Chapter 15: Faculty Development: Directions for Future Growth

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Chapter 15: Faculty Development: Directions for Future Growth

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Ms. Yadiny explains that programs in Faculty Development will increasingly be organized around the idea that transition into leadership catalyzes an identity crisis. She explains a plan to conduct assessments for leadership potential (that could not come to fruition). She discusses motivations that individuals may have for aspiring to leadership roles and notes that most leaders say they get the most satisfaction from training the next generation of leaders or professional in their field. She notes that MD Anderson chair people have demanding roles with more responsibility than their colleagues at other institutions. She explains the growing number of populations that Faculty Development serves at the institution, noting that the faculty is not required to take mandatory classes in leadership (unlike staff people). She discusses preliminary efforts to offer leadership programming for fellows and graduate students. She discusses the advantages of having outside consultants conduct programs and offers a personal anecdote about offering tough feedback.

Identifier

YadinyJA_03_20160404_C15

Publication Date

4-4-2016

Publisher

The Making Cancer History® Voices Oral History Collection, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

City

Houston, Texas

Topics Covered

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center - An Institutional Unit; Institutional Processes; MD Anderson Culture; Working Environment; Building/Transforming the Institution; Institutional Politics; Education; On Education; Leadership; On Leadership; Mentoring; On Mentoring; Obstacles, Challenges; Understanding the Institution; The Professional at Work

Disciplines

History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Oncology | Oral History

Transcript

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Well, people at different echelons of the institution see very, very different realities.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

Yeah, they do, and they experience them deeply, in different ways. Some feel much more vulnerable and exposed than others do. You know, through the years, there have been some very effective and very strong division heads, and others who haven’t been. The ones who are strong and effective protect their chairs. So it’s, that’s—it’s complex. That’s what I’m thinking about a lot these days, is the whole identity crisis you go through when you assume these positions.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Now is that kind of maturation or becoming more complicated of your own perspective, on the leadership development process, how is that going to have an impact on the curriculum in Faculty Development offerings? Is there future directions of growth that this is going to spawn?

Janis Apted Yadiny:

Yes, I hope so. I would like to be able to offer people who are thinking of becoming leaders, an opportunity to have assessments of their leadership capacity. Mayo does this for instance, because they promote their chairs from within the ranks, they don’t bring a lot of people from outside. Mayo decided not to bring people in from outside, because they found that it was very difficult for those people to adapt to the Mayo culture, and that they were much more successful cultivating leaders from within, because they understood Mayo. But what they do is they send potential leaders to PDI in Minnesota, that’s Personnel Dimensions International, a very well-known international consulting firm, talent management firm, and they put them through the full day or day and a half—I guess it depends on the level of leadership you’re looking at—assessments. So there are psychological assessments, these are all done by industrial psychologists, organizational psychologists, who test you to see how capable are you, how flexible are you, how possible is it going to be for you to assume these demanding leadership roles. Then they put you—in the afternoon, they put you through a huge simulation of the day in a life of a chair for instance, and you’re observed, and a whole lot of stuff comes at you and you have to make decisions about what you’re going to handle first, how you’re going to handle it, maybe interpersonal crises and so on, and they test you to see how you do. Some of the people, they tell them at the end of this, don’t do it, no way should you be in this kind of leadership role. Not now, maybe ten years from now or something. Not now or maybe not ever, this is not for you. Others they say, okay, there’s capacity here, here are the things you’re going to have to work on.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Well it’s making me think that you know, there must be a real array of motivations for someone to want to become a chair or to take on a leadership role, and I suppose some of it is prestige, ego, and salary bump, and sometimes those could be motivators for people who would not only be more able, but also probably happier, in a role that doesn’t involve those kinds of challenges.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

Yeah, there is all of that. Ego, power, possibly the ability to do things on a larger scale, to have an impact, more of an impact on a field or on a clinical practice or whatever, yes. When Jan Bruner and I did the focus groups with the clinical chairs, we asked them, the last question we asked them was why do you stay in this role? Because they would spend an hour, an hour and a half, telling us how challenging it was, and difficult. All of them said the high is, the real gratification is, helping younger people have a successful career, seeing them be successful, mentoring, guiding. You know, it’s interesting to see that, because to be successful as a chair, you have to—part of the transition too is, it’s not all about you any more, it’s about these other people and their careers, and the ones who do it really well understand it’s not about me, it’s about them.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

It’s interesting you say that, because I really can’t think of a person I’ve interviewed who hasn’t said that, you know that that’s one of the most important things that they feel they’ve contributed, the people they’ve trained, people they’ve mentored.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

That’s right, and they do have a huge impact that way, because those people that they’ve mentored or trained, go out to other institutions with those values in their heads and with that training, taking that training with them. It’s really important, so I love to hear that from leaders, that that’s why they do it.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

It also, of course helps, you know, assuming of course that they’re using the values, effective leadership values, they’re helping to build the culture of leadership at this institution, if those younger folks stay. And then of course, you know, helping, as Fred does, healthy leadership values, if they go elsewhere. Very interesting.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

Yeah, it is very interesting, because the frustrations are enormous. MD Anderson’s chairs have a lot more administrative responsibility than other chairs do. For instance at Mayo, your administrative responsibilities expect to take about 30 percent of your time, but here it takes 70 percent, 60 to 70, sometimes 80 percent of your time. So you really don’t have much time for yourself anyway, and what does that do to? Well, the complexity of MD Anderson, the way it’s structured, the fact that these big, complex departments maybe don’t have enough administrative support, so the chair ends up doing a lot of things, that in other institutions they may not have to do. I don’t know, I’m speculating here, with how it’s done or why is it so complex. We always say, well it’s because we’re a state institution. I don’t know, maybe there seem to be elements of that, that there are state requirements that require a lot of time and effort. The chairs in our focus groups were saying the unfunded mandates are enormous, things keep coming down on us, you know do this and do that, and executives don’t understand that there’s no capacity left to do these things. That’s why, as part of the strategic planning, they put in the division head role group, that looked at what they do, and then a chair, a clinical chair role group, and they looked at what the chairs do, should be able to do. It’s enormous, the job definitions are enormous.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Interesting. Well I wanted to make sure we captured all the dimensions of faculty development evolution, you know based on this idea that leadership is an identity crisis. Are there other areas in which you see that having an impact on the services you deliver?

Janis Apted Yadiny:

Yes, because leadership development has gone down into the institution. When we started, we were doing chairs and section heads and division heads, and then, I think I told you that by 2004, more early career faculty were saying well wait a minute, we can’t do leadership development just when we turn 45 or 50. We want it earlier in our careers because we’re leading labs, you know, or teams, or multidisciplinary teams or whatever, and we don’t have the skills to do it. So we introduced the Heart of Leadership then, and then even earlier, in 2012, earlier in careers, we realized that we weren’t doing anything for new faculty coming into clinics and into labs. They had nothing and with labs, running labs, it was really critical, it was management that was needed. How to hire people, how to manage performance, how to give feedback, how to strategize, all of those basic management skills they weren’t getting. For our clinical people, we introduced that program. Supervision in Management, in 2012, and we have some clinical people in there because they have to give feedback to people for whom, over whom they have no authority, like nurses.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Right, right.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

You know, or it could be a tech of some sort, that they have to work with, and that person reports up through a different reporting structure, but they have to give feedback. How do you do it appropriately? How do you function as part of a big team, you know. So there are lots of things that need addressing and challenge. On the staff side of the house, they have a whole management curriculum. So as you assume a supervisory role, you have two basic courses you take; Principles and Practices of Management, I and II, and you have to do those programs. We have no mandatory programs for the faculty, and faculty won’t go to Principles and Practices of Management, because they don’t want to be in there with a whole lot of staff, because the examples don’t relate to them.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Right, totally.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

So we’ve adapted some of what HR does for staff, to faculty. Now, we’re doing leadership development for our postdoctoral fellows and clinical fellows, we’ve been asked to do that, and even GSBS has asked us to get involved in leadership development for students, because across the country, there are student groups, graduate student groups are being asked to learn some leadership skills.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

What percentage of these populations really do take advantage of these development?

Janis Apted Yadiny:

Programs. Well, interesting, post-docs, fellows, I would say right now, it’s a small percentage. We’re doing a program for gyn onc fellows, 12 gyn onc fellows. We’ve done some one-off programs for various fellows in leadership, like leading teams, for residents. We do some teaching in the whole graduate medical education forum, so the programs that the fellows have to go through, we’ve had pieces of that, but I don’t think—it’s not well enough developed, or there isn’t a standard curriculum that we do. We don’t go in and say you need this, we want to do it. It’s usually by invitation, you know come in and do this and this. Part of it is scalability, Tacey. You know, even though I have 15 people, including myself, in my area, everybody’s flat out busy. So you look at our target population is about six thousand, and you get into the faculty ranks of chair, division head, or even section head, those programs are demanding, and we don’t teach them generally, we have consultants who come in and teach them. Some other institutions use their own faculty, but we use faculty as co-facilitators in those programs, and we invite them in to tell their story of how they did a certain project or got something done that demonstrates certain skills, but our faculty are really so busy, that I can’t imagine them stepping forward and saying oh yeah, okay, we’ll teach this whole 60-hour curriculum. And frankly, because they don’t teach it all the time, they’re not as good at it. So we’ve stuck with outside consultants who know us very well, and who are really good at teaching the skills.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Sometimes too, an outside consultant is accepted as a truth teller, in ways that insiders to an institution may not be.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

That’s a very good point, because they can get on a plane and leave.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Yeah. And also, if someone is coming in from outside, they’re not tied up with the politics or all of that, and so it’s like, Oh, huh, here’s a fresh perspective, maybe I ought to pay attention.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

That’s a good point. I just did a team alignment, or a team retreat, on Saturday, with a whole department, and I gave them—I did interviews and then I gave them feedback, and it was pretty tough feedback. It was here’s what you said, blah-blah. And I realized, as I was doing it, I’m not getting on a plane and leaving, and in fact, on Sunday, I got an email from one of the faculty, saying you said, and that didn’t work very well, and I think that that created even more fear of retaliation.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

How interesting.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

So, I wrote to the chair immediately and said, I got this feedback, so if you get some pushback from your faculty, I apologize for that. They may have felt that I went too far in exposing them. And I got a got a great email from the chair that evening saying no, this is what I thought they needed to hear and I’m glad you said it, because we really need to work on these things. So that, you know, there’s a piece of learning for me too, about feedback, and I realize now, what I could have done better in giving that feedback. On the other hand, I also know, because I have worked with the team for three years, that there was a lot of stuff that was being said behind closed doors, that people weren’t owning up to, but then owning up to it in front of the chair is tough, because they were expecting some retaliation. It’s really interesting, when you talk to the leader, on one hand the leader is saying what retaliation, what could I possibly do, or you talk to them and they say oh my God, there’s going to be retaliation, this is going to happen and that’s going to happen. So, on the one hand you’re putting it in the hands of the faculty to say look, you have a piece of this, you know if things are going to change, step up to the plate and address these things with the chair in good faith, don’t hang back. But also be appropriate in how you share things, you know, in taking steps to change things, and one of the things you can do that will deep six your whole team is hang back and be cynical, and talk about it behind closed doors.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. It is true though, that sometimes people just don’t even know the words to say.

Janis Apted Yadiny:

Yeah it’s true.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

And so a facilitator can really help with that, you know framing things, creating a space where the guidelines or the parameters of behavior are really clear, making it safe for people to come forward and say…

Janis Apted Yadiny:

Yeah, I have it on my own team, I know there’s one person, well I’ve had it on my own team, who’s gone and filed an EEO complaint, twice, against me, and once for retaliation, and I, as a leader, thought what the heck have I done that looks like retaliation? Fortunately for me, when they did the investigation, they didn’t find any incident of retaliation, but she feels that way and she doesn’t feel safe with me. So, you know, I can think of many ways in which I’m not as good a leader as I wish I were, and I feel personally, very challenged in my own department, so I get it, how hard it is, and how challenging it is personally, to be in charge of people, and how, you know in the past, I’ve looked at my own leaders and said, well why doesn’t he or she do this. I’m much more sympathetic to my bosses. Fortunately, I’ve had such good bosses here at MD Anderson, I’ve been so lucky, I’ve had excellent bosses. Other places, I haven’t had such excellent bosses and I’ve struggled with it, but here I’ve had excellent bosses.

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Chapter 15: Faculty Development: Directions for Future Growth

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