“Power through Collaboration”- Lot’s of Insights for Healthcare Leaders in this Book

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Power through Collaboration:  The Formula for Success in Challenging Situations by Stephen Willis, PhD is a great resource for:

  • Understanding how complicated collaboration is
  • Why it is SO important
  • Promoting thinking and deeper understanding about challenges we face in healthcare
  • Ideas for moving forward

The author begins with a description of what collaboration is NOT and lists 12 examples.  For instances; # 8; collaboration does  NOT require being leaderless and egalitarian and # 11; collaboration is not forced cooperation.  As progressive nurse, physician, and administrative leaders know, one of our big challenges in healthcare teams is lies in juggling efforts to control and direct behavior and providing support so that optimal behaviors emerge in the moment.  Urgent clinical situations require both and the more we can understand this, the more we can lead and manage to safe and quality care. As we go forward in eliminating toxic hierarchies while preserving healthy hierarchal structure, Willis descriptions offer great material for new understanding and productive discussions.

Next, the author explains his global view of collaboration, which I found particularly interesting,  astute, and positively provocative!  Business models that incorporate circular economy, conscious capitalism, and sustainable capitalism are discussed and for me, bring exciting new terms to the table that hold promise for compassionate  living and working that I believe should be foundational in healthcare.  He also discusses some frightening situations involving unleashed advancements in technology and loss of privacy as realities we need to face in order to guide in healthy directions.  Historical and contemporary examples that will make you think!

The rest of the book includes detailed focus on the elements of Willis’ formula which are the types of collaborators (T), the motivation for collaboration (M) and the essentials for collaboration (CE) while his formula is:  Power through Collaboration (PtC)=T + M x CE.   The formula incorporates relationships and complex human behavior in a way that can be drilled into a simple equation which in and of itself is a feat that the scientific and data-seekers among you will enjoy.  Don’t be fooled though, it is not simple!  Putting the formula into action is the focus of his other book book, Power through Collaboration:  When to Collaborate,  Negotiate, or Dominate which sounds like more helpful material for healthcare leaders to incorporate and discuss.

How we can apply these concepts to healthcare teams will require further research in Dr. Willis’ work and discussion among thought leaders in healthcare. Please note that he has additional books, teachings, and website are well worth exploring.  Progressive-thinking healthcare leaders will be inspired to discuss how the author’s philosophy can be applied and perhaps tweaked to ensure best fit in healthcare systems and among healthcare professionals.  In any case the book is a fascinating read and I highly recommend it!

Two discussion points I’d like to invite the author’s and readers comments on relate to our goals in healthcare and working with a population such as nurses that is historically (and this generalization) better at taking care of others than themselves.  These points will make more sense after reading the book and I’d be interested to discuss.

Learn more about Stephen Willis’ work at www.willisllc.com.  Join the LinkedIn group “Power through Collaboration” where the author hosts many lively discussions that I enjoy and participate in.  And check out these online surveys:  Power through Collaboration Surveys

 Click here  ⇒   Survey on Compare your Collaboration Type 

Compare how well your collaboration type profile matches and engages with the profiles of other people?

Click here  ⇒   Survey on Motivations that Drive Collaboration 

Compare what motivates you to collaborate with what motivates other people to collaborate?  

Steve Willis has consulted to businesses in a wide cross section of industries. Steve functions as a consultant, executive coach, and facilitator to CEOs and management of Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, and non-profits. His work with non-profits has been funded by foundations such as Packard, Marin Community Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, and Pante Rhea.

Steve was an instructor for Harvard University for ten years and is also a psychologist. He earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from Purdue University, a B.S. in Mathematics from Manhattan College, and trained in Facilitation at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Steve is a member of the Society of Consulting Psychology, American Society for Training & Development, American Psychological Association, and Bay Area Organizational Development Network. He is the author of Power through Collaboration: When to Collaborate, Negotiate, or Dominate.


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