Concurrent Sessions

E2 – Liberating Guelph FHT Structure: Leadership by ALL

Theme 2. Healthy relationships, healthy teams

  • Date: Thursday October 25, 2018
  • Concurrent Session E
  • Time: 11:00-11:45am
  • Room: Harbour B
  • Style: Presentation (information provided to audience, with opportunity for audience to ask question)
  • Focus: Practical (e.g. Presentation on how to implement programs and/or practices in the team environment)
  • Target Audience: Leadership (ED, clinical lead, board chair, board member, etc.), Clinical providers, Administrative staff

Learning Objectives

As a leader do you wish that people around you would speak up more? Does resistance to change in your organization frustrate you? Do you feel that there is too much complaining and not enough positive action? Do you aspire to tap into the collective intelligence of not only your management team but of your entire organization?

Liberating Structures greatly cuts down time spent to managing top-down decisions, create space for all contributions to emerge and be taken into consideration. Participants will gain some insights to how to liberate themselves as formal leaders from the burden of being consistently “in command”


Since its inception, the Guelph FHT has evolved as an organisation in many areas. Staff engagement is a core component of the Guelph FHT Strategic Plan and has evolved significantly to include collaborative decision-making and greater expectations around patient engagement, change management, community partnership and evaluation and QI.

By liberating structure, we want to create space for all ideas to emerge and be considered, enabling and inviting staff to participate and contribute on a daily basis. This new philosophy “lives” in our organization in many ways, including tiny shifts in the way we meet, plan, decide and relate to one another. Inclusive leadership” leads to increased innovation, fosters teamwork and has dramatic impact on motivation.

From practice-based team huddles to discipline meetings , working groups and committees (examples include: COPD/ CHF Quality, Education/ Wellness , Outcomes, Health Link, Best Employer, Health and Safety) staff are involved in micro-structures aimed at sharing information generating ideas and building new approaches to our work. For staff, these processes build morale, enhance skills and strengthen our team.

One might ask how an organisation could remain efficient and productive with this level of engagement.  We believe the influx of employee ideas and initiatives has had a direct impact on process improvement, leading to increased efficiency, higher retention and better work/life balance for all.


  • Sam Marzouk, MB BCh MBA, Director Business Services, Guelph Family Health Team