DeGroote School of Business & Faculty of Health Sciences

HiFi Leadership Program

"Harnessing the power of simulation to help leaders in academic healthcare to develop and hone skills before they need them."

Health Sciences Building

About The Program

The Health improvement & Faculty innovation (HiFi) program has been designed with the realization that for leaders to be good practitioners, they need a safe space to develop and hone their skills. Our immersive blended learning experience will allow them to close the learning and doing gap.

  • As academia and health systems evolve and develop in complexity, there is an increasing need to foster both knowledge of core skills and capabilities so that leaders are prepared before (or shortly after) they assume roles within our institutions.
  • We know that in today’s world, learning through failure is not a great way to help leaders flourish.
  • In healthcare, we use simulation to create spaces where individuals and teams can have safe zones to practice, debrief, learn, and grow – without the threat of harming those in their charge. For leaders, spaces like this are also needed.
  • The HiFi program seeks to help leaders navigate complex, hi-fidelity problems within a safe environment, giving them the know-how to lean into their academic health leadership role.

The Focus

  • Simulate hi-fidelity, complex, and multi-stakeholder leadership and management issues
  • Provide leaders with a simulated environment to reflect, learn, fail, gain insight about themselves, and grow
  • Enhance collaboration between faculty and administrative leaders
  • Build a strong, trusted network of peers
  • Develop confidence in using cultural, financial and strategy concepts and tools
  • Move teams toward desired features

The Format

HiFi will be a blended learning experience with a facilitator that will help attendees engage in problem-based learning. The program is comprised of 3 x one-month modules with small-group virtual and in-person learning.

Navigate the personal, interpersonal, cultural, and political complexity of leading culture change

  • Facilitating culture change
  • Fostering safety, connection, and wellness
  • Navigating difficult and crucial conversations
  • Leading EDI policies, processes, and practices
  • Building high-performing teams

Build a functional understanding of how academic budgets work without ‘getting into the weeds’

  • Accounting fundamentals
  • Balancing budgets across multiple portfolios
  • Forecasting and risk management
  • Entrepreneurial thinking
  • Financial decision-making

Lead evidence-informed and imaginative strategic thinking work to anticipate and move towards desired futures

  • Building partnerships and networks
  • Design thinking and organizational problem-solving
  • Strategic foresight
  • Storytelling and communicating vision and strategy
  • Leading through influence and persuasion

The Experience

A truly groundbreaking experience – these high-potential leaders will be mentored through challenging political, financial, and structural problems in a simulated setting.

  • Small, collaborative groups will be created to allow for connection, networking, and peer mentorship
  • Facilitators and instructors will expose participants to new approaches and strategies for engaging others, creating safe spaces, negotiating tricky situations, and learning to become more audacious and daring – all within a safe, simulated environment
  • Constant feedback loops will help participants to discover aspects about themselves that will assist their personal growth, while helping to develop nascent skills that will be needed in their current and future roles.

The Network

We know that a leadership program needs to be more than a one-time engagement.

  • We aim to create an alumni network that will build a community that returns each year to help co-facilitate HiFi in the future.
  • Those who engage in a return-of-service will be able to partake in new modules and/or engage in co-design of new programming for the future iterations and expansion of HiFi.
  • We imagine that this network will work alongside the HLA National Fellows, creating a possible pipeline for future candidates for that program.

The Difference

The HiFi program is a transformative leadership learning experience. After multiple extensive searches for beyond-beginner programming, we have found very few leadership experiences that come close to the design of the HiFi program.

This program will emphasize teamwork and will use the core principles of experiential learning (aligned with Kolb but also modern frameworks like PEARLS for feedback) to engage in helping individuals facilitate growth.

We aim to bring the best educational design evidence and theory to the HiFi experience. Co-led by award-winning teachers (who are also design experts, experienced leaders, and leading health education researchers) we aim to create an exceptionally well-constructed educational experience that will cultivate deep and lasting learning.

  • Expert coaching & feedback – Facilitators are trained to provide feedback and coaching throughout the program
  • Peer mentorship – Cohorts will be created to help you tap into the wisdom of others who share your unique leadership context
  • Psychological Safety – So that we can tackle challenging topics like cultural safety, toxic work environments, equity challenges
Apply Now


HiFi Video

Ideal Candidate

We hope to attract ”beyond beginner” leaders that have had lived experience as faculty and administrative leaders within academic healthcare at an entry-level but are now contemplating or start to progress towards more complex leadership roles (e.g. Associate Chair, Assistant Dean, Director of Administration, Senior Manager)

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Module 1 – People and Culture
Virtual Program Orientation and Module 1 Kick off
Tues Sept 19, 2023, 6:00 – 7:30 PM

3-week Virtual PBL
Tues Sept 26, Oct 3, Oct 17 6:00 –
8:00 PM

2.5-day in-person intensive

Ron Joyce Centre, Burlington
Thurs Oct 26 12:00 PM – Sat Oct 28
3:00 PM

Module 2 – Money Matters
Virtual Orientation
Tues Jan 9, 2024, 6:00– 7:30 PM

3-week virtual PBL
Tues Jan 16, Jan 23, Jan 30 6:00 –
8:00 PM

2 x 1/2 day VIRTUAL intensive
Thur Feb 8 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Feb 9 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Module 3 – Strategic Thinking
and Vision
Virtual orientation
Tues Mar 26, 2024 6:00 – 7:30 PM

3-week virtual PBL
Tues April 2, 9, 16 6:00 – 8:00 PM

1.5-day in-person intensive

Ron Joyce Centre, Burlington
Fri April 26, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Sat Apr 27 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Fees and Bursaries for 2023

CAD 5,500* for internal McMaster and other affiliates to CPD or HLA programs. $8,500 + HST* for external candidates outside of our affiliated programs. *excludes accommodation and travel


We will be able to apply for credentialing from the McMaster Office of Continuing Professional Development.

This program will allow participants to gain credits towards their Maintenance of Certification for RCPSC, CFPC, and through a reciprocal agreement with the AMA MOC CME credits as well.

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