Superb leadership is required at all levels of the health organization due to the increasingly dynamic nature of the health environment. This reality was the catalyst for the development of the dynamic culture leadership (DCL) model. Leadership in this model is recognized at three levels as the critical ingredient in the recipe for overall success: at the personal level, at the team level, and at the organizational level. The challenge is to focus the knowledge, skills, and abilities of organizational leaders appropriately and to empower the total organization to complete its mission, reach its vision, and compete successfully in an environment that constantly changes. This model is built on various theories and models from the leadership literature and related research. An overview of the DCL model is presented; this model is intended to fit within the situational and transformational leadership paradigm with an emphasis on organizational culture development. This model is appropriate for organizational, department, system, subsystem, or program leadership and should be used as a basis for developing a personal leadership plan or model.
The DCL model 50 provides both a descriptive and a high-level prescriptive process model of leadership. This model emphasizes a sense of balance that needs to be maintained to achieve a sustainable and continuing level of optimized leadership based on the changing macro and micro factors in the external environment. “Optimized leadership,” like the concept “high quality,” is not necessarily a norm to be achieved at all times. Rather, it is a worthy goal, an ideal state. No individual (and certainly no organization) can in all situations and at all times enjoy a steady state of higher-level leadership. Nevertheless, many individuals and organizations continuously optimize their ability to function at high leadership levels by consciously (and even unconsciously) cultivating the various elements of the model.
The basic assumptions of the DCL model are as follows:
· • Due to the very dynamic nature of the environment (in this case, the health industry), it is critical for the leadership and management team to bring multiple knowledge, skills, abilities, perspectives, and backgrounds (DCL leadership alignment assessment) to the organization to enable it to successfully and proactively navigate the external environment and focus the internal people and resources on the mission, vision, strategies, goals, and objectives of the organization.
· • Leadership is defined as the ability to assess, develop, maintain, and change the organizational culture to optimally meet the needs and expectations of the external environment through focusing the collective energy of the organization on the mission, vision, strategies, goals, and objectives of the organization.
· • The leadership and management team should consciously determine the culture of the organization and guide and direct culture through communication improvement, organization-wide strategic planning, decision-making alignment, employee assessment and empowerment, and knowledge management and organizational learning (process constructs).
· • Based on the predetermined organizational culture, mission, vision, and strategies, consistency of leadership and management are paramount.
· • Situational and environmental assessment and scanning are key to adjusting organizational culture, mission, vision, and strategies.
· • Transformational leadership and management (including transactional leadership approaches), where both the science and art of leadership and management are in concert with the external environment expectations, provide the best approach to lead people and manage resources in a dynamic world.
Optimized leadership is certainly attainable for any person and any organization, but it usually requires concentrated effort to overcome past habits, ideas, and tendencies. Ultimately, individual leaders make up the leadership team. The team, therefore, must be diverse in style and competencies while being anchored to a set of values and operating principles of the organization. The assessment instrument for individuals and teams for this model is based on a leadership–management continuum and an art–science continuum.