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Leading, Collaborating, and Partnering Across the Health Ecosystem to Drive Value and Transform Health

by The Leadership Development Group

The pandemic has shaken up the very nature of work, making a lasting impact on organizations and business leaders across all industries. The biggest impact, however, has been felt by organizations that comprise the health ecosystem as they stepped up and rallied to respond to the challenges their communities faced during the pandemic. Many key players in the health ecosystem have illustrated what is possible when leaders from different organizations and diverse industry sectors collaborate to meet critical challenges and align around a shared purpose.

We have learned a great deal from our recent collective experiences that will enable us to further transform the health industry and enhance community health outcomes through collaboration and cross-sector partnerships.

What is the Health Ecosystem?

The health ecosystem refers to the synergistic relationships between leaders, organizations, and sectors — such as providers, purchasers and payers, pharmaceuticals, biotech organizations, public/private sectors, communities, and entrepreneurs — that advance the shared purpose of enhancing overall health and wellness.

Health Ecosystem Leadership is Key to Supporting Collaborative Partnerships

Today, leaders in the health ecosystem are up against complex challenges including:

  • Enhancing the customer/patient experience
  • Reducing the total cost of care
  • Optimizing value-based payment models
  • Enhancing coverage and access
  • Improving population health 

These complex challenges require solutions that span multiple sectors of the health ecosystem. To do so requires meaningful collaborations and partnerships across organizations that are diverse in mission, vision, values, purpose, perspectives, culture, and expertise.  

The Health Ecosystem Leadership Model© ​​(HELM™) is a framework that describes the mindset and skill set of leaders capable of generating cross-sector collaborative solutions to the health industry’s most pressing needs, and is geared around the following capabilities:  

Envision the Future: First and foremost, leaders must have a clear vision of the direction their organization is heading and what it hopes to achieve. Then, they can begin to generate ideas about how collaborating with organizations from other sectors can contribute to achieving that vision. Thinking with an ecosystem view allows leaders to generate solutions they may not have otherwise considered.

Align Stakeholders: As organizations bring stakeholders from other sectors into the conversation, leaders must allow these stakeholders to build on their original vision and incorporate their inputs and interests to develop a shared solution. This way, the stakeholders will feel a sense of ownership regarding the solution. Throughout the conversation, it is important to develop a relationship built on trust, respect, and open dialogue, without which there would be much tension and resistance to moving forward.

Manage Boundaries and Obstacles: Along the way toward developing collaborative solutions, the partnership will likely be faced with some bumps along the road. To overcome these obstacles, it’s important that leaders focus on opportunity, and remind themselves as to why the partnership was developed in the first place. This may lead to difficult conversations, but in having these conversations the stakeholders can resolve points of tension, clarify roles, and re-align on ways the respective organizations can interface effectively.

Act and Learn: Of course, leaders must take steps toward advancing the shared vision that was created at the onset of the collaboration, which may require acting under uncertain conditions. It is critical to be open to giving and receiving feedback in the interest of evolving that vision to the benefit of all parties.

Magic occurs when providers, purchasers and payers, the public/private sectors, communities, and entrepreneurs collaborate toward a shared purpose while playing complementary, but independent, roles in improving health. To ensure success, health ecosystem leaders facilitate a shared mission, vision, and values, while still allowing for individual creativity and innovation to drive transformation. 

How Can You Become a Health Ecosystem Leader?

Today, the health industry requires leaders who can create critical systemic change by engaging and inspiring others across sectors to enhance health and wellness. That’s why we created the Health Ecosystem Leadership Institute. The Institute is designed to build the leadership capabilities needed to drive transformation through collaborations and partnerships. 

Our 12-week online blended learning course, Leading Partnerships Across the Health Ecosystem to Drive Value and Transform Health, is designed for leaders who want to master the HELM™ capabilities to positively impact results within their own organization and across sectors and industries that span the health ecosystem. 

Throughout the course, attendees will learn how to drive value and transform health by:

  • Solving critically important problems within their organizations through cross-functional and cross-entity solutions
  • Fostering collaboration and innovation across sectors in the health ecosystem to facilitate positive health industry change

Learn more about the course, key learning objectives, schedule, and how to apply:

Join the Health Ecosystem Leadership Institute

Final Thoughts

Our Health Ecosystem Leadership Institute will help you cultivate cross-sector partnerships to drive positive change within your organization and across the health ecosystem. 

Have questions about the Institute? Get in touch with us — we’re here to help.

Topics: Leadership Development, Partnerships, Healthcare Ecosystem, Leadership, Leadership Resources, Pharma, Physician Leadership