The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) has developed a model that health systems can use to adapt and thrive in uncertain times by creating direction, alignment, and commitment. For decades, US hospital administrators and medical professionals have operated within a challenging, rapidly changing, and fragmented healthcare system. Today, this environment is even more complex as sweeping healthcare reform and market forces transform the way healthcare is delivered and managed.

A Proven Approach

Healthcare organizations face daily challenges from all sides: To control costs, adapt to changing regulations, manage partnerships, meet staffing demands, deliver high quality care and ensure patient safety.

In high-performing hospitals and healthcare systems:

  • Physicians, nurses and staff are engaged in their work.
  • Communication is clear, direct and open.
  • Collaboration is part of the culture; organizational silos don’t get in the way.
  • Recruitment and retention ensures a staff committed to quality and safety.
  • Innovative solutions are shared and implemented throughout the system.
  • Continuous learning is encouraged and rewarded.
  • Leaders bridge silos, act strategically and decisively in times of chaos and ambiguity.
  • A high-energy environment supports employees in managing stress and staying healthy.

The key to all of these? Leadership.

Healthcare organizations come in all shapes and sizes, each with their own challenges and vital missions. Leadership is the common factor that has the biggest impact on their performance.

CCL’s approach to transforming healthcare leadership has been developed through research and long-term collaboration with several healthcare organizations. We’ve developed a reproducible framework that strengthens the most important leadership capabilities. It’s focused on six operational priorities.

6 Essential Needs Leadership Emphasis
Patient Care, Quality & Safety Engaging employees
Collaborative problem solving
Continuous learning
Resource Stewardship Strategic thinking
Accountability, transparency, integrity
Ability to facilitate dialogue & seek innovative solutions
Leader Capability Leading employees
Participative management
Building & mending relationships
Self awareness
Broad organizational perspective
Building & leading a team
Talent Pipeline Managing & retaining talent for critical positions
Identifying & developing bench strength
Fostering feedback, learning & a culture of coaching
Boundary Spanning Building problem-solving networks & relationships
Thinking, acting & influencing systemically
Leveraging differences to drive improvements & innovation
Capacity for Complexity & Change Transforming the culture
Leading through & living with ambiguity
Managing the technical & the personal side of change Human Energy
Maximizing energy for greater effectiveness
Maintaining health & wellbeing
Aligning personal & organizational values


Healthcare organizations face extraordinary pressures to deliver safe, high-quality care and control costs. And they must do so in a regulatory and economic environment that changes constantly.

Do any of these problems sound familiar?

  • Your organization is struggling with significant business challenges. What worked before doesn’t anymore.
  • Senior executives need to collaborate more effectively.
  • Administrators, managers and team members must work in new ways and lead in a changing environment.

CCL leadership development programs can help your organization solve complex, strategic problems. Our solutions are based on 40-plus years of research, work with companies and leaders around the world, and many years of working closely with our healthcare client partners.

From the first conversations to the final evaluation report, our programs are designed to provide maximum learning and growth for your leaders at the individual, team and system level. We do that by:

  • Incorporating assessment and feedback.
  • Applying proven leadership research, models and tools.
  • Using coaching and virtual learning to help participants apply their new skills on the job.
  • Deeping the impact through work-based assignments, team facilitation, coaching and senior-level support.

Our open-enrollment programs provide fast, high-impact development. For healthcare organizations, the Leadership Development Program, Coaching for Greater Effectiveness and Leadership at the Peak often make sense. These are available to any of your employees. For larger groups, we can bring these programs to your site.

For more complex or systemic challenges, our tailored development programs provide a high ROI. These solutions are designed from the ground up to directly address your most challenging problems and strengthen your organization’s own development capabilities.

Our expert faculty draw from an extensive library of training methods and leadership research, plus their own hands-on experience, to create measurable, high-impact programs. The result is that your organization is better equipped to navigate the turbulent environment of 21st century healthcare.

Client Successes

Creative leadership delivers impact — and making an impact motivates us every day at CCL. The stories you will read below confirm that we are making a difference.

Cone Health: Getting the Results that Matter Most with CCL

Through the lens of Catholic Health Partners, explore how CCL’s innovative training and research are helping companies thrive in an increasingly interdependent work environment.

Why Choose CCL?

CCL offers four decades of experience with working with leaders from organizations around the world to all of our clients. To healthcare organizations we add in a solid understanding of your realities and leadership needs. We’ve maintained deep, long-term relationships a range of healthcare providers — large health systems, non-profit regional systems and community-based hospitals — as well as public health organizations and corporate health-related organizations.

Our Strengths

  • Successful track record working with executives, managers and medical professionals, as well as developing the leadership capacity of senior leadership teams, patient care teams and other key groups.
  • Excellent portfolio of off-the-shelf programs for building a foundation of individual leader talent within the organization and across the system.
  • Custom-created programs and initiatives based on client-driven discovery process and CCL best practices.
  • Research and evaluation expertise, creating in-depth knowledge and continuous improvement of our approach to leadership development in the healthcare sector.
  • The world’s largest, confidential 360-degree assessment database, including more than 34,000 executives, managers and professionals working in health and healthcare.
  • Ranked as one of the world’s top 10 providers of executive education in BusinessWeek and Financial Times executive education surveys.

Making an Impact

  • Created a long-term, multi-level initiative to develop next-generation leaders and strengthen an organization-wide culture of leadership. We developed an award-winning program with Catholic Healthcare Partners (CHP), one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the United States. Faced with a critical gap in leadership skills and a pending culture shift, CHP joined with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) to build a team of talented leaders and a more vibrant organizational future.
  • Helped regional hospital overcome leadership roadblocks to become a customer-focused “provider of choice.” Community members are confident in the care at Lenoir Memorial Hospital and no longer assume they travel to a larger hospital system. Employees, too, are more satisfied and engaged because of the new levels of trust and collaboration within the organization.
  • Provided a coaching component to a leadership development program for executives of not-for-profit health centers across the United States. National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) found that its executives valued their learning but that they struggled to apply lessons learned in the realities of the workplace. With CCL’s involvement, executives were able to think through their challenges, gain a fresh perspective and try new approaches with the support of a leadership coach.
  • Established leader development initiatives and organizational interventions for insurance companies, pharmaceutical corporations, and medical device manufacturers. Clients include Bayer, Catholic Health Partners, and Cape Fear Valley Health System.

Need more information?

Contact one of our client advisers:

Online: Contact us

Phone: +1 336 545 2810

Learn more about CCL’s healthcare leadership framework.

Healthcare Infographic

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Through our partnership with CCL, we have created a critical mass of leaders who are connected, collaborative and committed to our mission. We are working in more system-focused ways and leveraging our strengths in ways we never anticipated

—Jon Abeles
Senior Vice President, Talent Management & Diversity
Catholic Healthcare Partners