The main question from my personnel view is: How can competent leaders and competent consulters cooperate within professional consulting structures to the benefit of quality and development of the organization and its personnel? (See Figure 22.2).
I would expect that hospitals improve and standardize their leadership competence for all professions. This competence in hospital is essentially linked with the hospital's professional organizational development, and in turn, organization development is indispensable and is linked with development of leadership competence. This statement may seem trivial, but the usual focus in a hospital's "real world" is the indispensable focus on putting all the concentration on being a physician, a therapist, a nurse and so forth.
That means that these professionals live in a personal hierarchy with their profession at the top. It also means that they either fail to or are reluctant to assume other responsibilities, such as taking on an active role in change processes. In other words, they see their responsibilities exclusively within the framework of their respective professions.
What is the main focus within the professional perception of leaders in hospitals? To be a specialist in their responsibility to patients, to cure, to research and to actively compete for capital and better resources and medical technical tools.
What is in the background of professional perception? The benchmarking of leadership competence, knowledge about organizational development, conflict management, group and team dynamics and a concentration on optimizing medical processes.
In hospitals it's necessary to connect knowledge of leadership and organizational development, to develop awareness for linking quality management activities with internal and external measures for supporting employees and leaders through methods of reflection, coaching and team consulting.
Figure 22.2. Types of consulting and leadership training in gespag.
LEARNING BY BEING THE PRINCIPAL OF CONSULTING PROJECTS
One of my main tasks is to ask emphatically all executive managers of the hospital to take part in preparation and evaluation of all those consulting processes they are responsible for as the superiors for the consultation.
The consulting method used by the CDC offers various learning opportunities for the gespag, especially for its managers.
• Learning, that, in the system "hospital," the development of leadership competence forms a significant element concerning the success of the system and that the manager's progress is integrated in an active process of reflection.
• Learning, that professional preparation of complex consulting processes and structuring the consulting assignments help clarifying the development of departments and the general consulting of change.
• Learning, that integrating the methods and logic of internal experts and external consultants and connecting the competences of both, improve the quality of designing complex tasks in a hospital.
• Learning, that the cooperation of external experts from the field of OD, process consulting and team development at the one side and internal experts from the field of quality management at the other side enriches and offers opportunities for the whole organization and its professional development.
Steps Into the Future: Intraorganizational Collaboration
Since 2008 the "Center for Development and Counseling" (CDC) also collaborates with other managing departments within the gespag. For instance
• with the department for Human Resources (HR): the CDC-team provides advice on designing training courses for executive managers and on integrating the element of coaching into these training courses (leadership training for high potentials and leaders, see Figure 22.2);
• with the Department for Quality Management (QM): CDC and QM are cooperating in the management of all OD-projects. This cooperation is a very important opportunity for developing sustainable OD in gespag, connecting two important pillars of OD's self-conceptions.
Finally, excellence and professionalism in times of change means to be prepared for dramatic changes. To achieve this task, professional leadership and a high level of implementation of OD is necessary. In hospitals, the survival of the fittest means to achieve a high level of leadership competence, a high awareness of the management for the skillful implementation of OD and a profound understanding of how to link OD and development of leadership with the support from external consultants.
In 2009 I suggested a special training program for internal OD consultants. Finally, in 2011 the personnel director of gespag agreed with the idea and actively facilitated the realization of the training program called "Training for Internal OD Consultants" in 2012 and 2013 with 23 employees of gespag participating. This program was created and carried out by Dr. Ralph Grossmann, professor for OD at the University of Klagenfurt, and his team. For the future, highly trained internal OD consultants will cooperate with external professional consultants from CDC to support the organizational change processes in gespag. In that respect, an important task of mine has been accomplished.