Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lessons from Tucson

Our Fall Institute in Tucson, Arizona, finished last week. Here are some quick “ahas” from our Board, our members and me that I thought would interest you at this time of chaos and change in health care. Tossed in this mix is a joke from 10-year-old Anastasia, which put a smile on our faces and made us more creative.

  • “If you don’t like change, you’ll like irrelevance even less,” Mike Wirth, president of The Governance Institute, quoting General Eric Shinseki at the Innovators’ Panel discussion.

  • “There are two types of change. Incremental change is the process applied to making existing products, services or market shares better (doing what you do better). Disruptive change is doing something different,” Eileen McPartland, COO of Allscripts, in remarks shared with our Board.

  • “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses,” Jason Hwang, co-author of The Innovator’s Prescription, reminding us of Henry Ford’s famous quote about knowing what your customer wants – and thinking beyond.

  • “We should define ourselves by the job to be done. We shouldn’t be in the business of selling ¼ inch drills – we should be in the business of providing ¼ inch holes,” Jason Hwang.

  • “Don’t make hypotheses about segments of markets. Look for general themes and find common values. Segment by behaviors and buying patterns.” Bob Lokken, CEO of White Cloud Analytics, a member of the Innovators’ panel.

  • Why did the tomato blush? Because it saw the salad….dressing,” Anastasia, when asked to share her best joke.

  • “I’m 100% clinical right now, but might want some other options in two or three years,” a participant, when asked his reason for attending.

  • “As soon as you place a negative label on another person or group, you’ve placed a huge psychological obstacle between you and them in terms of human influence,” Charles Dwyer, a professor from the Wharton School, teaching the Physician In Management (PIM) course on influence.

  • “Never expect anyone to engage in a behavior that serves your values unless you give that person adequate reason to do so,” Charles Dwyer.

  • “No one has to do anything,” Charles McCabe’s Law, as quoted by Charles Dwyer in his influence course.

The attendees in Tucson were focused on getting the skills they need to lead change in their organizations and communities. They asked lots of great questions about how to get that first management opportunity or how to move on to more responsible leadership positions. We had physicians asking about roles in insurance, pharma, and employee health – and we had experienced physicians from those sectors to help answer those questions. I’m optimistic about the future of health care because physicians are learning the leadership, management, and behavioral skills that are needed to innovate and change. Combined with our clinical experiences, it is a powerful combination for change.

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