Monday, September 28, 2015   |  

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”  – Leon C. Megginson

The frantic pace of development in the GCC private healthcare market is set to build further with the announcement of a possible merger between Al Noor and Mediclinic. With competing offers nothing is decided as yet, but the very possibility of the deal highlights the future shape and direction of the healthcare market in the region.

Over the last few years, there has been a distinct shift from a landscape largely made up of stand-alone, single-site providers to a market increasingly dominated by a smaller number of large-scale players.

These organizations have responded to expanding demand by building and acquiring new assets at an impressive rate, and further statements of intent-to-build hang on the walls of headquarters across the region.

It seems inevitable that the future of the GCC healthcare market, at least in the medium term, belongs to an emergent collection of super-brands whose clinical capacity and ability to generate capital is providing them with an irresistible impetus.

These new models, however, require new leadership models. While capital will provide the engine for expansion, sustainable success will be dictated by the ability of organizations to develop effective corporate level leaders. Already we are seeing a growth in demand for group level leaders in Finance, HR, Marketing,  Supply Chain, Technology and a range of other areas that will allow groups to realize the performance improvements, cost savings, and clinical advances that operating effectively at a larger scale offers. At the same time, demand is growing for specialized clinicians to lead organizations’ expansions into specialisms previously beyond the capability of independent operators.

Chief Executives and other C-Suite leaders are having to adjust to organizations that can no longer be micro-managed. They are working to clarify delegated authorities, ensure strong leadership capability at all levels and to secure future performance with effective succession planning and people development strategies. Maintaining clinical quality in rapidly expanding organizations also demands new thinking around clinical governance, transparency, workforce planning and the leadership capacities of clinical experts.

IPOs, mergers, acquisitions and rapid capital development present a range of new strategic challenges for businesses that have been developed to run hospital operations. Organizations that may previously have drawn heavily on a single culture must now diversify their leadership and draw from broader pools of experience and expertise.

The creation of new roles and the requirement for new leadership models will test the adaptability of groups whose existing leadership formulas have brought them great success to date, but may not fit significantly larger and more complex organizations. While the race for growth continues, it will be the organizations who can evolve their leadership to match their changing scale that will stay the course.