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LEADS in Manitoba

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  LEADS in a Caring Environment framework is Manitoba’s preferred leadership learning platform. With a focus on developing an integrated leadership development and sustainability framework, this initiative will connect:

  • Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living;
  • the five Regional Health Authorities (Northern RHA, Prairie Mountain Health, Southern Health-Santé Sud, Interlake-Eastern RHA, and WRHA);
  • CancerCare Manitoba;
  • Diagnostic Services Manitoba; and
  • the University of Manitoba - Rady Faculty of Health Sciences.

As well, the initiative will deliver a sustainable LEADS-based programming model to support the implementation of Manitoba’s health reforms.


Recent reports raise concerns that the Canadian healthcare system is unsustainable, delivers mid-level performance and does not have the leadership capacity to transform. Our system is highly complex (Mohapel, 2010). It requires adaptive leaders “who have the capacity to form networks, inspire others, and think at a system level” (Ford, 2009).

As reported by the Conference Board of Canada (Hall et al., 2016), there is a strong link between effective leadership and overall organizational performance (as perceived by respondents), as well as a greater capacity for managing change.

Within Manitoba, there are many examples of localized successes, yet we lack a sustainable mechanism to systematically translate leadership knowledge, concepts and techniques into action within our complex system. An effective leadership strategy is required to drive the levels of innovation and collaboration needed to reform.

Benefits of the LEADS in a Caring Environment Provincial Leadership Initiative

The initiative will be guided by a province-wide leadership talent management strategy focused on building a community of practice that will support province- and region-wide collaboration and health reform. The initiative will strive to promote a new culture that provides a safe place to identify challenges and share best practices, support critical thinking, celebrate successes, and ultimately, drive innovation.

The initiative will also serve to enhance inter- and intra-departmental and pan-Canadian collaboration, with the support of the LEADS Collaborative.

Completed Steps (2014 to 2016)

  • Endorsed a province-wide, shared leadership talent management initiative;
  • Adopted LEADS in a Caring Environment leadership framework as Manitoba’s preferred leadership learning platform;
  • Identified and certified LEADS Facilitators across Manitoba’s health community;
  • Established a Provincial Steering Committee;
  • Conducted a provincial needs assessment in Manitoba;
  • Identified twelve (12) key insights via a provincial workshop (November 24, 2015); and
  • Identified and ranked talent management initiatives through a provincial survey.

Next Steps (2016 to 2018)

  1. Leverage the potential of the certified LEADS Facilitators to engage and orientate Manitoba’s health community and foster leadership development;
  2. Create a community of practice framework;
  3. Develop and deliver aligned provincial talent management strategies; and
  4. Evaluate progress with relevant success metrics.


Cambridge, D., Kaplan, S., & Suter, V. (2005). Community of practice design guide: A step-by-step guide for designing & cultivating communities of practice in higher education. National Learning Infrastructure Initiative at EDUCAUSE, 2-8.

Ford, R. (2009). Complex Leadership Competency in Health Care: Towards Framing a Theory of Practice. Health Services Management Research, 22(3) 101-114.

Hall, C., Burnett Vachon, D. and O’Brien, K. (2016). The Leadership Outlook: Leadership Driving Organizational Performance. Ottawa: The Conference Board of Canada. Mohapel, P. (2010). Lead Self: LEADS in a Caring Environment. Victoria, BC: Leaders for Life.

Public Resources


Manitoba Health

Cynthia Ostapyk, VP of Finace, CFO (Interlake-Eastern RHA)

St. Joseph's Health Centre, Toronto

Emilie Penner-Cloutier, Leadership and Organizational Development Consultant