The Most Effective Leadership Style for the New Landscape of Healthcare

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Abstract

When leaders in healthcare organizations are asked, “What's the one word that best characterizes the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the U.S. healthcare delivery system,” most will answer “Change.” And when mid- to lower-level employees in those same organizations are asked to describe the one thing they dislike or fear most about the ACA, they, too, say “Change.” As if they are not already challenged by implementing the ACA, today's healthcare leaders are faced with the challenge of overcoming staff's resistance to change. Furthermore, too many leaders do not understand just how change resistant many of their employees are, although these employees are the very people who will be charged with implementing the tremendous changes the ACA will require.

Some leaders have tried to persuade their staff that surviving healthcare reform is the latest burning platform threatening the prosperity and security of their organizations. But they generally find that change management challenges, such as ACA implementation, do not come with a one-size-fits-all solution or that their staff do not view the ACA as “their problem.”

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