with people who are experiencing great pain and joy sometimes simultaneously in the walls of our hospitals. The Care Team supports patients as they welcome new life and hold their hand as they usher life to an end. The Caregiver serves the least of our brothers and sisters in their moments of greatest vulnerability and weakness.

Things to ask yourself – to grade yourself on as a leader:

  • Can my staff clearly communicate the vision and mission of the organization?
  • Do I give them tools to constantly enable them?
  • Do I remind them often of why we do what we do?

Transformation Leaders measure and manage that their organization is executing effectively.

Peter Drucker said “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”

One of our CNO’s, whose hospital who has consistently had great results, told me that she set the expectation for her managers to use the data consistently.  Her focus could be coined with another Drucker phrase “without data you are just another person with an opinion.”  Her desire is to validate that that they were efficiently and effectively connecting with patients on a regular basis.    As such her team consistently communicates and plans using data as their backbone.

A transformational leader understands that data is an alley.  It is a method to achieve great results.  They recognize that setting a goal is not enough, the steps associated must be measured and benchmarked to achieve great alignment and results.

Things to ask yourself:

  • Do you inspect what you expect?
  • Do you have the flexibility to utilize data in real time to manage to the moment?
  • Do you provide tools for your care leadership team to use data daily?

Transformation is led by CNO’s who know their why, communicate relentlessly and use the data to measure effectiveness. We would appreciate the opportunity to share more with you about how Sphere3 can partner in your journey.

 Contact us today info@sphere3consulting.com

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