1. Foster, Rhonda EdD, MPH, MS, RN, NEA-BC

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Q What percentage of transformational leaders is needed in an organization to affect organizational change?

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I'm often asked if it's the percentage or the number of leaders who have a transformational mindset that's important. This question is asked by managers, directors, and senior leaders for different reasons.


Managers ask from the perspective of understanding how to shift away from transactional leadership and how to change their approach from delegating and assigning to cooperative problem-solving and engagement.


On the other hand, directors want to know how the answer will affect their thinking. Do they need to have a different mindset? Care about other departments? Think big picture? Embrace change? Moreover, when do they have to start this new practice or way of leading?


Senior leaders ask to gain an idea if they have enough transformational thinkers to help the organization be more agile, creative, and innovative. They know there's an expectation and are strategizing how to navigate the mindset gap.


For each group, it's important to assess which leaders demonstrate vision for their unit, division, service line and, ultimately, the organization. Another factor to consider is whether leaders are self-, unit-, or organizationally centered. It's also important to know the extent to which they inspire followership and are trusted within the organization. I believe another important factor to consider is leaders' level of intellectual curiosity and how that curiosity is demonstrated daily. This doesn't mean simply asking a lot of questions, but rather whether they're viewed as organizational thought leaders. Lastly, do they have a proven track record of facilitating planned and unplanned change?


As we navigate today's competitive, changing, and turbulent healthcare environment, we recognize that different skills and abilities are needed to execute strategic initiatives while balancing performance outcomes. And the execution of any strategic initiative or plan requires transformational leadership. As a leader, it's a perfect time to ask yourself these questions before assessing your teams.