Capio Närsjukvård buys leadership training with “Wow!” and “Aha!” factors

5 May 2022

Psychological safety is the theme for the upcoming fifth module in Capio Närsjukvård’s Executive Management Programme – a customised leadership training programme with content continuously shaped in dialogue with GU Executive Education, according to the company’s evolving needs and challenges. With its base in scientific evidence, combined with knowledgeable and committed lecturers who encourage constructive dialogue, the programme enables Capio Närsjukvård’s CEO, Fredrik Gunmalm to continuously develop his regional management teams and strengthen the internal culture and innovative power in collaboration with the University of Gothenburg.

Capio Närsjukvård has 4,000 employees, extensive digital healthcare operations and 109 health centres around Sweden. The organisation has grown rapidly. When Fredrik Gunmalm, CEO of Capio Närsjukvård, started in the company in 2017, there were 68 health centres. The development has involved mergers of entities with different organisational cultures from eight regions which previously worked very independently. Fredrik Gunmalm saw the opportunity to both build a common culture and meet a need for skills development by regularly gathering regional leaders in a common training programme.

“As the new CEO, I met many leaders out in the business areas. It was often doctors and nurses who were given leadership positions and they needed competence development in finance. We created the Capio Executive Management Programme for the leaders in the regions and started in 2018 with the first module on Business Acumen.”


Allergic to long-term plans

At the annual training sessions, the 35 participants meet at the School of Business, Economics and Law in Gothenburg, Sweden, for two to three days. The content is determined in collaboration with GU Executive Education and is developed according to the needs identified by Fredrik Gunmalm. “New challenges arise all the time and I’m somewhat allergic to long-term plans,” he comments on the flexible structure of the program.

The second module was created in line with the development and implementation of the digital care business. Fredrik Gunmalm realised that there was a lack of a common vocabulary and methodology, which led to ambiguities and slowed development. To address this, a module on Change Management was created which was followed by a third one on Innovation Management.


Knowledgeable lecturers who create curiosity

The content of the modules is delivered by researchers from the School of Business, Economics and Law and other faculties at the University of Gothenburg. The scientific basis is important, says Fredrik Gunmalm.

“My employees are well educated and trained to rely on evidence and research. They do not listen to just anyone. The lecturers in the program have deep knowledge in their respective areas, as well as a great commitment, and the ability to work with a sometimes critical audience. It means that we get what I strive for – training modules with wow and aha factors!”

Most of the participants are senior and experienced. The programme needs to challenge and develop them as well. Fredrik Gunmalm mentions the module Change Management as an example.

“Many people take it for granted that they know change management. It is something they have done. However, when the lecturers present theoretical perspectives and different models and show that this is a research area with scientifically built knowledge, then even our most experienced leaders get an AHA experience that opens the senses and creates humility and curiosity. And that’s exactly what I’m looking for.”


Leadership for safety and satisfied patients

Starting in late 2021, a fourth module on Business Model Innovation was delivered. Here, the regional management teams have had to work on projects to develop some of Capio’s existing services. In the spring of 2022, it is time for the fifth module, Psychological safety.

“Our value is created through 3.5 million patient visits a year. Patient safety has the highest priority, and it depends on us learning from mistakes and shortcomings, which requires psychological safety for our staff. There is research that shows clear connections between an organisation’s ability to report and work with its mistakes and shortcomings and the levels of patient safety, patient satisfaction and employee satisfaction. We want to increase non-conformity reporting and have been measuring for some time how confident employees are in reporting errors to their manager,” says Fredrik Gunmalm. He continues:

“With 109 healthcare centres, you see both good and bad examples. Leadership plays an important role. We have identified five leadership behaviours that create more or less safety. The training programme will help us in the larger management group to agree on what psychological safety is and what the leadership needs to look like to create it. It is very good to have the research to refer to and fall back on.”

Fredrik Gunmalm has extensive experience of developing organisations with the help of internal training programmes. He emphasises the importance of the group gathering physically for each program module.

“I want to create a dialogue. The feeling of being back in school, sitting together and having a common task strengthens relationships. The informal interactions during the breaks and in the evening also contribute to that.”

The Capio Executive Management Programme has a train-the-trainer approach that provides participants with the tools to spread the knowledge further to business managers. Over time, the programme contributes to the development of a common language, a strong organisational culture and an innovative mindset.


Fredrik Gunmalm


For more information on GU Executive Education’s leadership programmes, contact:

Peter Salomonsson, Sales & Business Development Manager, +46 708 62 48 60

Håkan Ericson, CEO, +46 709 50 63 35