Creating a healthcare variant CYNEFIN framework to improve leadership and urgent decision-making in times of crisis

Paul James Lane*, Robyn Clay-Williams, Andrew Johnson, Vidula Garde, Leah Barrett-Beck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
58 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose: The complex and occasionally chaotic nature of health care has been previously described in the literature, as has the broadening recognition that different management approaches are required for different types of problems rather than a “one size fits all” approach. The CYNEFIN framework from Snowden outlines a consistent cognitive approach that offers the leader and leadership team an ability to urgently apply the correct actions to a given situation. This paper proposes a variant CYNEFIN approach for healthcare. Design/methodology/approach: Consistent and accurate decision-making within health care is the hallmark of an effective and pragmatic leader and leadership team. An awareness of how one’s cognitive biases and heuristics may adversely impact on this cognitive process is paramount, as is an understanding of the calibration between fast and slow thinking. Findings: The authors propose a variant CYNEFIN approach for health care of “act-probe-sense-respond” to resolve complex and time-critical emergency scenarios, using the differing contexts of a cardiac arrest and an evolving crisis management problem as examples. The variant serves as a pragmatic sense-making framework for the health-care leader and leadership team that can be adopted for many time-critical crisis situations. Originality/value: The variant serves as a pragmatic sense-making framework for the health-care leader that can be adopted for many crisis situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-461
Number of pages8
JournalLeadership in Health Services
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • Complexity
  • Crisis management
  • CYNEFIN
  • Decision-making
  • Leadership
  • Resilience

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