Developing Healthcare Leaders

While the nursing and physician shortage has been well-documented and widely-discussed, there is a far more challenging aspect of healthcare talent management today – attaining a deep pipeline of executive-ready talent equipped to lead amid a complex and chaotic healthcare industry. In fact, strong leadership is arguably the single most important driver of overall organizational performance, and well-constructed talent management and succession planning remain critical to developing a deep bench of strong leaders. 

Facing unprecedented pressure to navigate new laws, regulations, care coordination and payment models, new leadership styles need to be implemented to effectively lead and manage in the new paradigm. Simply said, healthcare organizations need to simultaneously address an impending shortage of leader-ready talent while developing the competencies and behaviors of existing leaders to match the requirements of an ever-evolving landscape.

Leadership development can no longer be ignored

Healthcare organizations, like many, are slow to invest resources to identify and develop next generation talent. Yet, thriving, or at least surviving, in today’s environment requires organizations to leverage all of its institutional talent and aggressively address leadership development. 

The most obvious place to leverage existing talent to fill future executive leadership vacancies is your Director-level talent. However, according to our research, a significant gap exists between what Director-level talent do well and what is needed to be a successful executive. 

The Building Blocks for Readying Director-level Talent

Understanding the skill gap between Directors and Executives is the first step in aligning development plans to the required behavioral competencies of Executive roles. After collecting competency data on Directors and Executives in several healthcare industries (pharmaceutical, biotechnology, staffing and hospitals), XBInsight conducted sophisticated analyses to uncover competencies where Executives scored significantly higher than Directors. These are the areas to focus on when readying Directors for future Executive leadership positions – leading courageously, communication, gaining buy-in, and inspiring others. 

To learn more about each of these competencies and how to assess your Director-level talent against them, download XBInsight’s white paper or contact XBInsight at