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Good Tuesday morning,

I’ll start by thanking everyone who worked in service of patients and families over the long weekend – and your families! – so that many other members of TeamUHN could spend time with loved ones.

1. Highlights on UHN's Essentials

UHN’s Essentials are essential to the work we do as a leading academic health sciences centre – hence the name! Read here to learn more. Here are highlights on UHN’s Essentials from last week. 

People and Culture  What can we do to make TeamUHN feel heard? See the ideas you’ve shared thus far: For those who missed the news, we recently launched a new platform called Thoughtexchange which allows you to share your ideas at UHN. Based on our Engagement survey results, we know there’s an opportunity for improved dialogue and input on major decisions here – so we want you to help decide how to make that happen. If you’re interested in influencing the direction we take, keep sharing ideas and vote at our Thoughtexchange here before August 9. Below is the latest summary of highly supported suggestions to decision makers across UHN:

  • “Share the rationale behind your decisions, involve staff in making decision process and let them feel that their opinions matter.” (44 votes and 4.3 stars)
  • “Realize that you are not the expert at all things.  Staff have knowledge and skill in their area of expertise…let us lead from where we stand and give us credit.  We will more likely follow you.” (42 votes and 4.2 stars)
  • “Be visible and accessible.  Request feedback, suggestions/solutions provided by staff and communicate back what was done with the feedback/suggestions.” (40 votes and 4.1 stars)

People and Culture  Farewell to David Jaffray, Executive Vice President of Technology & Innovation: Last week, we gathered in the De Gasperis Conservatory to wish David the best of luck in his new role at MD Anderson. While he’ll be missed by many colleagues, David will always be considered an honorary member of TeamUHN and I know he looks forward to collaborating with us from across the border. Plus – he’s already signed up for our next Ride to Conquer Cancer so we know we will enjoy frequent return visits. I’d like to thank David for showing you can be a world-renowned scientist and a great leader while demonstrating a good, affable nature and consistent respect. His impact at UHN – especially in radiation medicine, improving the lives of patients with cancer, and building our world-class digital strategy that positions us well for the future – will continue to be felt as we work towards our vision of A Healthier World.  

2. Helping Ontario end hallway healthcare by expanding services at UHN’s Lakeside Long-Term Care Centre    

By 2036, 1 in 5 Torontonians will be over the age of 65 which underscores a widely shared need for more long-term care beds and services. UHN is working closely with families, communities, the Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto to help address this need by adding a new wing with 192 long term care beds at our Lakeside site. We’ve been approved by the province to move forward ASAP! Right now, we are going through the approvals process with the City as quickly as possible so that construction can begin in July 2020.  We plan to open the new wing in the fall of 2022. To learn more, see our project website here.

3. Leadership reflection: Five myths of compassionate leadership   

Thanks to those who reply to my weekly update. Feedback is always welcome (and that equally includes critically constructive feedback!). A few of you have told me to “keep the leadership articles coming” – not just for the benefit of “official” leaders at UHN but also our remarkable unofficial leaders too. Here is a good piece from the King’s Fund – Five myths of compassionate leadership

  • Myth #1: “Loss of commitment to purpose and high-quality performance.”
  • Myth #2: “Tough performance management and conversations won’t be allowed or will be labelled as bullying.”
  • Myth #3: “Always taking the easy, consensus way forward rather than putting patients and communities first.” 
  • Myth #4: “Not being able to challenge the status quo and make the radical changes our patients and communities need.”
  • Myth #5: “Team work and system working will be controlled by whoever has the most power and is most ruthless.” 

These are myths I can personally say I’ve learned to be just that – false myths – through personal experience. When we demonstrate respect and kindness in our interactions (i.e. compassion!), we’re actually contributing to an environment that supports tough conversations when necessary and performance management. People tend to respond better to constructive feedback when they know you value them as a respected member of the same team. At UHN, all are valued colleagues. This week let’s make sure everyone feels that way!

Have a good week,

Kevin

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