Concepts underpinning the Framework

Collective and Individual Leadership

Leadership development in NSW Health, as elsewhere, has tended to focus primarily on the development of individual leaders. This remains an important challenge. Yet transforming the system for greater responsiveness and sustainability requires action to tackle tough challenges by committed people working together as well as individually. Both collective and individual leadership are needed.

Accordingly, this framework focuses on the work and practice of leadership as well as the observable behaviours of individual leaders.

Leadership is needed at all levels throughout the system

NSW Health recognises that leadership can be exercised anywhere in a hospital or health service organisation.

It is not simply a matter of leadership performance in particular positions. What differs  in the exercise of leadership between levels in the system is primarily the context in which leadership is practised, rather than the nature of the desired capabilities and behaviours.

Future development of the NSW Health Leadership and Management Framework will take into account differences in the context for leadership work at different levels in the system.

Leadership and Management

The NSW Health system requires people at all levels with both leadership and management capacity to function effectively. In order to create that dynamic capacity, NSW Health requires individual executives, managers and clinicians to be proficient in management-oriented work as well as leadership.

Management action focuses on explicit, relatively concrete phenomena, such as structures, processes and measures. It pertains to task-related actions at points in time. Management action is based in relevant authority. Leadership action, on the other hand, is relational; the emphasis is on building shared understandings to enable change with challenging issues. This intentional focus on the quality of interaction between people is the ingredient that creates the conditions for better outcome achievement and change.

People at all levels in NSW Health need to be able to exercise both forms of action according to what is most needed at particular times. The capabilities presented here are designed to support and reflect leadership-oriented action while acknowledging that some of them can be viewed from a management- oriented perspective as well.

As part of this framework, HETI has articulated a set of management-oriented capabilities for people in NSW Health. These have been developed based on a review of the management literature in health, as well as in consultation with NSW Health staff.

How the Framework will be used

The framework will provide an underpinning for leadership and management development programs in NSW Health, both in reviewing existing programs and setting up new ones.

The framework will also provide the basis for developmental 360-degree feedback and related tools. Importantly, the framework will provide a common language and set of concepts and definitions to inform discussions about leadership and management in the NSW Health system.

The NSW Health Leadership and Management Framework is designed as a catalyst for developmental change in individuals and as a scaffold for the construction of new forms of leadership and management in health care organisations committed to patient and user-centred high performance.