The LEADS leadership framework is the result of a research project conducted in 2006 that asked the question: what leadership capabilities are needed to lead the health system in the future?
Sponsored by the Health Care Leaders Association of British Columbia, and conducted by the Centre for Health Leadership and Research at Royal Roads University, the research arose out of discussions among leaders, educators and administrators over the previous 2 years where concerns had been raised about the challenges of implementing health system reform and the scarcity of people aspiring to leadership positions.
The research project was supported and informed by a broad range of stakeholders from the BC health system. The intent of the project was to develop a common framework for all health authorities in the province, and with that framework, to generate collaborative actions to develop more people who would be prepared to lead the changes being faced in the 21st century.
The research consisted of an extensive literature review of leadership, a comparison of health leadership competency frameworks in the province, in Canada and internationally, and key stakeholder interviews. The first draft of the model was reviewed by a focus group of stakeholders and refined. The final model was presented and accepted at the 2006 AGM of the Health Leaders Association of BC.
Since 2006 the framework has gained wide acceptance by health authorities in Canada. In 2009, it was adopted by the Canadian Health Leadership Network as the LEADS in a Caring Environment framework for health leadership in Canada.
But we believe LEADS has significant relevance across all industries, sectors and organizations. Although developed for the BC, and then Canadian health system, the framework is a synthesis of the major knowledge and practice domains required by leaders today in virtually any environment. The 5 domains of the framework provide an elegant means of organizing thinking, planning and development around leadership for both individuals and organizations, within and beyond the health system.
As a leader facing any challenge or change or simply wanting to improve, the framework guides you to think of: how will you lead yourself through this change or challenge, who do you need to engage to ensure success, what results do you want to achieve, how will you network with stakeholders, including customers and how will you design the change you envision?