Indiana University Health is the largest and most comprehensive healthcare system in Indiana, with 16 hospitals, dozens of community and out-patient facilities, and more than 34,000 employees. The IU Health South Central Region, based in Bloomington, in recent years has tapped the top-ranked Kelley School of Business for training designed to increase the business acumen of its medical professional leaders, who are part of a dyad leadership approach where they partner with an administrative leader. This case study discusses the new Directors Leadership Development Program, custom designed by Kelley Executive Education for the other half of the dyad—high level non-clinical directors throughout the IU Health South Central Region, which includes hospitals and facilities in 11 counties.
The healthcare industry nationwide has undergone rapid change in recent years. In Indiana, this trend has spurred the reconfiguration of hospitals, healthcare systems, and services. Fast-paced, market-driven changes have forced the healthcare industry, which traditionally followed a not-for-profit business model, to adopt business management and even entrepreneurial practices.
The IU Health South Central Region has around 50 directors who function as “leaders of leaders.” David Weales, senior organizational development consultant for IU Health, described them as “player-coaches” because they are active in managing their functional areas in addition to managing teams and projects. They are expected to model IU Health values and approach problem-solving strategically. The organization wanted to empower directors, typically mid-career professionals, to effectively navigate the changes.
The impact of the pandemic created additional challenges. Kelley Executive Education created a robust in-person training program that promptly had to be converted for online delivery because of public health guidance.