How should Leadership, Management and Organizational Skills of Candidates be Assessed?
Philip Pizzo, Former Dean and the David and Susan Heckerman Professor of Pediatrics and of Microbiology
and Immunology Stanford University School of Medicine and the Founding Director, Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute, Stanford, USA
|Vice Chair:||Gudela Grote, Head of the Department of Management, Technology and Economics,
Professor of Work and Organizational Psychology, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
|Members:||Kuno Schedler, Dean, School of Management, University St. Gallen, Switzerland|
|Philipp Heitz, Emeritus Head of Pathology, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland|
|Felix Gutzwiler, Senator State of Zurich, Member of the Swiss Parliament, Switzerland|
|Jörg Debatin, Former CEO, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany|
Chairs of Medicine have important and unique responsibilities as academic and organizational leaders. Specific job profiles may vary widely due to institutional, organizational, and environmental factors. In the initial job analysis, requirements concerning leadership (requirements related to flexibility, innovation, and change) and management (requirements related to stability, order, and efficiency) should be defined (see panel I). Based on the job analysis, the required skills and abilities are identified, covering cognitive and social capacities, problem-solving skills, motives and needs, and personality. The job profile and required skills and abilities along with the procedures to be followed in the search need to be transparent and known to everyone on the search committee. Besides the formal information provided in application documents, informal information should be sought and cross-validated about the candidates' past performance in comparable functions. Ethical conduct and confidentiality are important in seeking and using this information. The assessment process should build on a variety of methods (e.g., scientific and vision guided presentations, behavioral description interview, meeting in social settings, one-to-one and group meetings) to allow the committee rich insights into candidates' leadership, management, and organizational skills. Once the finalists are identified, further information should be sought by the selecting individual (e.g., public presentations, return visits, references). After the selection, it is crucial to support the newly hired chair in becoming successful (e.g. internal/external coaching, frequent feedback meetings). Overall, major challenges in searches for clinical chairs of medicine are the analysis of job requirements in view of possibly conflicting views by different stakeholders, placing adequate importance on candidates' social skills and the group dynamics of the search committee process.