Managing Polarities And Making Sense Within Complexity and Chaos: Leading Health System Renewal Within Uncertainty


Faculty: Phil Cady, PhD; Johny Van Aerde, MD, PhD

Date/time: May 24-25, 2023

Price: $1,900 for CMA/CSPL members and $2,000 for non-members.


The recent collapse of the health(care) system amplified the need of physician engagement and leadership for the health system’s renewal. During the COVID19 crisis, the focus of leaders had to be mainly on immediate action and solutions, and on the well-being of self and teams (LEADS domains of Lead Self and Engage Others). As many deficiencies in our health system led to a syndemic of problems, long term and foundational systemic changes need to be made for which different and new leadership skills are and will be required (LEADS domain of Systems Transformation). Both strategic AND tactical leadership are necessary.


In this very interactive and dynamic workshop, participants will learn, reflect on, develop and practise leadership tools and skills, and apply them to their own issues: metaphoric reasoning to see what else is possible and create a new reality; sense-making for decisions to be made in chaotic and complex environments; applying leadership agility to lead as an independent expert AND as an interdependent leader; managing polarities like continuity AND transformation, recognizing patterns and structures that create rigidity and status quo in the system; creating powerful questions to solve complex and facilitate dialogue for polarities.


Learning Objectives

  • Define and explain the complexity and chaos in the Canadian health system, and the elements of VUPE (Volatile, Uncertain, Polar, Entangled).
  • Apply learning and tools (middle of the table) to move from the left to the right:

Volatile – metaphoric reasoning – Vision and new reality

Unpredictable – zooming & sense-making – Understanding and deciding

Polar – polarity management for integration – Possibilities

Entangled – recognizing archetypes – Engage for structure change

  • Create, through metaphoric reasoning, new visions and realities for the health system in general and for your local issues in particular (V).
  • Use polarity thinking in the development of maps to identify, reflect upon and discuss either/or traps that lead to losses for all involved (P).
  • Recognize and influence underlying structural systemic archetypes and social cultural patterns causing resistance to systemic changes in the health system, locally and globally (E).
  • Practise formulating questions to trigger dialogue to solve polarities and complex issues (E).








Critical Success Factors For Effective Physician Leadership: An Evidence-Based Approach


Faculty: Anurag Saxena, MD; Graham Dickson, PhD

Date/time: May 25, 2023

Price: $995 for CMA/CSPL members and $1,150 for non-members.


Effective leadership is a critical element to engage the constituents and achieve organizational outcomes. Critical success factors (CSFs) refer to those requirements that must be continually met for the success of an enterprise. The authors conducted a study of physician leaders in Canada (through CSPL) to identify CSFs for effective physician leadership and found six CSFs, two each at the industry level, organization level and individual level.


This course will explore two organization-level CSFs (balancing autonomy with accountability of the workforce and accruing and maximizing impact of resources) and one self-level CSF (adaptive reflection) as well as how to develop and enhance individual abilities to bring these CSFs to life in their leadership role.


Learning Objectives

  • Discern challenges to balancing autonomy and accountability, resource accrual and allocation, and adaptive reflection in the evolving healthcare workplace (reflecting in their organizational context).
  • Appraise individual strengths and areas for improvement (context specific) in these organization-specific CSFs.
  • Reflect on and stretch foundational abilities to enhance personal leadership practice.