Discussing Leadership in Aged Care with Rosina Hislop

Last December, the Governing for Reform in Aged Care Program held its eighth webinar, Developing the Leaders of Tomorrow: Why we must invest. The esteemed panel included Rosina Hislop, Chair at ECH, Board Director at Jones Radiology, and facilitator at the Australian Institute of Company Directors (ACID).

We caught up with Rosina after the webinar to talk more about the role of executives and leadership in aged care.

Why is strong leadership needed in aged care? What does it look like and why do we need it? 

We need leaders who are prepared to think differently, imaginatively, and creatively about their role and their aspiration for customer care.

It is important to remember that older people are not a homogenous group; they’re individual people with likes, dislikes, wants and needs just like the rest of us. They might want to learn new skills or activities; they don't necessarily want to socialise amongst other older people. Tailoring care can extend beyond providing choice. For example, we know that people are drawn to those who are like them. So, as an example, at ECH we’re looking at how our workforce intersects with our clients to see how we can better match clients to carers who have similar interests, taking the time to not only get to know our clients in terms of their culture and interests etc, but also getting to know our team.

What is the role of executives and governing body members to drive the development of outstanding leaders? 

We need leaders who are prepared to challenge the status quo.

To achieve this, we need governing bodies to understand what “great” looks like, to challenge the thinking of executives and leaders, and be prepared to invest in resources, training and development to encourage and support forward leaning thinking. Leadership and development should be tied to the strategic direction of the organisation, so that there's relevance in what you're doing.

Directors and executives also need to provide clarity. Clarity on purpose, what we stand for, what we're seeking from our leaders and what's not acceptable. This clear direction from the governing body right the way through to the executive and leadership team is critical.

If you want to hear more from Rosina, login to the Online Learning Platform to watch the Program’s Developing the Leaders of Tomorrow: Why we must invest webinar.