Innovative leadership program thriving, reaching well beyond USF Health

What started six years ago as a USF Health leadership development effort has now grown beyond the USF campus to reach clients across the country. The USF Center for Transformation and Innovation (CTI) was established in 2005 to accelerate the transformation of USF Health through leadership training. Since then, CTI has grown by more than 1,000 percent and expanded its client base to both private and public organizations outside Florida, including its most recent connection in Iowa.

Team CTI.

“CTI’s growth has been phenomenal and is a testament to its quality, effectiveness, and value,” said Mohamad Kasti, Chief Transformation Officer and founder of USF Health’s Center for Transformation and Innovation.

“We’ve built a strong reputation for helping professionals, teams and organizations transform themselves, and client-partners are eagerly seeking our services. We believe that every organization, team and leader is unique, so our solutions are customized to meet their distinct visions and needs and incorporate the world’s best practices and practical experiences from top experts. This customized approach helps clients transform their performance in their own organizations, teams, communities, and lives, every time.”

A map shows CTI’s reach.

A calendar shows CTI booked through 2013.

Since its inception, CTI’s reputation has quickly spread, and currently the group is developing and transforming leaders and organizations in Ohio, Nebraska, New York, Wisconsin, Georgia, Iowa, and Missouri with great results. Most recently, CTI connected with the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) to create Iowa’s first statewide physician leadership program.

“IHA created the Leadership Institute because Iowa hospitals and physician leaders recognize that we can no longer afford to send physicians to generalized leadership development workshops,” said IHA President/CEO Kirk Norris.  “Lasting success requires an approach that is focused, high-quality, delivered on-site, and customized to the needs of physicians and hospitals.”

The IHA is a voluntary membership organization representing hospital and health system interests to business, government and consumer audiences.  All of Iowa’s 118 community hospitals are IHA members.

In connecting with these groups, CTI competed against other reputable training and development organizations and CTI is winning.

“Our partnership with IHA is a great example,” Kasti said. “USF was put up against various big, established programs like Mayo Clinic and the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE), and the IHA chose the USF CTI program due to its high quality, customization, experiential learning and its graduates’ positive experiences and transformation.”

Following a lengthy and thorough search that included numerous providers and programs, IHA chose to partner with USF Health to develop and implement a high quality, customized Leadership Institute. CTI has an extensive record of successfully designing and implementing a number of Leadership Institutes for hospitals, healthcare systems, and physician groups across the country with impressive graduates and results.

“Physicians are key leaders in our healthcare system, but they are not formally trained in leadership, nor is training specifically aimed at physicians readily available in Iowa,” said Norris.  “The Leadership Institute is designed to fill that gap and equip physicians to better lead with strategy, communicate more effectively with and lead teams, and organize and work as team members to improve delivery outcomes and results.”

Before launching any institute, CTI uses a comprehensive 360° Diagnostic Process to get feedback on individual leadership competencies and behaviors such as strategic thinking, communication, response to change, conflict resolution, teamwork, professionalism, and trust.  Based on the diagnosis, a customized 12-month curriculum is designed to include on-site sessions and conferences, mentorship, one-on-one coaching, team learning projects, networking, and simulation-based learning to maximize leadership potential. Each physician personalizes his or her learning journey through a CTI process called Personal Strategy Map TM.

CTI services include four quality Institutes:
1) Leadership Institute: teaching high-potential faculty, physicians, administrators, nurses, and staff how to lead self, lead with strategy, lead others effectively, lead for results.
2) Strategy Institute: teaching organizations how to establish their innovative strategies and align their teams to execute them and produce results.
3) Process Improvement Institute: teaching organizations how to become more efficient by removing waste from the system;
4) Innovation Institute: teaching individuals and organizations how to accelerate innovation from idea to adoption.

In addition to providing clients with customized sustainable programs, Kasti attributes much of CTI’s success to another factor that other development companies don’t offer.

“We tackle a client’s problem at the DNA level,” he said. “That means we target the cultural issues throughout the organization, at every level, so that the entire organization is part of the desired change.”

As for helping Iowa’s physicians, Kasti expects great results as he and his team lead the design and implementation of the program. Leadership Institute classes and activities, which start this fall, will be held on-site in each of the IHA’s seven districts.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the IHA and bring the Leadership Institute to Iowa,” he said. “We are confident the physicians will find the experience transformational, rewarding on both a professional and personal level, and one that produces a strong return on investment.”

For more information about how CTI can help you and your team, call (813) 974-3674. To learn more about the USF CTI program and IHA check out their websites at or .

Story by Sarah A. Worth, photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Office of Communications