How Sarah Sinclair creates positive change at The Cleveland Clinic

She says to pick the top two to three items to focus on moving forward. It’s also important to remember that going through a process like this takes time, and you can’t rush it.

“Take the time to do it strategically, methodically, and cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s,” Sinclair says. “Don’t try to race through it to some end that you’ve determined — take the time to build the relationship and get your stakeholder input.”

It took Sinclair about three months to go through this process when she started, but that’s because the Cleveland Clinic is a large organization. If you have a smaller organization, you may be able to do this more quickly.

Once you determine your top objectives, then the real work starts. Make sure your structure reflects the objectives you’re working on and put people in key leadership positions who can effectively move you forward. You also need to create project management around your objectives.

“If you had three different themes, it would look like three different projects with timelines, objectives, how often are people going to meet, what are the outcomes, how are you going to measure their success,” she says. “It’s putting the structure around the process to make sure you hold people accountable to getting the work done.”

As you move along, it’s also important to make sure you’re prepared to make a change if need be.

“It’s pretty clear,” Sinclair says. “Usually, it’s when your stakeholders are telling you something’s not quite right. It goes back to listening and intuitively watching the signs of your organization — when it’s going through fatigue, when it’s not moving at a pace you’d like to move at — sometimes you have to energize it. …You’ll know when your team is beginning to tell you things aren’t working or the team suggests something new.”

How to reach: The Cleveland Clinic Health System, (800) 223-2273 or