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Empowering Women to Lead and Succeed

PWH Blog - Insights

  • 04/18/2018 12:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    When I work with leaders, I find many struggle with holding their staff accountable. They are unsure how to build a culture of accountability. I believe it is important to position caring and kindness at the center of all accountability actions and it is the responsibility of the leader to make that happen. Let’s explore a few critical steps toward accountability…


    1.       Start with compassion

    The most important thing leaders can do is demonstrate authentic care and compassion for their staff. Get to know each individual as an individual. Learn their career aspirations, strengths and challenges, preferred ways of working with others, and communication preferences. When a staff member is struggling, offer understanding, support, and an attentive ear. Truly care about your team’s success.

    2.       Demonstrate accountability

    As leaders, it is tough to ask our staff to be accountable for their actions if we are not accountable for our own. We are all human; we will all fail or make mistakes from time to time. When leaders make mistakes, admitting these forthrightly to the team and discussing take-aways from the situation can help build a culture of acceptance and learning.

    3.       Establish clear expectations

    The idea of SMART goals first appeared in November, 1981 in the Management Review article, There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives, written by Doran, Miller, and Cunningham. SMART goals are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound. This is a great guideline for leaders, yet I also think we have to go beyond this idea and consider organizational vision and strategy, what motivates individual team members, how to recognize and reward desired actions, and how to tie goals into an individual’s desired career trajectory.

    4.       Request a written plan

    Ask your staff to create a plan on how they will accomplish their goals. Document the plan with a few brief bullet points for shorter goals, or a full-blown project plan for more complex goals. Having a plan in writing will help determine if your team has considered all aspects of the goal. Do they have the right resources aligned? Have they allowed enough time for each step? Did they consider dependencies? A written plan also helps you, the manager, conduct accountability conversations that may be needed.

    5.       Follow up on progress

    Paying attention to and appreciating work in progress are great ways to recognize your staff. This is not about micromanaging. It is about acknowledging each staff member’s contributions to their goals, while also offering the opportunity to discuss how work is progressing and how you might assist in overcoming barriers. For complex goals, pay attention to the timeline and see where progress may be lagging. You may have to ask your staff to update the plan and assess risk. I typically encourage staff members to work to reach the original deadline. However, there are occasionally real organizational reasons for making a shift to the timeline. Whatever the case, ongoing progress assessment is critical for building success and accountability.

    6.       Coach for success

    If an individual requires extra attention or is not performing as expected, consider using coaching methods to address performance issues in a constructive, compassionate manner. As a Certified Professional Coach and a Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach, I train leaders in the use of coaching techniques, which use a series of strategic questions to help an individual formulate a plan for their own success. If you want to learn more about these techniques, contacting a certified coach may be helpful.

    It truly is possible to balance compassion with accountability. In fact, it is the best way to build a culture that values and practices accountability throughout an organization.

    Juli Geske-Peer is the founder of Peer Performance Solutions which helps organizations and individuals to maximize performance. Juli has extensive experience in strategy development, leadership, and operations.

    Juli will be giving away two Executive Coaching sessions at the PWH Leadership Summit. 

  • 04/04/2018 1:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One the most important responsibilities of any leader is to bring out the best in each team member. To do so, you have to foster and build a coaching environment within the organization and within your team. By focusing on developing others, you encourage team members to feel more engaged about their careers, working relationships, and performance. Ultimately, they will feel empowered and deliver results with confidence and competence.

    In many work environments, daily demands force leaders to focus on products and processes rather than on people. Thus, “fitting in” coaching-and-development time can seem overwhelming. If this describes your work setting, it’s even more important that you revise your priorities so you don’t end up with disengaged, unproductive team members. But how do you get started? Here are three tactics to creating a coaching environment that empowers your team:

    1.       Believe in the Value of Coaching

    If time is keeping you from having meaningful coaching conversations, then rethink coaching as a ‘must have’ component of your culture rather than a ‘nice to have’ component. Simply put, employee development is essential for retaining talent, building skills, and driving business results. Remember to take advantage of coachable moments, when an individual is open to taking in new information that helps shift knowledge and behavior in the desired direction.

    2.       Focus on Relationships

    Many leaders tend to develop management styles based on their own preferences. If it works for them, why wouldn’t it work for the team, right? In reality, every employee’s motivators are different and are just as powerful in driving behavior as those of the leader. As a leader interested in empowering team members, it’s important to be flexible in recognizing different styles and adapting your style to the needs and style of the people you are leading. Take time to put yourself in their shoes and understand their perspective and experiences. Do they prefer a direct approach from you, or do they need time to process and draw their own conclusions? A relationship built on trust and open communication will foster awareness and enable you to gauge the right approach to take as a coach.

    3.       Be Curious

    While no one can flip a switch and instantly master the art of leadership, there is one key leadership skill we all already possess: the ability to ask questions. As an empowering leader, start by asking lots of questions, and make sure they’re open-ended questions that encourage team members to generate ideas and solutions on their own.   Their answers to your questions will, in turn, guide your next questions, until you find out if they have the information and tools they need.   Be curious about what kinds of problems they are facing, what the gaps and opportunities are, and what needs to be done better or differently.

    Questions to get you started

    Two-way, meaningful communication is critical to effective coaching and development. Empowerment includes getting team members actively involved in their own development. If we help them create a solution, then they are more apt to own it and act on it. With that in mind, be sure to incorporate these questions into your next coaching sessions:

    1.    What is the outcome you are looking to achieve here?

    This is a great question to get the conversation started, so you can focus on what success looks like for the other person.  Where are they now compared to where they need to be and what will they need to do differently to get there?   Your goal is to ask the questions to help set expectations for your coaching conversation, so you can help your team member focus in on the result they are looking to achieve.  Asking these questions will help support development of problem solving and decision making skills, while challenging people to bring out their best.  

    2.    How can I best support you? 

    Learn what you can do to remove obstacles. This is the most common step for leaders to miss and the most critical step for enabling team members to move forward faster than they ever have before.  Clarify what action is needed to clear any barriers and what you can do to assist.  If some employees feel comfortable with frequent check-ins to track progress and discuss project status, then perhaps a sense of structure is important to them.  Others might be more motivated by autonomy. The objective is to learn what resources and adaptations they require to be productive.

    Coaching is ongoing

    “Coaching and development” isn’t a check box on an HR form. You have to provide development that matters. To that end, coaching is not a one-time event; behavior changes take time, practice, and reinforcement. Some ideas to consider:

    •  Align your development efforts to the business strategy. If you want people to apply learning, put it into a real-world business context. A study by the Corporate Leadership Counsel found that on-the-job training has three times more impact on employee performance than classroom training.
    •  Employees have unique strengths, developmental opportunities, and motivators, so it makes sense that they will need specific and customized coaching.
    • Encourage peer-to-peer learning so participants can practice and reinforce what they learn and have the opportunity to share best practices. In turn, new knowledge will cascade to the rest of the organization. 

    Karen Triola is an Organizational Development Consultant with Caliper, an employee-assessment and talent-development firm located in Princeton, New Jersey. She has extensive experience in leadership development, team building, and coaching.

    Hear more from Karen at the PWH Leadership Summit!

  • 03/21/2018 12:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    More than ever before, resilience is a skill that is needed in order to advance professionally and thrive in your personal life. Professionals in the healthcare industry report stress at higher rates than any other industry, with 69% saying they are stressed and 17% saying they are highly stressed, according to a national survey of more than 3,200 healthcare professionals.

    Research shows that resilient people think differently. They have a set of skills - sometimes learned, other times innate - that allow them to persevere, manage stress and triumph in the face of challenges. Here are four of the things resilient people do:

    1. They are authentic.

    Resilient people are at peace with their humanity. Perhaps it is because their mistakes along the way have humbled them, or life experiences have helped them accept their own vulnerability, but resilient people don't let imperfections hinder them. They don't think failing means being a "failure." They learn as they go, making course corrections that lead them to positive outcomes.

    2. They are flexible thinkers.

    Even if initially, they struggle with negative thoughts, resilient people are self-aware enough to notice when their thinking is counterproductive. They don't fall into thinking traps such as jumping to conclusions or making assumptions. Instead, they gather the facts they need to move around obstacles and face the challenge head on. If something isn't working, they make adjustments until it works. They find the aspects of their challenge that are within their control and they exercise that control. So when faced with a cancer diagnosis, they change their eating habits to help them recover. When they get passed over for promotion, they find the grain of truth in the boss' negative review and start making improvements.

    3. They are optimistic - except when there is a great deal at risk.

    It's hard to bounce back from setbacks when you see every obstacle as the end of the world! Research shows that optimists live as much as nine years longer than pessimists. Seeing the bright side is good for your health and longevity. But it isn't about simplistic "positive thinking." Resilient people see risks and take precautions to prevent problems. But when faced with a challenge, they are more likely to say, "I can get through this," whether it is a test, a divorce or the loss of a loved one.

    4. They reach out.

    Resilient people don't go it alone. They have close friends and are not too proud to ask for help when they need it. When faced with a stressful situation, just knowing you have support can alleviate the pressure. Make your relationships a priority.

    My challenge to you:

    Whatever challenge you face, you can push through it. Make a decision to see the good that can come out of the adversity you face.

    Coach Yourself:

    What lesson or opportunity is being offered to you in the midst of a challenge? What are you grateful for in the midst of your challenge? Who could you reach out to for perspective and support? 

    Valorie Burton is a bestselling author of a dozen books on personal development and founder of the Coaching and Positive Psychology (www.cappinstitute.com), which provides resilience and coach training to organizations and individuals.

    Hear more from Valorie at the PWH Leadership Summit.


  • 03/08/2018 4:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Unfortunately in my experience, a lot leaders shy away from being vulnerable. My experience tells me the largest factor being a person with a vision and a dream had to appear strong and bold to get their dreams in the air and it worked for them. Starting their organization I am certain they had many fears, most felt these fears on the pillow alone and afraid. Society, banks, investors and employees had expectations of resilience and authority. Entrepreneurs can pull this off, most often they have no other choice.

    Unfortunately this attitude creates a mask of ego and pride very difficult to dismantle. You see this attitude of success has carried them very far and why would showing anyone their inner most fear work when faking it has worked for so long.

    Customers, investors, banks all expect this from a leader. Leaders believe employees expect the same, they don't. Actually great leaders know that being vulnerable might be the greatest trait among all. When you are vulnerable it lets people know they are not alone.

    All of us have problems and most of our problems are most often lived upstairs in our heads. Society tells us to always look bold and strong and people will follow. Society is wrong, people love underdogs because most people see themselves as underdogs. Most often they won't fight for themselves but they will fight for others. The beauty arises when they see vulnerability in it's truest sense comes alive and it transfers into their own lives.

    A leader that is tough enough and bold enough to share their weakness it lets others know they are not as strong as they think. It also rises people up in the efforts of others. A leader that is clear with the problems in front of them and vulnerable enough to say they do not have all of the answers will create a creative learning culture of employees that want to solve a problem. They will solve the issue in front of them not only for the leader but for the customers, for the business!

    I have had people tell me my vulnerability is seen as a weakness. Actually the same people that say this might be the most broken of all. They are paralyzed in their own mess and problems and mask them all in perfection.

    I have seen the benefits of being vulnerable. It makes us human. A pursuit of perfection is a terrible destination and nothing is worse than being around someone who thinks they are perfect. Progress is a beautiful destination and the only one we should all be striving for, together.

    Hear more from Scott McGohan at the 2018 PWH Leadership Summit.

  • 02/23/2018 11:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    There is no mystery as to why we avoid leading at the front of the room at all costs. It can be completely terrifying and anxiety producing. In fact, I personally struggled and squirmed at the mere mention of having to speak to groups early in my career. It’s quite unnatural to be placed in front of a group of people with the responsibility of presenting something worthwhile. It’s enough to shake even the most confident leaders in their boots. But being a leader means you must, at some point, stand out or stand up and share with others what direction you’re headed. Being a leader means you take the risk to make an impact. It means contributing in only the way you can and making a difference.

    If you had told me ten years ago that I would be speaking and teaching about the importance of speaking I would’ve laughed you out of the room. There wasn’t a bone in my body that desired the attention, the judgement, or the responsibility that comes with learning the craft. My life however, has not been a linear match making of common sense. It’s been an adventure full of mishaps, mistakes, and miscalculations. I no longer make predictions about what I will or won’t do. I’ve learned that life will continue to dare me to lean into discomfort.

    It’s easy to think the person at the front of the room has found a way to rid themselves of fear. The truth is, they’ve learned how to harness it. Speaking to an audience requires bravery, but being brave doesn't mean there is an absence of fear. Being brave means noticing the fear and pushing through it. Once you know what it feels like to act in the face of fear, nerves, and anxiety it becomes familiar. As you get more familiar with the feelings you'll no longer see it as a threat, but rather an old friend that shows up to remind you this is something you care about. Eventually, the things that take great courage today will become more comfortable and no longer require such bravery.

    Deciding to do what it takes to stand at the front of the room with all those eyes staring back at you is stepping into complete vulnerability and takes a lot of courage. It is for this reason that speaking will always be a love of mine. It has shown me sides of myself I didn’t know existed. It has shaped me into a leader I never knew was possible. Speaking to audiences has made me susceptible to the judgment and criticism of others as well as myself. It has taught me self-compassion and strengthened my resilience. It has forced me to learn my truth and speak it with no apologies. Speaking has taught me to STAND TALL. When I speak to audiences I feel life course through my veins in a way I’ve never been able to duplicate. Speaking is living for me and my hope is that you get to experience speaking in the same way.

    Sara Krisher is a Confidence Coach, Speaker, Trainer, and the Founder of STAND TALL, a confidence building company. She is dedicated to teaching leaders how to lead from the front of the room with confidence.

    Hear more from Sara Krisher at the 2018 PWH Leadership Summit. 

  • 02/01/2018 11:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Succession planning – identifying and developing leaders with the capability and readiness to fill key organizational roles – is a critical business process to assure continuity and strategy execution.  Completing a succession plan requires talent segmentation – an assessment of the organization’s leaders to differentiate well-placed or so-called “core talent” from those who have the capacity and skills to assume roles at higher levels.

    The challenge is that many well-placed leaders who do not have the capability to advance are nonetheless high-performing.  How do you identify the high-performing leaders who also have considerable advancement potential?

    A June 2010 article in the Harvard Business Review titled “Are You a High Potential?” summarized research involving 45 companies to better understand high potential talent.  As expected, the authors found that high potential leaders typically outperform other leaders.  They also identified four factors that consistently differentiate high potential leaders from the rest.

    Factor #1:  A Drive to Excel

    High potential leaders do not settle for “good enough.”  They are driven to achieve and willing to go the extra mile.  They also recognize that personal sacrifices – long hours, relocation, difficult work – may be required to advance.

    Factor #2:  A Catalytic Learning Capability

    High potential leaders love to learn and generate new ideas.  What differentiates them is the ability to covert learning and ideas into meaningful action.  For a high potential leader, learning is more than cognitive stimulation; it’s an opportunity to produce something impactful for his or her organization.

    Factor #3:  An Enterprising Spirit

    High potential leaders have entrepreneurial tendencies.  They have the courage to take risks and create new pathways to business success.  They are comfortable leaving their career comfort zones in order to advance.

    Factor #4:  A Dynamic Sensor

    The risk-taking and entrepreneurship noted above are balanced by organizational savvy, a canny sense of timing, and the ability to assess situations.  High potential leaders know when to hold their cards and when to seize an opportunity. 

    These criteria may be helpful when reviewing and segmenting talent as part of your organization’s succession planning process.  Slating the right people with the appropriate skills and development for their future roles is an investment in the continued success of your organization.


    “Are You a High Potential?”
    Harvard Business Review – June 2010

    by Douglas A. Ready, Jay A. Conger and Linda A. Hill

    Reprint R1006E

    By Ellen Raynor, MA, CPLP
    Director - Talent Management - McKesson Medical-Surgical

    Join Ellen Raynor, one of our breakout session speakers, this June at the first annual PWH Leadership Summit!

  • 11/13/2017 3:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    As head of media relations at Henry Schein, Inc., it's my responsibility to secure interviews with our executives as well as to staff the interviews once scheduled. Recently, I joined an interview with two of Henry Schein’s female leaders – Karen Prange, Executive Vice President and CEO Global Animal Health, Medical and Dental Surgical Group, and Bridget Ross, President, Global Medical Group – for “Women in Business,” a special section that is distributed by USA Today.

    In the article, Karen and Bridget shared their views on what it takes to be a female leader in the health care industry. They discussed the career challenges they have faced, and offered advice to women in the workforce.

    “Push yourself and have fun along the way,” said Karen. Added Bridget: “We tend to be very motivated by challenge. A lot of women I’ve met who’ve been successful have dared to declare their career ambitions and had advocates championing them.”

    Around the same time as Karen and Bridget’s interviews, Fortune published their annual list of Fortune 500 companies.  The Broadstreet, Fortune’s “dish on the world’s most powerful women,” analyzed the list noting, “...the number of women CEOs on the Fortune 500 has increased by more than 50%—from 21 to 32. That’s a new record: The 2017 ranking includes more female chiefs than any previous list since the first Fortune 500 ran in 1955.”

    Progress yes; but I think we can all agree more can be done. Reading this article and having just heard the candid accounts from Karen and Bridget about their personal journeys, I began to wonder what advice other female leaders would have for emerging and established professional women. What do they have to say about taking risk, mentoring, overcoming barriers, finding balance and more? And, it sparked an idea, which I have secretly named “The Diana Prince Society.”

    Fans of Wonder Women will understand the reference. While a fictional character, Diana Prince may be unassuming but beneath her quiet demur is a woman of strength, ingenuity, intelligence, and most of all a fierce passion to change the world and make a difference. These are all characteristics necessary for modern day change agents, whether an entrepreneur, individual contributor, or a titan of industry.

    You’ll learn more about these women, and what they have to say, in the coming year. In the meantime, to explore the digital version of the “Women in Business” campaign and to hear from other trailblazing women, click here.

    ~ Ann Marie Gothard, Vice President, Corporate Media Relations

  • 10/02/2017 12:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    When I was offered the opportunity to work from home, almost 15 years ago, my prayers at the time had been answered.  I was working onsite at a customer location, and we lost the business so my job would have been cut.  I was fortunate enough at the time to have a boss who knew my value and fought for me.  Over the last 15 years, I have held many positions, worked on many projects and met some fabulous people – all while working from home (and very remote I might add – the nearest “office” is almost 3 hours from where I live).  Working remotely is not for everyone, but can be very rewarding. I’d love to share with you some tips on how to make working from home work for you.  

    1. You will need childcare!
    Let me repeat this for us supermom types – you WILL need childcare.  When I first started working from home my youngest was a newborn.  I obviously couldn’t care for him and get anything done.  However, once he got a little older and we put him into preschool my thought pattern changed a little.  I could surely do a few hours a day with him until my husband got home.  I was WRONG.  Three year olds do not care if you have a conference call, if you need to get a project done, or quite honestly if the President of the United States is on the phone.  Three year olds want you when they want you and cannot be entertained by a TV for long.  Do yourself a favor and make arrangements for childcare just as if you were working outside the home.  You need to dedicate those hours that you’ve committed to your employer to work. 
    2.     Set boundaries with your family and friends
    Working from home gives many the impression that you are always available.  This has taken me years to perfect.  I have been asked to sit with sick kids, take care of family members after surgeries, come to school and volunteer; the list goes on and on.   Be firm, explain your commitment to your employer and after a while people will get it.  FYI – teenagers have the hardest time with this concept.

    3.     Do have an established work area
    You need a place to go to and separate yourself from the hub of the home.  If you don’t have an extra room, get creative.  Pinterest is full of ideas for small office spaces.   I’ve seen some pretty cool “closet offices” that you would never expect!   Make sure you have an ergonomic chair and desk setup along with any office supplies you need.  This is where you will be spending the largest part of your day – make it yours!  Also, establish a normal schedule.  For example – I’ll start work every day at 8:00 and finish at 5:30.  It’s very easy to blur the lines between work and home and having that separate work area does make this a much more manageable task.
    4.     Establish a routine, and DO get dressed
    I think one of the things I hear most often when I say I work from home is, “Wow, you can work in your pajamas!”  Sure, I could and I will readily admit that I HAVE, however, to make the most of my situation and get the most productivity out of my day, I normally do get dressed, and sometimes I might even put on some makeup.  I dress more casually, but I am presentable in case someone wants to do a video conference; the school calls to pick up a sick kid; etc.  Also, take breaks!  Get up and go for a 5-10 minute walk a couple of times a day.  In the office, you take many more breaks than you probably realize and you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done at home. 
    5.     Stay social and get out of the house
    For me, this is one of the biggest downfalls of working from home.  I miss the social aspect of working in an office, so I have two days a week that I meet up with friends for lunch, and most every day I take a break for lunch and go into the living area of my home.  Get out and go to lunch with a friend or coworker, go to the gym, work at a Starbucks for a couple of hours now and then, join a group like PWH.  Networking events are a great way to meet other professionals in your geographical area.  Figure out what works for you and make sure you are staying connected. 
    6.     Remote doesn’t have to mean removed from the action
    Don’t become out of sight, and then out of mind.  I have been fortunate enough to work from home for almost 15 years for Owens & Minor, from a small town in Indiana, so I am always sure to maximize my time at the corporate office or when I visit a customer site.  When I travel, I make sure to reach out to coworkers, customers and virtual acquaintances and schedule a face to face meeting.   I also have always made a point to get involved in special projects when possible to stay engaged and make new contacts.  It’s YOUR job to make sure people know who you are!
    7.     Deliver results!
    Your employer is trusting you to work in an environment that could pose many distractions, has little supervision and provides a lot of flexibility.  Make sure you are maximizing your time and working efficiently.  Do the work that is expected of you.  If you do need to be “out of the office”, let your teammates and your boss know.  I use my outlook calendar to share my scheduled calls and activities, even my lunch hour.  Communication is probably the most important aspect of being a successful telecommuter. 
    Telecommuting is definitely trending upward.  In fact, I find more and more that people I interact with on a daily basis work at least part of the time from a home office.  It’s not all jammies and fluffy slippers, and will require some strong routine and discipline, but can offer some huge rewards for employers and employees alike.

  • 08/10/2017 4:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I started playing basketball in the fifth grade. It was fun; a past-time shared with my friends. Then one day my father, an executive in the automotive industry by day and coach by night, asked me how much I enjoyed playing the game. At the time, I didn’t recognize the significance of his question. But he did.

    On June 23, 1972, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was signed into law. Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. The amendment states in part, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” This includes athletic programs and applies to all elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities.

    Fast-forward ten years and at the age of 17, I finally understood the significance of my father’s question having earned an athletic scholarship to play women’s basketball at Georgetown University. The impact of Title IX on women in sports has been far-reaching and the lessons learned as a scholar athlete have extended beyond the playing field to the workplace. We’ve all been members of a team be it a sports team, a project team, or an executive team. Whether on the field or in the office, our success as a team member is dependent on our ability to navigate the written and unwritten rules as well as the inter-relationships that exist within an organization. And, it also requires confidence.

    Confidence takes many forms. Early in my career, I had the opportunity to work with Veronica Holcomb, a pioneer in the field of executive coaching and author of Ready, Set, Grow! 10 Success Strategies for Winning in the Workplace. In her coaching, she describes three areas of confidence necessary to be successful in the workplace:

    • Intellectual confidence: The belief that you are smart enough to come up with new ideas, learn new things, and understand the complexities of your work environment.
    • Social confidence: The ability to comfortably interact with new people in social settings and relate with other in ways that are enjoyable to them as well.
    • Political confidence: The capacity to understand the big picture, the political relationships, and the written and unwritten rules of your organization as well as the aptitude to know where the power base resides within your organization and how to gain some influence within it.

    According to Holcomb, all three are needed to deal with the complexities and challenges of the job as well as your ability to work within a well-established corporate culture. While you may have strength in one, be mindful that intellectual, social, and political confidence are interconnected. For example, you need the political skills to deal effectively in work-related social situations, and intellectual and social skills to gain political influence at work.

    Understanding and deciphering the rules of office politics takes practice. As an athlete and a business woman, I’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing coaches. Nearly 13 years later, I can vividly recall Holcomb’s tips for building my confidence acumen: (1) find a mentor within your organization who can interpret the rules and offer strategies specific to your career development; (2) enlist a group of supporters who are vested in your growth and personal development; and (3) study your environment—who is doing it well and effective at achieving business results because he or she is actively engaged in the game.

    I realize that not everyone is sports-minded and the analogy of “playing the game” may not resonate for some. But every organization has a culture for the way things get done. Take inventory of your company’s written and unwritten rules for presenting ideas, influencing the direction of a program, or advancing other business objectives. While we may all call it something different, it’s up to you to determine how to participate in a way that demonstrates your integrity and credibility.   

    By Ann Marie Gothard, Vice President, Corporate Media Relations, Henry Schein, Inc.

  • 07/27/2017 12:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A review of the panel discussion from the June 13th Columbus, Ohio Networking Event.

    Panelists: Cathy Denning (Vizient), Sharyl Gardner (Midmark), Sean McNally (Cardinal Health), Randy Oostra (ProMedica).


    Part 2.

    Q: What do M&A’s create for members/customers?

    A: (Shawn McNally): Cardinal Health is a great example of a company whose growth is deeply dependent on M&A’s. Due to the constant evolution, such companies have the ability from a resource standpoint to offer cost solutions and innovative solutions through the utilization of new technology and processes.

    M&A’s create opportunities by growing the mindset of embracing change; create value for both customers and employees and offer opportunities for leadership development.

    Q: How would you determine the state of the healthcare industry?

    A: (Randy Oostra): “Healthcare today is a hot mess!”

    Over the last 20 years, the healthcare industry has been in a constant state of change in efforts to improve the model and cost trajectory.  Despite its vision, ACA was not able to accomplish that speeding up consolidations in every sector of healthcare.

    Medicare & Medicaid expenses have reached up to 20% of GDP in the last few years, compared to 5% of GDP 50 years ago. Increasing healthcare costs are the number one cause of debt among citizens filing bankruptcy.

    The rise of consumerism, most prominent in Millennials and their increasing buying behaviors is another powerful disruptor, causing the evolution of virtual and telemedicine.

    Q: What internal education and leadership programs do each of your organizations offer its employees?

    A: Sean McNally (Cardinal): Cardinal has designated a Talent Development Team. In the past, the company had sought talent primarily from technical universities. Recently, the executive leadership has stressed the importance of opening the doors to students and graduates of Liberal Arts universities as well. Cardinal works extensively with OSU and Vanderbilt University.

    The company encourages employees to be heavily involved in various projects within the company, as well as the community.

    Another initiative process that Cardinal has implemented is mandatory job rotations to promote cross-training and talent development.

    A: Sharyl Gardner (Midmark): Midmark has introduced multiple cross-functional teams to collaborate internally and externally. The company has also launched individual development plans for employees to nurture and develop their personal and professional talents.


    A: Cathy Denning (Vizient): Vizient has implemented a Succession Plan” for C-Level leaders whose goal is to  create a path for passing knowledge, planning and training the future successors as baby boomers exit the workforce.


    A: Randy Oostra (ProMedica): Individual Career Planning has been implemented by ProMedica to increase education among certain groups and prepare the next generation of leaders (“40 under 40” – 40 employees under 40 years of age; “The 9-box” grid is utilized for examining talent within the organization and making talent decisions).


    Personal Learnings & Takeaways:

    “Change is the only constant in life” – Heraclitus

    In the highly dynamic healthcare industry marked by the era of consolidation across every sector, Heraclitus’ quote cannot be truer as companies are scrambling to stay relevant by constantly reinventing culture and processes every day.

    During the panel discussion at the PWH Columbus Networking Event “Leading through a Consolidating Industry,” the message that echoed loud and clear was: Invest in your people. From stakeholders, such as customers to suppliers and partners, to employees and the communities we represent the mission to achieve success lies in investing in people and spreading knowledge. In order to thrive, organizations need to concentrate on delivering value to each of these groups while improving outcomes.

    Prosperous companies understand that the customer comes first because of the solutions our communities, industry partners and employees offer, while cohesively carrying out their corporate vision. Leaders understand that change starts from within the organization by the individuals who relentlessly ensure that the transition or challenge the company faces will have a successful outcome. Leading through change means creating a customer-centric culture and expanding creative and innovative thoughts and processes. Discovering and developing talent through internal education, leadership and career-planning programs is crucial to the vitality and sustainability of our industry.

    By Valeriya Stoyanova, Supplier Relations, Administrative Assistant, Concordance Healthcare Solutions

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