Our healthcare leaders face ever-growing demands and an increasingly complex healthcare landscape. In 2016, Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong announced that Singapore’s health eco-system would need to make three shifts to meet our long-term care needs in a sustainable manner. These shifts are encapsulated in the 3 Beyonds – Beyond Hospital to Community, Beyond Quality to Value, and Beyond Healthcare to Health. Against this backdrop, the Leadership & Organisational Development Division in MOH Holdings conducted a study in 2017 on effective healthcare leadership for the future, involving interviews and focus group discussions with 150 leaders across levels, professions and clusters.
To steer us towards a successful transformation in healthcare, we will need to make three important leadership shifts:
1. Shifting from Expert as Leader to Expert Leader
Currently, it is common for clinicians to be moved into leadership positions on the basis of their clinical excellence. We need to value and recognise that excellence in leadership is different from, and as important as clinical excellence.
2. Going beyond Developing Leaders to Developing Collective Leadership
As we move toward a multi-disciplinary approach to healthcare, we need to move away from the focus on positional leadership to viewing leadership as a process, involving how an individual/group influences others toward a particular goal. This requires valuing different perspectives and expertise.
3. Moving from Leading Institutions to Leading in Eco-systems
Many leaders have progressed within their own institutions and are accustomed to thinking ‘for’ their institution. The 3 Beyonds require leaders to move towards thinking ‘for’ the health eco-systems instead. This involves having a wide perspective and working collaboratively across institutions for Singapore healthcare.
The ONE Healthcare Leadership Framework reflects these paradigm shifts, and captures the qualities that leaders in healthcare need for the future. This overarching framework will guide the identification and development of leaders in the healthcare family.
Values, at the core of the framework, are the foundations of one’s leadership.
Personal Qualities, in the middle ring, refer to the attributes of the leader.
Behavioural Qualities, in the outer ring, refer to the more observable behaviours. The acronym, ONE, is derived from the three clusters of behavioural qualities, namely
Nurturing Relationships and
Our values are our moral compass – they are integral to who we are, and drive the direction of our decisions. The values that are required for effective leadership in public healthcare are Compassion, Humility, Integrity and Public Service Purpose – in short, the essential CHIP driving our system.
Personal qualities are the less observable attributes. They are important for leaders’ sustained effectiveness in healthcare.
Behavioural qualities are more observable behaviours that leaders can develop across four levels:
- Exemplary Leaders – Senior leaders in MOH or cluster-level
- Established Leaders – Leaders of organisations or specialised functions
- Evolving Leaders – Leaders who are managing progressively larger teams
- Emerging Leaders – Those taking a leadership position or role for the first time
If you would like to find out more about the ONE Healthcare Leadership Framework, please contact the Leadership and Organisation Development division at