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CIN Resource Page: Leadership for Continuous Change and Improvement

As organizations, policies, and people evolve, leaders will continue to play a key role in managing change. The definition of success in leading change evolves over time, and the changes themselves, big and small, are constant. Leaders can play a key role in helping their organizations succeed in this complex environment. These resources — CIN’s top picks for articles and books to guide leaders in health care organizations in an environment of continuous change — are organized reverse chronologically.

Articles on Leadership for a Culture of Quality and Innovation

The Answer to Culture Change: Everyday Management Tactics
Research from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement shows that the missing piece for sustained improvement is the practice and structure of management. This blog summarizes specific management interventions shown to be effective. (NEJM Catalyst, Mar. 2019)

At Center of San Francisco’s Safety Net, the CEO Leans In
This CHCF blog describes the career journey and leadership philosophy of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital CEO Susan Ehrlich. (California Health Care Foundation, Oct. 2018)

Changing Leadership Behavior Gets Real Results
The executives at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital implemented a successful program of behavioral expectations for its leaders to address the five behavioral dimensions required for continuous improvement (willingness, humility, curiosity, perseverance, and self-discipline). (NEJM Catalyst, Oct. 2018)

How Managers Become Leaders: The Seven Seismic Shifts of Perspective and Responsibility
As leaders move up to the enterprise level, they become responsible for designing and altering the architecture of their organization — its strategy, structure, processes, and skill bases. To be effective organizational architects, they need to think in terms of systems. (Harvard Business Review, June 2012)

The CIN Bookshelf: Change Leadership Classics

Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling
Leaders need to hear the truth and learn from others to understand circumstances, the perspectives of staff and other stakeholders, and develop the best course of action. Schein makes the case for asking instead of telling, using humble inquiry. (Edgar H. Schein, 2013)

The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, Updated and Expanded
The First 90 Days provides a roadmap for leaders who have been promoted or have joined a new organization. Advice includes how to discover your strengths and weaknesses, build your team, and achieve short-term wins. (Amy Edmonson, 2012)

Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate and Compete in the Knowledge Economy
Amy Edmondson’s research makes the case for a leadership focus on “teaming” (which she considers a verb) as the key to success in an environment of constant change. (Amy Edmonson, 2012)

Leading Change
John P. Kotter’s eight-step process for leading change has become the foundation for leaders and organizations across the globe. (John P. Kotter, 2012)

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
In Switch, the Heaths show how everyday people — employees and managers, parents and nurses — have united rational and emotional minds and, as a result, achieved dramatic results. (Chip and Dan Heath, 2010)

Transitions: Making Sense Of Life’s Changes
William Bridges’ work makes the important distinction between a specific change and the adjustment to that change: the transition. (William Bridges, 2004)

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
Patrick Lencioni teaches that teams that don’t succeed have one or more of five related “dysfunctions,” with the first and most foundational dysfunction being the absence of trust. (Patrick Lencioni, 2002)


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