Evolution of Corporate Values in Ontario Hospitals

Strategic insights are shared for reflection and to catalyze conversation.

In its ongoing disciplined analysis of public Ontario hospital strategic plans, Proximity looked at the evolution of corporate values across pre-pandemic hospital strategic plans (2013-2019; n=137) and plans released during the pandemic (2020 and 2021; n=39).

Trends in Ontario hospitals

  • Half of Ontario hospitals that released a new strategic plan during the pandemic revised their corporate values. Revisions manifest in simplified and accessible language; introduction of humanistic terms; and a reduction in overall number of corporate values.
  • Among Ontario hospitals that released a new plan during the pandemic, there is an increased emphasis in Commitment and Integrity as corporate values.
  • The prominence of Excellence and Quality as corporate values is diminishing, while Safety as a corporate value is on the rise.
  • Inclusion is more visible, tracking at 23% of the 39 newer plans compared to 18% of 137 pre-pandemic plans.

Interpreting insights to start the conversation

  • A revisit of corporate values by hospital leaders may correlate with the palpable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health human resources and organizational culture. 
  • The decoupling of Quality from Safety into distinct corporate values may be reflective of a widening interpretation of safety to embrace psychological safety and physical safety for both patients and health care staff and the increasing emphasis on social justice in our times. 
  • The increased prominence of Inclusion as a corporate value may be attributed to the momentum behind equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and an enhanced commitment by leaders to act. 

About Proximity’s Strategic Plan Analysis

As an ongoing discipline, Proximity analyzes all published Ontario hospital strategic plans.

The exercise provides deep insight into leadership thinking and leadership voice expressed through strategic intention on priorities that matter most. Proximity can see each individual hospital strategic plan in an absolute sense, its construct and its content and compare an existing plan against a new plan to chart strategic evolution and change. Comparative analysis across all hospital plans illuminates trends, patterns and transformation sector wide, as do shifts in the use of language and the evolution of beliefs and values.

This rich analysis informs Proximity’s work on the priorities that matter most to Ontario hospital leaders. Strategic insights emanating from this analysis are shared with hospital leadership to catalyze discussion, exploration, reflection and action, and ultimately contribute to Proximity’s purpose of enabling effective leadership.

Please attribute to ©2022, Proximity Institute.

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