Health Care Orgs Could Face Leadership Crisis

March 11, 2011 ( - Many North American health care organizations likely will face a serious leadership succession crisis in the coming years, according to a survey of industry executives by American Management Association (AMA)/Corporate Learning Solutions.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that fewer than 7% of health care organizations are seen as well prepared to deal with a sudden loss of key leaders, according to the survey of 117 senior industry executives, human resource, and management professionals conducted in December 2010. Although 74% of respondents believe that a smooth management transition is increasingly critical, only one-quarter of industry organizations surveyed are said to be genuinely committed to succession planning. 

Asked how prepared their organizations are for a sudden loss of key members of senior management, nearly a third (30%) of respondents answered “not at all prepared,” though 61% reported being “somewhat prepared,” according to SHRM. 

Nearly an equal number of respondents described the leadership pipeline at their organizations as adequate (44%) as those who said inadequate (43%). 

The survey also found 28% of respondents said their companies are “very committed” to promoting from within, while 52% reported they are only “somewhat committed.” Thirty-four percent of organizations often ignore the management succession plan and go outside to recruit key people.