Healthcare is a product of collaboration. In the face of increasing complexity, growing demand-supply-imbalance, quality, safety and other issues, effective collaboration in healthcare has gained in attention. Moreover, based on 20+ years of experience we know now that sustainably implementation system change (e.g. integrated care), a culture of safety, innovations like e-health, or any other change of scale, all require health and care providers to interact more effectively.
Leading yourself, change and people. More and more this is what is expected of professionals in healthcare. The meaning of ‘leadership’ has evolved far away from its authoritarian definition, and is currently even beyond the relatively modern construct of ‘transformative leadership’. Working in ever changing networks, enabled by information and communication systems with unprecedented capabilities, professionals, informal carers and clients/patients as well as intelligent and learning machines are working continuous simultaneously side by side. Being effective in modern healthcare teams requires ‘leading in-the-moment’ skills, on top of profession- and specialty-specific competencies of most, if not all, professionals.
Collaborative transformation, in a collaborative practise, with collaborative people , collaboratively leading themselves, change as well as others? It all sounds like a fanciful, unrealistic fairy-tale. That is: if we forget to think about new ways of governing the entire transformation process as well as the foreseen ‘new’ paradigm of continuous change. Governance, as we see it, relates to processes between all thinkable institutions in healthcare. Including interactions between various field-actors involved in boundary-crossing leading us to those new set of norms, institutions and how-we-do-things-here in healthcare. We like to think of ‘collective governance’ as the framework that helps to keep it all together. Collectively.