October 26, 2007

elevate Answering the Tough Questions

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Medical Center leadership answers the tough questions about what the elevate program is and what it means for the people who work at VUMC.

Question: Why are some front-line supervisors, such as charge nurses, no longer invited to the quarterly sessions of the elevate Leadership Development Institute?

Answer: The invitation list for our quarterly LDI sessions was recently updated by the elevate executive steering committee with input from other senior leaders. When these quarterly management seminars were launched in 2004, it was thought that individual managers and faculty leaders would know best whom to invite from within their respective work groups. The resulting invitation list grew rather inconsistent over time.

The recent updating of the list was done not for purposes of excluding anyone, but instead to help lay groundwork for an increased accountability among attendees for communicating the outcomes of these learning sessions and optimally engaging the broader organization in the goals and strategies of elevate. The LDI should begin at the quarterly sessions where 800 leaders gather and continue with focused sessions conducted in department meetings and other groups. A summary of the main learning points is distributed after each LDI to assist leaders in making this happen.

I agree that first-line supervisors have an important role in implementing the changes developed under elevate. That's indeed part of the reason we've refined the invitation list. What is covered at the LDIs should be passed along to employees at all levels; a more targeted invitation list and more consistent participation of key managers and faculty leaders will help serve that aim.

That said, any supervisor who needs to attend part or all of any LDI session is welcome. Managers and department chairs can arrange these guest invitations by calling 343-1402.

— Peter Giammalvo, Ph.D., chief learning officer