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The Front Line
The Front Line: Charles D. Blanke, MD, SWOG Chair


Leadership performance: Reviews

Oct 25, 2013 - SWOG's plans for keeping our leadership fresh were part of our NCTN grant submission and were well received at the NCI. These included regular performance reviews and term-limits for office, that latter (to be discussed in a future weekly missive) enabling the next generation to take leading roles in our organization.

There will be two types of reviews. The first is a fairly low-key annual review that will feature a 15- to 30-minute discussion between committee chair and group chair, taking place at our spring or fall group meeting. Specific criteria under review include the number of protocols launched or in development, the level of support for young investigators, the record of trial accrual, and management of any problems specific to the given committee.

The second review of committee chairs, at the midpoint of each five-year term, is a more thorough 360-degree review. SWOG will solicit performance feedback from colleagues "above," "below," and "beside" the committee chairs. This will likely include the chair of another committee, a member of the given chair's committee working group, an executive officer, and an expert peer from outside of SWOG. A particularly critical component will be the committee chair's self-evaluation. This mid-term review will include a 30-minute meeting with the group chair and, in addition to the criteria used in the annual review, would also assess the following:

  • the committee's strategic development,
  • the chair's collaborative efforts both within SWOG across the NCTN,
  • how committee meetings are run -- both calls and face-to-face sessions,
  • communication and conflict management skills, and
  • the quality of interaction with other stakeholders, particularly patient advocates.

We will initiate these reviews starting with the spring 2014 group meeting in San Francisco. And though a performance review could theoretically result in our replacing a committee chair, I see this as highly unlikely and think their primary benefit will be to keep an open channel of communication and to clearly and effectively review the committee's, and the Group's, progress in our fight against cancer.

I welcome your feedback and ideas on this front.

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