It was a treat a few weeks ago to address Ann-Michele Gundlach’s “Foundations of Leadership” course in the MHA Program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Here’s an article that was published in the Winter Newsletter of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration:
For a number of years, one of the integrating activities of the Foundations of Leadership course in the MHA Program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has been the HBR case study, Paul Levy: Taking Charge at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. This case study CD details the steps Mr. Levy undertook as the new CEO to turnaround this failing medical institution and features him discussing progress over his first six months in the job. This year we were privileged to have Mr. Levy attend the last class of the term as our guest speaker and provide an engaging “live case” experience. True to his persona in the case study CD, Mr. Levy was stimulating and forthright as he recounted his experience with the BIDMC turnaround. Additionally, he offered leadership lessons for building and revitalizing a health care institution in this age of change. This rare opportunity to learn firsthand brought theory to life.
A number of leadership lessons stood out from Mr. Levy’s talk. First and foremost, he emphasized the importance of developing trust through transparency and consistency. This has been the theme of his blog about running a hospital which he began publishing in 2006 http://runningahospital.blogspot.com/.The second lesson was about the importance of creating an environment in which people can learn and achieve. This is underscored by his philosophy that “people want to do good in the world” and they can through their work in health care organizations. Of the many other points Mr. Levy made about leadership, perhaps the most salient was that “people want to know there is someone in charge who cares about them.” Rounding out his talk was the emphasis Mr. Levy placed on the importance of patient safety in the delivery of health care services and the leader’s role in ensuring its primacy.
Mr. Levy also graciously provided each student in the class with a copy of his book Goal Play! Leadership Lessons from the Soccer Field which he wrote as a guide to improving leadership. We could not have had a better finish to this course than having Paul Levy bring this case study to life.
It was very nice to be invited to present at the Annual Forum of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the pre-eminent national conference on improving the quality, safety, and effectiveness of the medical system. In between sessions, there was time to conduct a book-signing at the conference bookstore.
Many thanks to Boaz Tamir, head of Israel Lean Enterprise (part of the Lean Global Network), for an invitation to present at a session for a number of businesses that are involved in adopting the Lean process improvement philosophy in their organizations. Examples included Intel, the Strauss Group (food and beverage supplier), Bank Hapoalim, and yes (satellite broadcasting.) The attendees were intrigued with the lessons from Goal Play! about how to create learning organizations.
I was honored to share the stage with Micha Popper, from Haifa University, who studies and teaches about leadership. He told a particularly apt story about how the Israeli Air Force improved their learning process. Years ago, after the missions, the pilots would sit around and tell each other stories about what had happened during their flights. Later, when technology had improved to document the actual flight conditions and history of each flight, their stories were bolstered by actual data. The debrief sessions that resulted were much more accurate. More to the point, the flight teams–who previously had a natural tendency to hide or forget their mistakes–became much more open about disclosing their errors, comparing them one with the other, and then learning from the experience. The result was a documented improvement in pilots’ abilities.
It’s going to be a busy week of December 9 in Florida, as Goal Play! and I make the rounds to three local MIT Clubs to address their members and guests with a presentation about Goal Play! The public is welcome, too. If you are not an alumnus, please contact Laura Greene (617-324-0379 or lruddy [at] mit [dot] edu) for registration information.
First comes the MIT Club of Central Florida. The presentation will be on Monday, December 9 from 7:30 to 9:00pm at UCF Main Campus, UCF Harris Corporation Engineering Center (HEC-101). You can contact Arup Guha (321-663-7749, dmarino [at] cs [dot] ucf [dot] edu for more information.
Next is the MIT Club of Tampa Bay. The event will be on Wednesday, December 11, from 6:30 to 8:30pm, at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, Quarterdeck Room, 11 Central Avenuem St. Petersburg, Florida 33701. Click here for registration information.
For those in the Jacksonville area, there will be the final presentation of the week at the MIT Club of North Florida on Thursday, December 12. This will be at 5:30 at the Downtown CSX Building, Riverview East Room, 500 Water Street, in Jacksonville, FL.
Hoping to see you at one of these settings!
I was invited to deliver Grand Rounds at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv earlier this week. Much of the talk focused on how to create a learning organization, one that was able to draw of the good intentions and good will of the staff to deliver higher quality, safer, and more patient-driven care. As you might expect, I drew heavily on the lessons of Goal Play! in this talk. (You see an image of Gloria Martinez on the screen. She was a transporter at my former hospital and is one of the “superstars” in the book.) Israelis are passonate about soccer, so the talk was well received and the topic of conversation for much of the week.
Linda Hsu, over at Alpha Insight Development, kindly refers to Goal Play! lessons in her commentary entitled “Soccer, Leadership, and Empathy.” Excerpt:
My daughter’s soccer coach Paul Levy has written a book on leadership called Goal Play! Leadership Lessons from the Soccer Field. It may seem a curious title for a book on leadership, but Paul draws on his experience turning around both the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center as well as his many years coaching girls’ soccer to explain his understanding of leadership and what it takes to create a work environment that is truly a successful team effort.
The most important point that Paul makes in the [last] chapter, though, is that “empathy between the leader and the team is the key element of [his] approach” to “creating an environment of respect for individual action and accomplishment.” . . . In the context of leadership, being willing to allow people who work for you to “hold themselves accountable to their own high standards” may mean letting go of your perceived control of your team and their actions and instead work to create an environment where learning can occur and mistakes can be made without fear of being perceived as incompetent. In soccer as in life, as one of his employees notes, “it is how we handle them [mistakes] that makes us who we are.”
Thanks so much to the students and faculty advisor of the Compassionate Care in Medicine Club at Notre Dame and the Ruth M. Hillebrand Center for Compassionate Care in Medicine for inviting me to join them tomorrow evening, November 14, at 7pm in the Hesburgh Library Auditorium for a talk about the leadership attributes needed to reduce preventible harm in hospitals. The event is open to the public. I hope you’ll join if you are on campus.
The team-building leadership lessons from Goal Play! were warmly received today by senior clinical and administrative leaders at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Effective September 1st, 2013, Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation (a practice comprising more than 650 physicians and healthcare professionals) joined with Northwestern Memorial HealthCare to form one united health system (Northwestern Medicine) with a shared mission of becoming one of the nation’s top academic medical centers. We spent time today discussing the attributes that would make the successful implementation of this vision more likely, drawing on the lessons from the book.
I am very pleased to announce that the MIT Club of Great Britain has invited me to address their members and other guests this coming Monday evening, November 18, at London. The event will be held at 26-28 Hammersmith Grove, London W6 7BA. Doors open at 6:30pm, and the talk will start at about 7:00pm. Here’s the description on Facebook.
You don’t need to be an MIT alum to attend. All are welcome. Here’s the link for tickets.
Many thanks to Tony Davis, president of the club, for this lovely invitation. If I get enough interest from the UK, I may have to reissue Goal Play! with a new subtitle, Leadership Lessons from the Pitch.
Thanks to the MIT Club of Chicago for an invitation to address the club on November 13 at The Gleacher Center. The address is 450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive, and we’ll be in room 203. Here’s a link with information. Registration and networking starts at 6:30, and the talk starts at 7:00.
You don’t have to be an MIT alum to attend. Please come by!