Carlos scholz

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4 Steps to Sustaining Improvement in Health Care

No one wants to toil away at a health care improvement effort only to see that progress disappear as systems and processes revert to the old way of doing things. Leading health care organizations recognize that improving care isn’t enough; having a systematic approach to sustaining improvement is …

The Traits of Leaders Who Do Things Fast and Well

An exceptional leader we know would occasionally get a question from his direct reports in a variety of forms but with the common message, “Do you want this done fast or right?” His answer was always the same: “Yes!” He chose not to compromise on either dimension. For this leader and for most …

What the Trump Administration Needs to Do About Health Care

On January 20 Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. How exactly he and the Republican-controlled Congress will reshape U.S. policy and institutions is unclear, but their approach to health care reform will have profound impacts on the health and well-being of the …

Patients Make Better Medical Choices with Coaching

Patients newly diagnosed with acute medical conditions are often overwhelmed with their situation. They don’t know what to ask the doctor, how to evaluate the information provided (if they even remember it), or how to arrive at good decisions about their treatment. The Patient Support Corps seeks …

How to Bring Real Competition to the Health Care Industry

Here’s the good news: Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, more Americans have access to health care than ever before. The bad news? The care itself hasn’t improved much. Despite the hard work of dedicated providers, our health care system remains chaotic, unreliable, inefficient, and …

If You Can’t Empathize with Your Employees, You’d Better Learn To

Empathy—the ability to read and understand other’s emotions, needs, and thoughts—is one of the core competencies of emotional intelligence and a critical leadership skill. It is what allows us to influence, inspire, and help people achieve their dreams and goals. Empathy enables us to connect with …

Why This Health System Offers Refunds to Dissatisfied Patients

Shortly after forty-six-year-old Karen Hull had elective disc surgery at one of our hospitals, she used a new Geisinger app to request a refund for $150 of her $2250 financial responsibility. The problem wasn’t with the surgery – that went well. But Karen was unhappy with a phone call she’d …

Giving Patients an Active Role in Their Health Care

As payment and care delivery models shift in the United States from episodic, fee-for-service care toward population health and value-based reimbursement, health care leaders are focused more than ever on patient engagement as a key to driving down costs and improving outcomes. And yet, as so many …

How to Get Health Care Employees Onboard with Change

Organizational transformation is notoriously difficult. Twenty years ago, John Kotter pegged the failure rate at 70% and the needle hasn’t moved much since. Major change also takes a long time to implement — between five and seven years on average — and the performance improvements that are …

Improving On-the-Fly Teamwork in Health Care

Calls for teamwork in health care are as persistent as they are hard to heed. Over the past decade, a growing number of observers, ourselves included, have called attention to the need for providers to coordinate better across specialties, shifts, departments, and even organizations (for example …

Why Leadership Development Isn’t Developing Leaders

Too many business leaders today are out of touch with the employees they lead. Edelman estimates that one in three employees doesn’t trust their employer — despite the fact that billions are spent every year on leadership development. Part of the problem: Our primary method of developing leaders is …

What Do You Really Mean by Business “Transformation”?

jennifer maravillas FOR HBR<p>Today’s corporate watchword word is <i>transformation</i>, and for good reason. One study suggests that 75% of the S&P 500 will turn over in the next 15 years. Another says that one in three companies will delist in the next five years. A third shows that the “topple rate” of …

3 Reasons Your Strategy Meetings Irritate Your Team

Used well, strategy meetings provide clarity and momentum. They align a team around key decisions and create positive energy.<p>Used poorly, strategy meetings irritate people. They waste time and energy, or worse, strengthen entrenched points of view creating frustration and resignation.<p>In my work …

Making Matrix Organizations Actually Work

Most discussions about matrix organizations usually quickly devolve into a debate between two sides: those who love to hate the matrix, and those who hate to love the matrix. The former claim that a matrix structure slows decision making and obfuscates accountability. The latter retort that a …

The Most Important Leadership Competencies, According to Leaders Around the World

dave wheeler FOR HBR<p>What makes an effective leader? This question is a focus of my research as an organizational scientist, executive coach, and leadership development consultant. Looking for answers, I recently completed the first round of a study of 195 leaders in 15 countries over 30 global …

The 3 Things That Make Technical Training Worthwhile

Managers understand that having employees who understand the latest tools and technologies is vital to keeping a company competitive. But training employees on those tools and technologies can be a costly endeavor (corporations spent $130 billion on corporate training in general in 2014) and too …

Culture Is Not the Culprit

When organizations get into big trouble, fixing the culture is usually the prescription. That’s what most everyone said General Motors needed to do after its recall crisis in 2014—and ever since, CEO Mary Barra has been focusing on creating “the right environment” to promote accountability and head …

The Toyota Production System Works for Relationships, Too

The innovations of the Toyota Production System (TPS) are well documented in the management literature and standard features of business school curricula everywhere. These concepts are usually discussed in the context of industrial operations, but I also see their applicability to interpersonal …

A Cognitive Trick for Solving Problems Creatively

Many experts argue that creative thinking requires people to challenge their preconceptions and assumptions about the way the world works. One common claim, for example, is that the mental shortcuts we all rely on to solve problems get in the way of creative thinking. How can you innovate if your …

What to Do When Your To-Do List Is Holding Up Your Team

Tara was a talented senior editor known for her innovative ideas and quality work. Recently, however, she’d become the team bottleneck: Tasks went into her office and never came out.<p>After three warnings she was put on probation. Stumped, her boss called me in to see if I could help. Tara appeared …

To Radically Redesign Health Care, Start with One Unit

It is a widely held belief among health care leaders that comparing their hospitals and clinics to peers is very important. Benchmarking seems to assure leaders that as long as their organization’s performance is 50% of the national average or better, things are okay. But U.S. health care quality …

The Top Complaints from Employees About Their Leaders

If you’re the kind of boss who fails to make genuine connections with your direct reports, take heed: 91% of employees say communication issues can drag executives down, according to results from our new Interact/Harris Poll, which was conducted online with roughly 1,000 U.S. workers.<p>In the survey, …

Overkill

An avalanche of unnecessary medical care is harming patients physically and financially. What can we do about it?<p>It was lunchtime before my afternoon surgery clinic, which meant that I was at my desk, eating a ham-and-cheese sandwich and clicking through medical articles. Among those which caught …

The Decision-Driven Organization

Artwork: Antony Gormley, <b>Lost Horizon I</b>, 2008, cast iron, 32 elements: each 189 x 53 x 29 cm, Installation view, White Cube, Mason’s Yard, London<p>Many CEOs assume that organizational structure—the boxes and lines on a company’s org chart—is a key determinant of financial performance. Like generals, …