Clinical Leadership

With an evidence-based approach and extensive health services experience, SMG offers a range of consulting and advisory services that enable health facilities and hospital and health services to incrementally increase their performance and deliver on their strategic objectives.

Our approach:

  • Evidence-based approaches that integrate neuroscience, behavioural economics, psychology and other behavioural sciences.
  • Advanced practitioners who apply practical insight from both health and a wide range of other industries (including work with market leaders PwC, KPMG, Emirates Airline etc).
  • Methodologies that acknowledge and work with both the 'complicated' (detail of the work that health services deal with every day) and the 'complex' (diverse set of people, financial and external stakeholder dynamics and constraints that are often equally important in designing and implementing interventions and projects that will work).
  • All this insight has been condensed into a range of robust, practical tools that have been built specifically with health services (or adapted from broader international benchmark tools), for health services and refined in health services.
Our services include:

Clinical Leadership:

SMG specialise in developing leadership capability within clinical environments. Through implementing the Leadership Pipeline, we define each layer of leadership within a health environment to clarify leadership and performance expectations and design processes to embed this new approach.

The Leadership Pipeline helps to:

  • Identify the different layers of leadership;
  • Define what successful leadership looks like at each layer;
  • Clarify and align expectations around performance.

The Leadership Pipeline creates greater clarity about how leaders in the organisation can succeed, and establishes a shared framework for how leadership is viewed and valued across a health service. This framework can then support an integrated approach to recruitment and selection, leadership development, performance appraisal and talent management.

Performance Appraisal:

Leading organisations have begun to replace their performance appraisal systems with more dynamic, flexible approaches that are person-centred and focused on growth, feedback and development. Helping people develop their strengths and using them in the organisation to good effect is becoming a key goal of performance appraisal, yet traditional models tend to be evaluative, rather than strengths-focused. Our approach builds on the Leadership Pipeline to create transparency and clarity around leadership and performance expectations.

The objective of the new performance appraisal process is to integrate with business-as-usual leadership, and to:

  • Regularly provide people with feedback about how they are performing;
  • Provide the right development support to continue to increase performance; and
  • Create succession pathways so that people can move through the layers of the organisation.

The redesigned performance appraisal system achieves what these processes were originally designed to achieve: to increase the quality and frequency of feedback people receive, ensure development is linked to performance and support hiring the right people for the right roles.

Change and Transformation Programs

For complex multinational organisations, government, cutting-edge economists, pioneering leaders and even federal regulators around the world, the penny has finally dropped: people are not rational, and the delivery of mission-critical tasks rarely follows an organisational chart or a neat project plan.

In the last five years, behavioural economics and neuroscience have been fundamentally changing what we know about how the brain works; how people make decisions; and how leaders can most effectively create environments that foster creativity, meaning and engagement. This body of knowledge is helping leaders redefine their organisations, make powerful adjustments to their leadership style and get things done in seemingly impossible environments.

SMG has a proprietary Cultural Maturity Model that allows health organisations to clearly plot their path of transformation and undertake the necessary leadership, process and culture work required to make the shift.

Coaching and Mentoring

For Clinical Leadership to be a success there is a need need to focus not just on the processes and infrastructure that need changing, but also on equipping leaders and clinicians with the leadership capability to help their people make the transition and to deliver outstanding clinical services in a complex environment.

SMG offer  coaching and mentoring for leaders so they can apply the insights learned while going through the process.

Executive Team Development

SMG run Executive Development programs that focus on:

1.Creating high performance cultures based on:

  • The neuroscience of cognitive complexity, which gives rise to a road map for cultural maturity
  • Leveraging performance networks (centered around key deliverables, which determine the degree to which organisations can deliver on mission-critical work)

2. Leadership credibility and engaging during change:

  • Applying insights from neuroscience to break through cultural resistance
  • Maximising innovation hotspots and resolving blockages and pain points
  • Modeling and bringing out desired innovation behavior.

Strategic Planning

The key issue with strategy in a health organisation is not so much the integrity of the strategy, but the degree to which people within the organisation understand it and have engaged with it. Strategic planning processes are often confused with creating a document. A document is simply a representation of a combined understanding.

The SMG strategic planning process is designed to create:

  • Rapid engagement that embeds strategy through workforce understanding
  • Workforce value chain engagement to cascade and translate organisational strategy into discrete health specialties
  • Translation of organisational strategy into 90-day sprint plans

Models of Service/Care

With changing needs of patients and the advances of research, there is a constant demand to update the models of service/care which are used in health organisations. SMG engages with content experts and clinical leads to facilitate the progression (or creation) of models of service/care.

Patient Experience

Putting the client’s experience at the core of the services provided is gaining momentum globally across many industries including healthcare. While this makes sense to drive higher satisfaction and market differentiation, how do you meet the ever changing needs and expectations of healthcare for the entire population of a state or country?

By applying the insights from the six social needs to the healthcare ecosystem, simple but powerful changes can be made to improve the client’s perception of the service and their satisfaction with the experience.

The six social needs guide:

  1. Defining the client’s expectations
  2. Engaging the client
  3. Clarify outcomes and results
  4. Demonstrating empathy
  5. Outlining clear processes,steps and timeframes
  6. Creating a visual impression of the intended outcomes

Keynotes and tailored development programs on:

  • Culture change in complex health environments
  • Rapid clinical teaming: the Brain's Six Social Cognitive needs
  • Innovation in clinical environments
  • Behavioural economics and what it means for clinicians

SMG Healthcare client list:

  • Metro South HHS
  • Metro North HHS
  • Cairns and Hinterland HHS
  • West Moreton HHS
  • Metro South AMHS
  • Department of Health, Queensland
  • Queensland Government, Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • Health Services Queensland
  • Children’s Health Queensland
  • UnitingCare Health
  • Translational Research Institute
  • Brisbane Diamantina Health Partners
  • Device Technologies
  • Stryker Australia
  • Cabrini Health

Clinical Leadership Team:

Peter Burow

Peter Burow


Misha Byrne

Zane Harris

Zane Harris

Anna Byrne

Anna Byrne

Anna Waters

Anna Waters

Micah Bernoff

Micah Bernoff

Phil Slade

Phil Slade

Wade McFarlane

Wade McFarlane


Charmaine Lock


Antonio Chevez

Team Photos (1)-40

Darren Ramia-Topp


Misha Byrne (Clinical Leadership Lead) on +617 3025 3241 or