The factor –  Formal Systems Leaders as Collaborative Champions – involves four elements:

  • Identification and formalization of systems leaders,
  • Leadership for collaboration,
  • Long-term strategy for collaboration,
  • Leadership understanding of benefits of collaboration.

There is a difference between a manager and a leader.

A manager is someone who:

  • Plans and budgets
  • Organizes and allocates resources
  • Controls and solves problems

A leader is someone who:

  • Shows direction
  • Aligns and influences
  • Motivates and inspires 

One government-level public health manager explained that “formal systems leaders champion the public health sector.”

Long-term Strategy
There needs to be a long-term strategy for collaboration at the systems level.

Successful collaborations across public health-primary care sectors require formal systems leaders as collaborative champions. This type of leadership facilitates an interaction based on a partnership’s focus to achieve a common purpose.

Meeting with leaders

The identification and formalization of systems leaders provides credibility in the collaborative process. Systemic level leadership for collaboration includes the capacity to communicate effectively, a willingness to take risks, a commitment to the collaboration, and the ability to share intelligence, knowledge, and decision making.

Successful collaborations require a long-term strategy for the initiation, development, and sustainability of interdependent partnerships that address specific endeavours across sectoral boundaries. The employment of power, influence, and positional authority to promote population-based betterment needs to be based on an alliance of trust, mutual respect of diverse sectoral cultures, and shared goals.

Systems level leaders need to understand and promote a vision of the benefits of the collaboration. They set the stage of a ‘we-culture’ in a win-win successful collaborative endeavour and value the importance of sharing credit for successes across the sectoral boundaries.

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