Cancer workforce: clinical leadership guidance

Information for cancer service colleagues across NHS Scotland on opportunities for developing clinical leadership skills. The guidance highlights tools to help identify leadership development needs and how to progress these at all career stages.

3. Planning Your Leadership Development Journey

The diagram below demonstrates the variety of routes an individual's learning pathway can take. It is by no means exhaustive but illustrative of the types of leadership development opportunities that are available. Key takeaways are as follows:

  • The 'assessment' stage is the key initial step whereby individual learning needs are assessed and a tailored learning pathway can be curated. In section 4 we have identified various self-assessment tools which can be used.
  • Some may progress directly to a formal learning course. However, this is likely to encompass a minority of individuals, either because of the limited number of places and highly competitive application process or because other options are more suitable.
  • There is a wealth of other leadership development opportunities available. The diagram illustrates some of these including:
    • Less formal self-directed online content/ courses (such as that available through the Leadership Management Zone, Project Lift and QI Zone)
    • Opportunities to gain practical experience via options such as team project working (see Appendix A for case study on this approach in practice at University Hospital Crosshouse ICU department); mentoring (such as those available through the Leadership Management Zone); or becoming a member of a governing or working group at local, regional or national level.
  • Any step along the learning pathway can be taken directly after the diagnosis stage. Each step could also be part of a sequential learning journey, could be undertaken individually or simultaneously. There is no one-size-fits-all approach and no prescribed learning journey.
Diagram 1: Potential Learning Pathways
Diagram 1 outlines the various routes an individual’s learning journey could take.
All routes start with box 1 which is labelled ‘development diagnosis’. This is a round shape to differentiate it from the other boxes in the diagram. 
There are arrows leading from the ‘development diagnosis box to each of the three following boxes indicating that they can both be undertaken as a next step after the development diagnosis.
The first of these boxes is titled ‘informal learning content/ courses’ with the description ‘e.g. Leadership and Management Zone’. It is coloured blue to assign it as a learning material.
The second of these boxes is titled ‘practical experience’ with the description ‘e.g. team project, mentoring, governing group membership’. It is coloured orange to assign it as a practical activity.
The third of the learning activity boxes is titled ‘formal learning course/s’ with the description ‘e.g. Scottish Quality and Safety Fellowship Programme.’ It is coloured blue to assign it as a learning material.
There are dotted arrows connecting each of the learning activity boxes to show that they can be undertaken one after the other if desired.

The remainder of this guidance document primarily relates to the development assessment stage and the range of formal and informal courses and content available in the area of leadership development. Practical experience is often a feature of formal courses but, as indicated in the diagram above, can also be gained separately through job-related experiences. The value of this cannot be understated as advocated in the widely acknowledged 70: 20: 10 model of personal development.

Diagram 2: 70: 20: 10 Model
Diagram 2 is a tile chart denoting the recommended model for how personal development time is apportioned.
The largest tile is on the left of the diagram and coloured pink. It is titled ‘job-related experiences’ with the description ‘e.g. taking on new tasks’, 70%. It occupies 70% of the diagram.
Moving clockwise is the second largest tile on the upper right hand side of the diagram. This is coloured orange and titled ‘interactions with others’ and has the description e.g. coaching, mentoring, group work, 20%’. It occupies 20% of the total diagram.
The third tile is coloured blue and sits below the orange tile. It is titled ‘formal education events’ with the description e.g. courses, 10%. It occupies 10% of the diagram. 
Together the tiles equal 100%.

Designed to support a continual process of performance enhancement, this model is based on a blended approach to learning whereby 70% of learning is through job-related experiences, 20% is through interactions with others and 10% is through formal education events. It is recommended that colleagues bear this in mind when considering their individual leadership development journey.



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