Fellowship Always Evolving

The Carol Emmott Fellowship supports outstanding health leaders as they stretch outside of their usual roles to expand their influence and national visibility. Fellows venture beyond their job descriptions, beyond their institutions, and beyond their existing networks while expanding their leadership capabilities as they move through the 14-month program.  

With each class, the fellowship finds new and exciting ways to customize its offerings in response to the unique needs and skill sets of each class. 

The educational framework that supports this singular fellowship is multifaceted. Fellows are paired with hand-selected senior mentors and participate in monthly webinars, which are led by experts in their field. Four times a year, they gather for in-person convergence conferences, providing them with opportunities to connect and coach each other, as well interact with some of the top-level health executives in the nation. Each fellow also completes an impact project that demonstrates leadership beyond the boundaries of their current role.

The learning extends beyond these experiential program components.This year the fellowship developed a 12-week optional Strategy Practicum to allow more exposure to high level strategic thinking and methods.

“We heard from sponsoring organizations that some of our fellows are great operational leaders but need additional strategic insight to move to the next level,” said Christine Malcolm, executive director. “We offered the practicum to stretch the fellows who elected to participate to work one-on-one with an expert with over two decades of strategy experience, and to engage with their senior leadership in a series of important strategic conversations.” 

Personal strategy advisors, many of whom are either their health system’s chief strategy officer or are senior strategy partners in consulting firms, volunteered to coach our fellows through the practicum. Each fellow is in a unique context. Some organizations’ strategies are accepted and spread across their health system – others are in development. Each fellow works with her institution’s chief executive officer, chief financial officer, and chief strategy officer and others to both more fully understand their strategy and develop a subsidiary strategic plan fully aligned with that of their organization. 

“One of our fellows was planning to develop a strategy for the medical group she leads and has now been asked to lead the development of a strategy for all medical groups in that region of the health system,” Malcolm said. “Many of the fellows who are participating believe that their leaders now view them differently.”

The fellowship also created a more formalized way for fellows to problem-solve and share insights together. The MindShare exercise is a newly implemented curriculum element developed in conjunction with fellows from the inaugural class. They saw the need for more devoted self-coaching exercises that address real time issues. MindShare leverages key elements of dominant management methodologies in a facilitated process that allows fellows to use each other as expert advisors. They bring challenges to the group that then shares insights from their experiences and brainstorms new solutions.

“In creating a learning community, we’re crossing all kinds of lines. We encourage the fellows to educate each other, because they bring so much experience and such varied perspectives,” said Doug Riddle, the fellowship’s curriculum director and a senior fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership. “It’s an ecosystem of learning. Theirs is an important voice.” 

The fellowship continually tailors specific pieces of its program for each cohort, evolving to support the acceleration and impact these women leaders have in their institutions and broader health communities.