Rotman School of Management

Main Content

Community Health Leadership

Equipping community health system leaders for the future.

Enhance your leadership, innovative thinking, change management, communication and negotiation skills with this program designed for current and emerging health leaders.


The Centre for Health Sector Strategy at the Rotman School of Management is offering the Community Health Leadership Program.*

This program is designed to enhance the participants’ leadership, innovative thinking, change management, communication, and negotiation skills that will foster new approaches to leadership. It will enable the participants to capitalize on their knowledge, skills and capabilities and augment their capacity to influence health system and organizational change. 

*Only 45 seats are available and a selection process is in place. See 'How to Apply' for details.

The Community Health Leadership Program offered at the Rotman School of Management provided a rarity for non-profit leaders - a concentrated amount of time in a state of the art learning facility to consider their mission, successes, challenges, opportunities and areas for personal growth.  Focusing solely on non-profit leaders and providing a forum in which the learning is specific to our work, is very long overdue, and I am so pleased that the opportunity now exists. As is often the case, these circumstances lend themselves to learning from peers in addition to the stated curriculum, and that networking is critically important. 

Camille Quenneville | CEO
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario

Program Details

This evidence-based senior leadership training will equip emerging and current community leaders with the skills and confidence necessary to manage change in the sector.

Format and Orientation: Sessions will be highly interactive and led by leading faculty and researchers, all of whom are accomplished instructors. In addition, leaders from the field will be invited as guest speakers in order to profile a range of leadership approaches.

Alignment: Building High Performance Work Cultures

This session will examine those leadership competencies and design features which contribute to an organization’s management culture. Beginning with the examination of three seemingly different organizations – the Veterans Health Administration, a Canadian Radiation Clinic and General Electric --- we will examine the impact that organizational alignment and leadership can have on creating and supporting high performance work cultures. We will explore how to engage staff through the interconnectedness of mission, strategy, organization, people policies, rewards (not limited to compensation), decision support, and organizational culture. Session objectives include considering the role of “leader as architect”, developing a diagnostic tool for assessing and correcting system (e.g., team, unit, program, clinic, centre, hospital) misalignment, and examining the process of change leadership at multiple levels (system, inter-organizational).Participants will be asked to apply the alignment model to performance challenges they are currently facing.

Understanding Personal Style

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator is the most widely used instrument in the world for understanding personality differences. As it explains basic patterns of human functioning, the MBTI is used for a wide variety of purposes including team-building, self-understanding and development. In this highly interactive session, you will learn about the sixteen MBTI types and enhance your understanding of your self-motivation, gain insight into your natural strengths and weaknesses and your potential areas for growth. Ultimately you will leave the session with an understanding of the source of much misunderstanding and miscommunication in your world and a deeper appreciation of people who are different from you and how to leverage those differences.

Influence and Building High Performance Teams

Effective health system leaders know that engaging colleagues, staff and other stakeholders to commit to change rarely involves pronouncements from on high. Rather, it typically involves working first with small groups of the “almost committed” or “weakly opposed” to gain allies and build coalitions. The objective of this session is to develop practical strategies, based in the psychology of teams and decision making, to influence decision making teams. This session will use the film “12 Angry Men” to increase participants’ capacity to influence teams, including using such tactics as coalition building, timing and agenda setting, persuasion, educated risk taking, and testing-the-waters. We will also explore the ethical obligations of the leader.

Negotiating Change and Conflict Resolution

Health system leaders negotiate every day – with clinical workers, administrators, governments, research funders and even their friends and romantic partners. Negotiation is the art and science of securing agreements between two or more independent parties. It is a craft that must hold cooperation and competition in creative tension. It is difficult to do well. Even the most experienced (and confident) negotiators often fall prey to common biases, errors in judgment, and bad strategies. During these sessions participants will practice, analyze, reflect, and practice again.

Leading Change

Numerous authors have written about the challenges of leading change, and most of their models are conceptually similar. Too often, however, these models and frameworks fail to take in to account the unique challenges of leading change in the highly professionalized (and fragmented) health care environment.

Measuring Performance and Managing Resources

Health system leadership requires the knowledge and tools for measuring performance through a variety of indicators – benchmarking processes, volume and case measures, patient/client satisfaction, financial and strategic. In addition, understanding financial management and reporting is crucial for success in any area of leadership in the health system sector. These sessions will be focused on understanding (1) what Ontario’s accountability agreements mean to providers, (2) how providers are funded and how to read and interpret financial statements (both what the statements tell us, and even more importantly, what they don’t), and (3) performance management.

Leading Change in Teams

This session will provide a research based, systematic tool for leading change in health systems. Two perspectives will be simultaneously developed during this session: (1) managing planned orderly change, and (2) change in dynamic, complex adaptive systems. Participants will analyze and develop a change strategy “in the shoes of” British Chef Jamie Oliver. Oliver attempted to implement a major change to the British education system --- to get children to eat healthy meals. Change was required at the individual, organizational and system level. We will conclude this session, and the program, with participants developing an action plan to lead change using the various tools and techniques developed in the program.

Who Should Attend

The program is meant for current or potential senior members of leadership teams in any organization that serves inner city populations and other disadvantaged communities.  Applications will be considered from those currently working in community health organizations, community support agencies, community mental health organizations, community health centres, family health teams, NPLCs, AHACs, hospitals, LHINs, CCACs, home care providers and other organizations serving these groups.  It is designed to draw a mix of non-clinical/administrative and clinical leaders from across the province. Typical job titles include Chief Executive Officer, Director (in larger organizations where the Executive Director is the most senior position), and Executive Director.

Selection Criteria:

The selection committee uses a variety of criteria in its participant selection decisions.  Please include information in your letter that addresses the following points, as appropriate:

  • Intends to be in a senior leadership position within the next 5 years
  • Newly appointed to an executive level position such as Executive Director or Senior Director
  • Evidence of executive-level leadership (approximately 10 years of experience)
  • Responsibility for financial and/or clinical performance
  • History of successfully managing and motivating staff
  • Record of initiative and achievement (e.g. successfully led a change process that delivered tangible results)
  • Experience of successfully working across a broad set of stakeholders, including: clinicians; professional associations; governments; and other provider organizations
  • Indications of career progression and ambition based on the resume and personal statement
  • Organization serves an inner city or disadvantaged population in the community (i.e. please describe the client populations served by your organization).
  • Strong letter of support from a CEO or Board Chair

The Community Health Leadership Program was a wonderful experience that I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to be a part of. Not only did the program offer high quality speakers and educators, it also offered an opportunity for networking with other healthcare leaders. I left each day of the program inspired, with many takeaways, tips and strategies to use within my own organization and team. The program provided me an opportunity to stretch my leadership skills, step outside of my comfort area and confirm that a passion in healthcare and leadership will have a positive impact on organizations, communities and individuals.

Jennifer Cornell | Administrator
Grey Gables Long Term Care


Rotman Executive Program faculty are known for their ability to translate the latest research into practical applications for the workplace, and to transmit skills to participants with the best teaching techniques. Industry leaders contribute to our programs to bring your the most up-to-date best practices and a wealth of real-world experience.

Meet the faculty and instructors teaching in the Community Health Leadership Program

Brian Golden

Brian Golden »

Ian McKillop

Ian McKillop »

Julie Ruben Rodney

Julie Ruben Rodney »

Glen Whyte

Glen Whyte »


If you have any questions about the Community Health Leadership Program, please contact Reema Chaudhry at

Looking for something else?You might also be interested in one of these related programs

Follow us

Send this page to a friend

Dates and FeesMark your calendar

5-day interactive program




Rotman School of Management, Toronto, Ontario


Participant profile:
current and emerging leaders from organizations serving inner city populations and other disadvantaged communities


Questions? We're here to help!
Speak to Senior Research Associate Rosemary Hannam about the program.

Tel: 416.946.3492

Featured Article

New skills for
a new age »

What does leadership look like in a diverse, globalized workforce?

© Rotman School of ManagementAASCB