Success. Results. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

What You Need: Increase your bench strength.

It’s not enough to have a long bench; it also needs to be deep. Our competency and skills learning help your managers attract, develop, and keep the best-of-the-best talent.

Issues You’re Facing

  • Hiring and developing leaders from the outside seems daunting
  • Limited internal managerial or leadership training programs
  • No consistent measures to evaluate performance
  • No long-term vision for creating bench strength

How We Can Help

  • Attract and retain the best talent
  • Develop new leaders and managers during rapid growth
  • Motivate key contributors
  • Create consistent leadership practices
  • Help individuals clarify and move toward personal goals
  • Achieve business impact from training


Top pediatric hospital, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, faced two challenges. First, the Atlanta area pediatric market threatened to grow beyond the hospital’s ability to provide services. Children’s needed more leaders than it could possibly hire and assimilate effectively. Second, healthcare was becoming increasingly complex. Children’s needed leaders who understood its complex system and had the skills to drive change.

The organization decided to grow its own talent and created a Center for Leadership to spearhead the effort. Leaders would be grown from the bottom up and learning would be provided for leaders at every level. This would hopefully avert a “tremendous” leadership gap. But there was another hurdle to overcome: before the nonprofit’s Board could allocate scarce resources, it needed proof that leadership training could make a difference.

Success Solution

Advantage Partner Carol Bunn brought The Center for Leadership a new approach to leadership development training — and The Advantage WaySM process to prove to the Board that training would have a significant business impact. “Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta believes in putting processes in place that are really meaningful to their business,” she says.

Bunn worked closely with Center leaders to create 3 levels of custom leadership programs and 5 executive-level workshops. An Advantage Way Success Case after each workshop showed that the learning was working, and the Board agreed that the initiative should move forward.
The first year of the initiative brought results even broader than expected:

  • Financial impacts were dramatic. “The total value of cost savings and cost avoidance were in the multimillions of dollars, as was the incremental revenue and external funding.”
  • Personal impacts included strong competency improvement and a core of leaders ready to move up to the next level — dramatic new leadership bench strength.
  • System impacts included an increase in internal hiring from 40% to 57%. Leader retention also improved.
  • Operational impacts included optimized staffing, improved service scores, and increased safety and care effectiveness.

The fact that the leadership training created dramatic impact on all 4 streams of business measurement, with great balance, was a significant performance achievement in the pediatric healthcare arena.