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"Maybe I should premedicate, too," a CEO of a Western community hospital said to me the night before I presented the data on 27 interviews of her medical and nursing staff.
A little context is in order:
The next day went well. More than 25 members of the medical staff showed up, listened respectfully to the data I presented and engaged in active discussion in small groups and at large over the following questions:
We had a shared vision of the hospital's strengths, challenges, opportunities and threats, and a clearer idea of next steps. I reassured them that they had a can-do spirit and vibrant culture.
The reason I am an unabashed cheerleader for independent community hospitals who want to shape their future is I believe nobody faces a tougher challenge than a CEO who aspires to lead confidently into uncertainty. As the CEO with whom I was working confessed her uncertainty, I recalled the words of a community hospital CEO in Connecticut that I worked with 15 years ago:
"If you don't feel the tension in your belly, you're not living and leading change."
Ken is a general surgeon/MBA and CEO of HealthcareCollaboration.com, who works with organizations to engage disgruntled doctors to improve clinical and financial performance.
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