November 2011

Creating CHI’s Formation Architecture


Almost two years ago, CHI created the Center for Formation and Organizational Effectiveness to integrate and advance its ministry formation, strategic talent management and organizational effectiveness functions. “The Center is unique among formation structures within Catholic health care,” said Patrick Gaughan, vice president of the Center.  “It presents an opportunity for us to make CHI a national leader in formation.

”By design, the Center is a virtual center rather than a designated learning or academic center.  The philosophy is that the ordinary leadership practices, business processes and care delivery protocols that are the daily work of CHI provide a rich milieu for formational experiences; and, that these experiences can be made more developmental, to the extent that they enhance awareness of how employees’ individual spiritual journeys permeate their work.

Before the Center was created, CHI’s leadership formation activities included an orientation and a program, “Leadership that Shapes the Future,” which leaders attended about 12 months later. “However, CHI’s leaders wanted a comprehensive approach to formation,” said Gaughan. “They saw a need for formation for board members, clinical leaders and middle managers; and for formation to play a larger role in building CHI’s organizational capabilities, leadership competencies and desired culture.” The Center is responding by designing and building the components of an overall architecture for formation within CHI. Since its inception, the Center – in partnership with many others – has created and launched a dozen new formation offerings.

CHI’s leadership formation matrix includes key expectations that CHI has for its leaders: to manage the legacy of care, relationships, results and the common good. To fulfill these expectations, CHI leaders need competencies in three categories: core leadership, team effectiveness and position-specific competencies.

“Based on these expectations and needed competencies, the Center partners with our market-based organizations and subject matter experts to design and deliver learning opportunities that translate to on-the-job success,” said Gaughan. “We began by reworking ‘Leadership that Shapes the Future’ into ‘Leadership by Design,’ which better aligns with CHI’s ministry and strategic plan. We also partnered with the Washington Theological Union to develop a pilot program in theological reflection, and a new program called ‘Foundations of Leadership in Catholic Health Care.’”

In addition, under the umbrella of the Center, CHI’s Organizational Effectiveness and Change Leadership Teams are building on the success of CHI's Change Acceleration Process (CAP). They have developed an enhanced version, called Change Acceleration and Adoption Process (CAAP), that’s being used with OneCare. CAAP helps employees improve the speed and success of adopting new processes by providing a framework of activities, tools, project plans, education, expert support and key messages. In addition to OneCare, CAAP will be refined for use with other CHI strategic initiatives. 

“We believe that the Center has accomplished a lot in its first two years, not only in formation, but in assisting CHI with the development of future models of care,” said Gaughan.  “Our direction for the future is to fully develop the architecture to meet CHI’s current and future formation needs, and to continue to refine and improve our models and workflows to support an even greater variety of strategic initiatives.”

Watch a video on CHI’s YouTube channel to hear some CHI leaders describe their experiences with the Center’s offerings:

  • Sean Reynolds, president and chief executive officer of St. Joseph Health Ministries, Lancaster, PA, talks about the Foundations of Leadership in Catholic Health Care program.
  • Peter Banko, president and chief executive officer of St. Vincent Health System, Little Rock, AR, talks about middle management formation opportunities.