Leading Horizontal Initiatives

Leading initiatives across ministries, jurisdictions or sectorsis becoming increasingly important as mounting pressure to delivermore service for less cost forces governments to integrate theirsystems and service delivery functions. These integrationinitiatives are more complex than internal projects.

They involve a myriad of stakeholders, and are executed in anenvironment of continual change.

This presentation addresses the challenges inherent in leadingcomplex cross-organizational projects and presents solutions fromthe trenches. In 2003, a commissioned study by Starfield Consultingfor the Ontario Government on “horizontal projects” identifiedleadership as a critical component. In response to this importantfinding,

Starfield undertook an in-depth research initiative to definethe role of leadership in the successful implementation ofhorizontal projects.

Starfield’s research project delves beyond theoreticalframeworks to explore real-life examples. Extensive interviews with40 senior leaders in the Healthcare and Public sectors focuses onidentifying and describing the leadership qualities and functionsthat are instrumental in achieving success. In addition, itdelivers important details as to how these elements wereimplemented in real initiatives.

Initial response to the research from the industry isenthusiastic, and reflects a sense of need for the informationrevealed through the study.

Through this presentation, Starfield Consulting challenges andguides leaders to take ownership of their initiatives and raisethem up to peak performance. It reveals tools for attaining a realcommitment to results in horizontal environments where leaders maynot possess formal authority over project participants.

The presentation profiles forward-thinking leaders of horizontalprojects who exhibited a transformational leadership style based ona personal commitment to their vision. It demonstrates how many ofthem stepped outside the traditional bounds of their positions andtheir industries to create unique solutions to the significantchallenges they faced.