A few years ago, top executives at Catholic Health Partners (CHP), one of the largest not-for-profit health systems in the U.S.A., were acutely aware that strategic and successful succession planning was crucial for future sustainability. But their efforts ran up against an organizational culture that valued independence and autonomy over the larger organizational mission.

In charting a strategy for ensuring a future generation of leaders, CHP had a vision that went well beyond conventional succession planning. In partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®), the organization created a developmental process designed to build a cadre of individuals ready to carry forth the organization’s mission and values; able to work across organizational boundaries; and capable of tackling strategic, complex, and critical issues.

The CHP Leadership Academy has “delivered results for us—helping us manage change, develop a leadership cadre, and build an organization that grows through continuous learning,” said Jon Abeles, CHP’s senior vice president of talent management and diversity at the time. “I think that it is a model program and that key elements can work in other healthcare organizations and in other industries.”

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