Leadership on Point

Disrupting Healthcare: The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts

December 22, 2017 Richard Levin

 

The business of healthcare is ripe for disruption. Especially conducive to change is the stubborn practice of building or adhering to silos that don’t adequately encourage collaboration. In healthcare, silos foster the continuation of tenacious traditions that fail to acknowledge the patient as a wholistic being, like separating dentistry from the rest of medicine or viewing departments or specialties as if they are disconnected from the larger organizations of which they are part.

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How Many Hats Does a CIO Need to Wear?

October 21, 2016 Joe Wolke

Technology leaders earn their keep when they help their organizations use technology as a competitive advantage. Success is no longer measured just in availability, speed and uptime: one must now add resiliency, security, scalability, affordability and, most of all, the flexibility to meet business needs that have yet to be defined. These leaders must understand differentiators in their businesses; they need to know real capabilities in the IT marketplace as well as the best providers of those capabilities; and they need to know how to staff and manage high-performing teams who can assure consistent and reliable delivery of those services. They need to be:

  • Technology specialists who know and understand what is real and what is hype
  • Authorities in security, protecting the information that drives the company as well as meeting regulatory compliance
  • Team leaders able to attract, manage and retain a team of highly skilled technical professionals
  • Salespersons, working with peers within an organization to create and sell the business cases that prove the investment in technology is the best use of a company’s money
  • Service brokers with the ability to source both commodity services and the business differentiators from providers both internal and across the globe.

No single university discipline, certification or job prepares individuals for what they need to be the best IT leaders for their organizations. There is no single source that can teach IT leaders to comfortably wear all the necessary hats at the same time.

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Since When Is Executive Coaching A Bad Thing?

November 14, 2012 Meghan Vincent

While reading Boston.com this past weekend, I came across the article, “New T Manager Underwent Professional Counseling in Atlanta” and was a bit surprised by the tone of both the article itself and – even more so – the reader-added comments that followed.  It seems to me that one of the larger issues (from my subjective perspective, at least) is the general lack of understanding of what executive coaching is – and what it can do for the leader of an organization.

Concern has been expressed over the fact that the newly selected director of the MBTA, Beverly Scott, received “individual coaching and consultation” while serving as the head of Atlanta’s transit system (MARTA). While we don’t personally know Scott or the consulting firm that was hired to work with her, we are familiar with some of the drivers behind the decision to hire a coach (information and quotes taken directly from the article):

  • Scott’s relationship with her board of directors in Atlanta had grown strained
  • “She has so much energy and that for some people can be complicated”
  • “She demands a lot of people.”
  • Scott was a “change agent, and that is often difficult and not always appreciated in an entrenched organization.”

 

Speaking from experience, none of these bullet points raise a red flag in my mind.  In fact, they are quite common.  The relationship between boards and senior management is often a harried one, many times requiring outside help to manage the conflict(s) that develop as a result.  Furthermore, leaders are frequently hired or promoted based on technical abilities and business acumen, with little regard for the “soft skills” that make a leader effective.

The job of an executive coach in this situation is to work with a leader to refine those aforementioned ‘soft skills’ (self-awareness, presentation skills, active listening, stress management, change management, communication skills and messaging, to name a few).  The end result is the development of a true leader – not in the sense of his or her title but rather in action, someone who can inspire and lead his or her organization towards growth and success.

The part of this article that I found most shocking was the quote provided by Mike Jacobs, a state representative in Georgia who heads the legislative committee that oversees MARTA.  He stated, “it’s cause for concern when a consultant is hired for this sort of purpose to address a major leadership position.”  I cannot possible emphasize how much I disagree with this statement.  A cause for concern would be someone who refused coaching and/or refused to acknowledge that he or she had any weaknesses that needed to be addressed.  No one is perfect – and no one should be faulted for trying to address those areas in which there is opportunity for growth and development.

I wonder what Mike Jacobs would think if he knew how many great leaders – in the corporate, government and non-profit sectors – have worked with an executive coach?

 

Written by RLA Associate Meghan Vincent. For follow up, Meghan can be contacted at: mvincent@richardlevinassociates.com

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It’s Not Just The Money: The Motivating Power of Words

July 26, 2011 Anne Etra - Guest Author

Thank you + employee retention + employee satisfaction

I recently ghostwrote an e-book for an entrepreneur with a lucrative fitness club member retention system.    His own 14,000-square-foot fitness facility boasts a whopping 84% customer retention rate.  “Success through Involvement” is a key philosophy of his system, resulting in stellar staff effectiveness and happy members achieving their fitness goals.

It might surprise you that employee retention research consistently rates ‘Recognition’ the #1 motivator for staying with a company.  (‘Opportunities for Further Learning and Advancement’ is #2, with ‘Salary’ a lagging #3.)

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Immediate Opportunities To Improve Your Business

July 12, 2011 Jim Desrosiers

As a business consultant in many different industries, I noticed a pattern that has resulted in companies struggling to survive or do well in today’s economic environment.  Here’s GROWTHco’s Top 5 List of Immediate Improvement Opportunities.

These don’t include operational, infrastructure, or technological improvements that may take longer to implement.  These are people and process improvements that have made immediate impacts on the bottom line of our clients.  Ask your team if any of the following pertain to your company:

1)  Commitment to a predetermined vision: Although major business schools are telling business leaders to ‘throw away your business plan’, the #1 concern I have with businesses today is their lack of commitment to a specific outcome.  Know exactly what products and services you provide.  Know who needs your offerings AND has the ability to pay for them.  Identify the best strategy to penetrate your unique market. Don’t let every outside opportunity and potential partnership take away from your vision.  Sure, there is a time and place to identify and explore new opportunities, but not at the expense of your current strategy.  Some companies are now adopting a R&D (Research & Development) person or team whose primary role is to explore new opportunities and keep key personnel laser focused on the existing path to success.

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Google’s CEO Discusses the Value of a Coach

June 24, 2011 Richard Levin

Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt discusses the importance of hiring an executive coach, noting that having someone to provide perspective and help you to reach your full potential is not an indication that something is wrong.  A coach’s role is, as Schmidt explains, to help the client see him/herself as they appear to others … and to assess if (and how) changes should be made.


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Can You Run the Boston Marathon?

April 18, 2011 Jim Desrosiers

Boston Marathon, Executive Coaching, Goals

Maybe not this week, but of course you can run the Boston Marathon…unless your attitude says you can’t.  If you think you can’t do something, you’re right.  If you think you can, you are also right.

Follow this formula:

Success comes from goals. Goals come from results. Results come from our daily behaviors. Our behaviors are driven by our attitudes.

Our attitudes are 100% in our control.  Many people let past conditioning, outside circumstances, or even other people get to their attitude.  Since our success starts with our attitude, challenge your feelings when you are telling yourself you can’t do something.  Remember, human beings are only limited by self-imposed limitations.  It’s amazing to me that two human beings in the same situation can have very different BELIEFS as to what their ultimate potential could be.  One runner believes her potential is to someday increase her time to 60-minutes on a treadmill while the next runner believes she will complete the Boston Marathon next April.  Attitude is what makes similar people achieve vastly different results.  Also, challenge your attitude when you catch yourself thinking, “I’m having a bad day” or “That person MAKES me mad!”   We choose our attitudes.  Is it really a “bad” day if it’s raining or snowing outside?  Do you have to become angry at the rude driver or can you choose to smile and wave at them?  I actually have fun doing that…knowing they are expecting an obscene gesture.  Sometimes, they even apologize to me.  You see, attitudes are also contagious.  Your attitude also stems from your prior experiences and conditioning.  Conditioning that can be changed.  Right now you have an attitude about this blog posting…is it positive or negative?…and why?

 


 

Written by RLA Associate, executive coach and acclaimed speaker Jim Desrosiers, M.M. For more information, please visit www.GROWTHco.com.

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