First Public Leadership Challenge outside the Netherlands

The University of Stavanger Business School in cooperation with the Public Leadership Fundation arranged the first Public Leadership Challenge outside the Netherlands. The challenge presented to students by relevant stakeholders was "How to lead healthcare services for the future?".

Students and moderators after their plenary presentation.

What is The Public Leadership Challenge (PLC)?

PLC is a workshop where students meet leaders from public and private organizations to exchange ideas and provide input to current challenges where management and innovative solutions are crucial. The PLC model was developed by The Public Leadership Foundation in the Netherlands where the first PLC was held at the University of Leiden in 2016.

First PLC in Norway

The first PLC outside the Netherlands was held at the University of Stavanger Business School on 31st of October, 2017. The theme of the workshop was "How to lead healthcare services for the future?". The background for the discussions was the societal challenges related to an aging population, new welfare technologies, the development of the Norwegian Coordination Reform and the planning for the new university hospital in Stavanger. At this PLC, students and university employees met from the Faculty of Health and The UiS Business School. From the health sector leaders and representatives of Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger Municipality, the Patient-ombud and the Cancer Care Organization from Rogaland County attended.

The PLC workshop was led by Professor Rune Todnem By, from Staffordshire University, UK and Associate Professor Ben S. Kuipers from the University of Leiden, The Netherlands. Organizers from the University of Stavanger was Associate Professor Thomas Laudal and Senior Adviser Egil C. Svela.

Healthcare representatives presented the challenges they face in their work for the students and employees of the university. Participants worked in interdisciplinary groups. The groups were then given the task of looking into two main challenges:

1. How to meet the great need of patients and dependents for psycho-social follow-ups?

2. How to reduce the number of unwanted re-admissions of patients during and after patients' hospital stays?

The groups first presented their understanding of the topics/challenges to the representatives from the sector, who then had the opportunity to give comments. Based on this feedback, the groups reunited and discussed what they considered as the biggest challenges and possible solutions. Finally, the groups also presented their input in the form of a drawing:

The representatives from the health sector then had the opportunity to discuss in plenary what they saw in the pictures. Political and economic constraints were put aside. The interpretation of the pictures seemed to inspire all participants to see opportunities and to rethink possible solutions of their challenges.

What output did the participants get from the PLC-workshop?

The participants gave a clear impression that all the different "hands and heads" in the health sector do not cooperate and hence organize their services adequately with the interest of the patients in the center. The challenge is to coordinate efforts between different actors throughout, from admission to treatment, and to care and follow-up after treatment of patients, including relatives and involved parties. It is key for having an efficient health service that other public and private services, schools, work, Social Care Services, Patients Associations etc. are involved in a larger scale in the early stages of planning and organizing the over-all services. In order to be able to do this effectively, one needs to listen to and pay more attention to the needs of the patients and their relatives.

With limited public resources, it is important that leaders of organizations and agencies concerned cooperate more closely to exploit the resources they are managing and not focus on competition for additional resources.

The workshop showed that various public and private organizations are able and interested to improve cooperation, both in the use of resources, but also through the coordination and follow-up of the patient and their relatives.

These issues are relevant to both teaching and research at the University of Stavanger, but require interdisciplinary collaboration across faculties. Students and representatives from the sector demand more collaboration of this kind and would appreciate a more proactive university.

The results and feedback of the first PLC arranged at The University of Stavanger show that this kind of workshop is a useful format where students get to meet university employees and leaders from the Working life. The workshop gave students and university employees new and relevant input to their field of specialization and inspired both groups  tocooperate inter-disciplinary and learn from each other. Participants from the Health Sector seemed also to be appreciate the input from students, university employees and the other representatives from the health sector.

Organizations or companies who wants to attend a future PLC-workshop or discuss possible topics for this type of event in cooperation with the University of Stavanger, can contact Senior Adviser Egil C. Svela at the University of Stavanger Business School.


Public Leadership Fundation logo