Turning on a dime during COVID : a Canadian healthcare coalition’s process of integrating e-Learning into leadership development

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Schmaltz, Karen Irene
COVID-19 pandemic
design thinking
healthcare leadership development
naturalistic inquiry
This research examined the function and value of a coalition in identifying and mobilizing novel solutions to health organizations across Canada in an environment of forced disruption (i.e., COVID-19). More specifically, the study used a naturalistic inquiry methodology to understand the process of how the Canadian Health Leadership Network (CHLNet) coalition responded to the need to integrate e-Learning—an unfamiliar delivery practice for leadership development—into leadership development for its member partners and was hastened by the pandemic. The CHLNet case study results suggested that the coalition was a valuable setting upon which to identify and mobilize knowledge across Canada, despite the many challenges the pandemic brought. Further, the findings suggested that for CHLNet, key process elements contributed to their success that included using an adaptive leadership approach, taking advantage of an opportunity, selecting the right people to work on the project, actively managing the project, and allowing iterative journey processes that mirrored those of design thinking to emerge. Out of this study came three recommendations that address gaps in knowledge and suggest new lines of inquiry, namely: to look for patterns of successful project initiatives in coalitions; to explore a possible correlation between design thinking and coalition project initiatives; and to study the mindset, motivation, and empowerment of coalition project members. Overall, this study illustrated the significant value a coalition could have on identifying and mobilizing divergent practice knowledge on a national scale during a chaotic time of forced disruption across health organizations.
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