Developing leaders and leadership in healthcare has become increasingly important during normally turbulent times, a topic we reflected on in our piece in the Wharton Healthcare Quarterly last spring. But now that we find ourselves in a full-blown public crisis, with our health delivery systems—from front line workers to clinical and research leadership to executives—completely focused on responding to the crisis, should we expect healthcare organizations to focus on leadership development?
► Crises like the one we are moving through are forcing us to stretch our own capabilities and those of our teams and organizations. They act as “stress tests” for these systems, allowing us to see where we have more resilience than we had imagined, and to identify weak points in our systems. We should take note of these strengths and challenges in our organizations, and make sure we come back to think about how to address them in the future.
► We can also take brief moments during this crisis to reflect on how our own personal leadership capabilities are being stretched, and where we feel we have been successful and where we felt less so. Perhaps a “pandemic learning journal” can act as a helpful outlet for these reflections. In fact, social media—Twitter posts, blogs, and other platforms—have been an excellent source of reflection and learning, and a place where one can read our colleagues’ insights on how they are managing and taking up leadership at this time.
► We can also reflect on the resilience our organizational cultures exhibit through this crisis. What practices and behaviors have been most helpful from a cultural perspective through this time, and where we will want to adapt and strengthen these practices and behaviors into the future?