View from the Bridge

Changes in the C- Suite

As seismic shifts in Healthcare continue to accelerate, and disruption becomes more the status quo, health systems are creating new C-Suite roles, demanding new capabilities in existing roles, and seeking new non-industry talent to fill those roles.

Creating New C-Suite Roles is one way that organizations are assigning focus and accountability for their many patient-centric / date-driven innovations and horizontal growth. Titles and responsibilities are often in flux both within and across health systems, as executives and their organizations respond and adapt to changing priorities and shifts in culture. Examples of new roles in the C-Suite include those focused on Data, Innovation, Integration, Social Determinants and Patient Experience.

Demanding New Capabilities for existing C-Suite roles can require current executives to lead outside their comfort zone. They are asked to deepen their interpersonal and teambuilding skills, as well as to broaden their vision to include the largest goals of their organization. While executive leadership programs and private coaching are tools that may expand an executive’s ability to contribute at her/his highest level, the question remains: How to insure that all C-Suite executives, in addition to being technically outstanding in their roles, are also inspiring team leaders and business visionaries? C-Suite executive development is more important than ever before.

Seeking New Non-Industry Talent for Healthcare C-Suite roles, once an anomaly, is now becoming a nascent best practice. Once required to garner a first exploratory meeting, healthcare experience is now considered optional or a negative for certain organizations’ highest positions. Executives with non-healthcare expertise in such areas as Technology or Consumer Products are now seriously in demand at the highest echelons of Healthcare. Why? Because it’s a great way to harness the vision and expertise of leaders who have already digitally revolutionized whole industries. Increasingly, CIOs and Chief Marketing and Communications Officers are coming from outside the industry.

My sense is that many epoch-shifting changes in healthcare are still ahead of us, but whatever they may be, the once-siloed leadership of the healthcare sector is a thing of the past. Healthcare is now claiming its fully integrated place into the larger culture, led by multi-faceted C-Suite executives who have exceptional interpersonal skills and are business generalists committed to their organizations’ delivery of affordable, patient-centric care.

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