In­vest­ing in the fu­ture

Modern Healthcare - - Bold Moves -

Bernard Tyson CEO Kaiser Per­ma­nente

Kaiser Per­ma­nente CEO Bernard Tyson has been at the fore­front of ad­dress­ing some of the in­dus­try’s big­gest chal­lenges. With the in­creased push to have providers take care of so­cial ills, Tyson’s lat­est move might come as a small sur­prise. But that doesn’t make it any less risky.

WHAT’S YOUR RISKIEST DE­CI­SION? Our $200 mil­lion in­vest­ment in ad­dress­ing home­less­ness around the coun­try.

WHY WAS THAT MOVE RISKY? Be­cause it shows no im­me­di­ate div­i­dends. The whole point is to have an eco­nomic en­gine to sup­port the in­fra­struc­ture needed to make sure that we don’t end up with any­one us­ing the streets of Amer­ica as their home.

WHAT OUT­COME DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE? It’s go­ing to re­quire a lot of re­spon­si­ble in­vest­ment to make sure our or­ga­ni­za­tion is ac­tively en­gaged. We’re not just con­tribut­ing re­sources, we are co-own­ing the prob­lem. We have to part­ner with a lot of peo­ple, a lot of agen­cies and a lot of or­ga­ni­za­tions. We don’t think that we’re com­ing in with a magic pill, but we are com­ing in with a strong com­mit­ment that we’re work­ing to solve what we con­sider to be an un­ac­cept­able prob­lem in the 21st cen­tury. This is not about be­ing a so­cial pro­gram, but be­ing so­cially re­spon­si­ble for the greater good of the com­mu­nity, which im­pacts all of us. So it’s not about them, it’s about we.

WHAT WAS THE RE­SPONSE FROM THOSE IN­VOLVED? It’s the per­fect ex­am­ple of a team ef­fort. But it also re­quired our fi­nance unit to put the same dis­ci­pline around this in­vest­ment that we do all of our other in­vest­ments. So when we went to the board, we could tell our story about how this fits into the strat­egy of com­mu­nity health and the board sup­ported it.

ANY AD­VICE FOR EX­ECS IN SIM­I­LAR PO­SI­TIONS? Some­thing like this is not about solo lead­er­ship, it re­ally is how do you gal­va­nize the right peo­ple and how do you clearly iden­tify what you’re try­ing to solve. Peo­ple need to be en­er­gized by an ef­fort like this and if it cre­ates en­ergy in the or­ga­ni­za­tion, you’ll have a good chance at solv­ing the prob­lem.

DE­SCRIBE YOUR LEAD­ER­SHIP STYLE. Pas­sion­ate, fun, en­er­gized and fu­ture-think­ing.

HOW WOULD OTH­ERS DE­SCRIBE IT? Pas­sion­ate, fun, en­er­gized, fu­ture-think­ing and en­joys what he’s do­ing, but he also speaks his mind and peo­ple may not ● like what they hear some­times.

The whole point is to have an eco­nomic en­gine to sup­port the in­fra­struc­ture needed to make sure that we don’t end up with any­one us­ing the streets of Amer­ica as their home.

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