Cultivating Organizational Leadership, Champions, and Staff Support for Organizational Change

Reduction in healthcare disparities in primary care requires support from all levels of a clinic’s leadership, including executive leadership, middle managers, supervisors, and team leaders. The key to success is fostering implementation leadership at the clinic. Implementation leadership supports staff and influences their work environment to promote innovations, like improvements in care for SGM patients. Implementation leadership means that a leader shows their commitment to, knowledge of, and support for the innovation.1 A leader must also be willing to participate in problem-solving to overcome challenges in getting new policies and practices up and running in the clinic. One of the responsibilities of the Implementation Team will be to ensure that organizational leaders and other staff are kept in the loop about the changes to SGM health care that are to be put in place or strengthened.

Support among the broader clinic workforce is also valuable for making change happen. A first step in building buy-in for innovations among coworkers is to identify and nurture change champions or respected opinion leaders who believe in, and genuinely want, change related to primary care for SGM people.2 Finally, involving providers and staff at the beginning of any organizational change effort will boost their buy-in and morale and generate on-the-ground insights critical to minimizing the burdens associated with implementation. Below, we review basic strategies that the team can use to gain support from organizational leadership and the clinic’s workforce.