Aligning the Senior Leadership Team

Aligning the Senior Leadership Team


September 28, 2007 to December 5, 2008


Scholarly Activity Role: 
Organization Name: 
Portsmouth (NHS) Primary Care Trust, UK
Role or Title within the Organization: 
Lead Consultant (Mentor)

Introduction: Portsmouth Primary Care Trust (PCT) Senior Leadership Team (SLT) Development Initiative

Arlene Scott Role: Lead consultant on the engagement for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Introduction: A scholarly approach was taken in this initiative, including a balance between focusing on the group as a whole and each individual leader

  • Grounded in data, the workshops were designed to meet the unique needs and objectives of this health-delivery organization.
  • Data was used to engage the SLT in building common ground and alignment.
  • Based on a 360 Leadership Survey (with validity and reliability), each leader received a report for self-analysis, peer feedback, and instructor coaching.

    •  With coaching, each leader created a Personal Development Plan
  • SLT (8 members) led the design and delivery for the extended leadership group (20).
  • Each workshop included an analysis of learning and steps for immediate application
  • Coaches collaborated, aggregated the overall data to share with the group, leading to analysis of individual learnings to be shared
  • A final evaluation report was written.


  • Engage with the extended leadership team and build a leadership community
  • Address the deteriorating relationship between two key parts of the organization (Public Health & Commissioning)

Portsmouth PCT

What follows is an introduction to the Primary Care Trust (PCT), including the PCT improvements needed to achieve goals, an overview of how Boyer’s model creates context for “Integration.”, SLT initiative goals, and a list of representative attached documents that show the content and process of the work for accomplishing the goals for this initiative.

The Portsmouth PCT) is responsible for providing healthcare services in their geographical area in the UK.  The new Chief Executive was very aware of the lack of alignment among the different departments in her organization and the difficult behaviors demonstrated by leaders on the SLT.  Based on the themes emerging from the PwC data collection (interviews & focus groups), the Portsmouth PCT contracted with PwC for a year-long SLT development initiative, including work with the Commissioning & Public Health departments.

Boyer’s model provides context with an emphasis on “Integration,” interpreting the use of knowledge across disciplines. This initiative included professional development workshops that bridge disciplines and consulting on an interdisciplinary project. Each workshop was tailored to the needs and gaps of participating leaders, adapting and creating workshops with models aligned to address the data themes. To accelerate learning, the workshop designs were highly experiential, using active learning strategies.

Starting with an initial data collection, this project included data collection for each of 8 leadership off sites.  Based on the themes emerging from the research, the workshops included themes as well as substantive content.

Goals for this interdisciplinary project were to:

  • Build Senior Leadership Team (8 members) alignment
  • Develop the expanded leadership group (20 members)
  • Address the issues between Commissioning (department responsible for contracting and managing physician services) and Public Health (department responsible as experts in healthcare for up-to-date services and best practices).
  • Clarify and implement best practices for expanding from silos to working together across the PCT

Available attachments include representative sample of workshops, assessment, and white paper (World Class Commissioning) include:  

  1. World Class Commissioning (title intended to capture PCT excellence): Organisational Development Plan: – As part of the initial data collection, PwC team worked with the PCT to develop the Plan. Included to provide context for working with the PCT SLT. (PCT Org Dev Plan)
  2. Launch meeting with the SLT, September, 2007
  3. SLT meeting:  May, 2008 –Objectives focus on reviewing the benefits and results of the 360 process and the importance of individual analysis as well as peer and faculty feedback. Each SLT member creates a personal development plan. After analysing individual results, delegate reviewed the vision/mission of the PCT, facilitating how senior leaders need to align with others to support the overall PCT mission. (360 Workbook Slides SLT)
  4. Chief Executive 360 Report (Sample 360 Report)
  5. SLT Workshop with Expanded Leadership Team: September, 2008. Workshop slides (September, 2008, workshop slides)
  6. After individual workshops with Commissioning and Provider Services, this workshop brought the two groups together. A simple change model was used as well as an influence simulation to fully engage the two groups.   Commissioning-Public Health Workshop, Portsmouth, Part 2.