Most health care transformation efforts are unsuccessful because they overlook the importance of personal transformation in enabling major systemic change. Personal transformation is about creating access to a broader range of ways of being, thinking, and acting in order to be more effective in dealing with those challenges for which conventional strategies are inadequate. As many of the changes that are taking place in health care are inevitable, mastering context is critical to transformation. In moving the organization forward, key thought leaders who embrace new ways of working together can help others recontextualize their challenges, thereby serving as important catalysts for diffusing these innovations into the culture. The ensuing improvement in performance is less the result of having learned some new concept or theory and more a function of having altered the context through which one’s challenges are understood. When individual transformation parallels organizational transformation, a tipping point is reached where there is a visible increase in organizational members’ effectiveness, a marked increase in organizational members’ impact on others’ performance, and a collective experience that work is more fulfilling.
Dr. Souba is emeritus dean and professor of surgery, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire.
Funding/Support: None reported.
Other disclosures: None reported.
Ethical approval: Reported as not applicable.
Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Souba, 1 Rope Ferry, Hanover, NH 03755; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.