Harvard Business School , Managing Health Care Delivery
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How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Mar 09 2020
First of all, thank you for the opportunity to speak with you and by extension to speak with your students. I would say that I've gotten to where I am today quite a bit by luck. I'm a pediatric critical care physician by training and by 20 years of practice. And along the way, I took the opportunity to solve problems, most of which were of a clinical nature initially and eventually those morphed into business ventures. And, I became more involved in leadership. And, eventually took on senior leadership roles in the organization. I was at previously the Cleveland Clinic, And that culminated in being asked to be the CEO of Cleveland Clinic, Abu Dhabi. And, I loved what I did. I enjoyed the cultural, cross-cultural work. I enjoyed the nature of turning strategy into action. And, I guess here I am today.

What are the responsibilities and decisions that you handle at work? Discuss weekly hours you spend in the office, for work travel, and working from home.

Based on experience at: President and CEO, Intermountain Healthcare
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Mar 09 2020
So I'm responsible for all aspects of a 41,000 person 23 hospitals, more like 210 clinics system cares for several million people. And, I try and delegate an enormous amount of authority to the teams that I work with. In the end, I'm responsible for all of it. Safety, equality, patient experience, access in stewardship. That's the way it is when you're the CEO. It all rolls up to you, and there are no excuses. I like that. That's just fine. And I like it because I get to work with incredibly talented people who almost always exceed my wildest expectations. My weekly work hours. How many hours are there in a week? 168. Do you think something like that? I think there's a mythology around work-life balance that I don't ascribe to. I believe in work-life integration. And what I would say is, I work at least a little bit every day. Some days are all work. Some days are almost all play, but, I sort of fit my play in around my work and most importantly my family, but it would be very rare for me to do less than 10 or 12 hours of work a day.

What are the job titles of people you routinely work with inside and outside of your organization? What approaches do you find to be effective in working with them?

Based on experience at: President and CEO, Intermountain Healthcare
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Mar 09 2020
No. I work with all manner of people. My direct reports include Chief Operating Officer, the Chief Financial officer, the Chief Nursing Executive, and Chief Physician Executive, general counsel, Chief Policy Officer, CEO of Select Health, Chief Strategy Officer etcetera. So it's the executive leadership of Intermountain Health Care that I'm that are my direct reports. There's actually a very interesting role that we created here. And it's the Chief Consumer Officer. He's a person who we recruited from Disney, and he has marketing and communication functions. There's also taking us into a digital world, an Amazon platform like world. And what approaches do I find effective and working with them? I try to and make my expectations really clear. Make sure that everyone has the tools they need to do their job. That we have really clear ways of measuring both personal and enterprise progress. And then I get out of their way. And if they need help, I'm always there for them. And I talk with them regularly, often daily. But by the same token, if they need a lot of hand-holding, they're in the wrong job.

What major challenges do you face in your job and how do you handle them? Can you discuss a few accomplishments?

Based on experience at: President and CEO, Intermountain Healthcare
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Mar 09 2020
The challenges really relate to the complexities of health care. So we're on the highly regulated industry. We take care of everybody without regard for their ability to pay. The amount that we get paid does not go up every year. And we need to become more and more efficient year on year at the same time. We need to provide a great work environment for people, So there's a lot of competing priorities. But the most important thing to remember is we're here to create value for the community. We're here to create a great opportunity for our caregivers. That's what we call the people working at InterMountain to grow and develop as human beings. As far as a few accomplishments, we're now well recognized as an innovator and health care. And we always ranked in the top three systems in the United States in terms of innovation. This state of Utah, where the majority of our business is always ranked in the top three in terms of quality. It always ranks in the bottom three in terms of cost. So if you think of value is quality divided by cost over time. Intermountain is responsible for the state of Utah to be amongst the highest value health care situations in the United States.

How do you inspire and motivate your team members? How do you foster creative thinking? How are ideas shared and implemented?

Based on experience at: President and CEO, Intermountain Healthcare
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Mar 09 2020
So I think you inspire people by providing them with a clear vision that they can see how they fit into and you inspire them and motivate them by giving them exciting work to participate in and then again allowing them to accomplish that, clearing the way for them and celebrating their successes. As far as fostering creative thinking as an innovative organization, we're quick to the ideas of our caregivers and to give them an opportunity to express themselves. We have about 41,000 people who work for us. Last year we implemented 50,000 ideas from our front, from our caregivers, most from the front line. So we ask them for their ideas, and then we do think, then we implement them.

How do you set targets for your team members? How do you measure their progress? How do you incentivize them to meet their targets?

Based on experience at: President and CEO, Intermountain Healthcare
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Mar 09 2020
We have a very rigorous operating model that involves a strategy review process that iterates on our enterprise strategy and then cascades goals, front lines and they talk. This is very unusual, especially after along. Goals are clearly defined as quantitative targets, and I don't set those. The teams themselves set those with oversight from the Executive Leadership team. But we really encourage people to fully participate in setting their own targets. But there is some incentivization from a financial standpoint, But I will tell you that in general, that is not much of a conversation around here. This is a very highly motivated group of leaders and workers, and they want to do the right thing for patients, and they're largely incentivized out of service to other people.

What qualities do you look for while hiring? What kind of questions do you typically ask from candidates?

Based on experience at: President and CEO, Intermountain Healthcare
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Mar 09 2020
As a CEO, you look for different qualities than maybe you look for in other places. Excuse me. So I look for people who are self-starters, people who ask interesting questions. I look for curious people who want to learn things. And, I look for people with high integrity and a desire to work as part of a collaborative team, and I often ask them questions around share your most interesting, collaborative work experience. I also asked people about how they handle failure, because I am a big believer in in trying things that are difficult and we say, fail fast. Fail forward. And ask how they dealt with the failure. What failures they had? How they dealt with it and then how they moved on.

What are different entry-level jobs and subsequent job pathways that can lead students to a position such as yours?

Based on experience at: President and CEO, Intermountain Healthcare
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Mar 09 2020
I don't believe in this idea of the job pathway. I don't know, a single CEO of a big company who said, InterMountains is a big company. If it was for-profit, it would be the only Fortune 500 company in our state. We're almost nine billion in revenue. I certainly didn't sit down a couple, 5 10 years ago and said: "How am I going to be this seat of Intermountain Healthcare?" What I recommend to people is they start working. And when a job, when an opportunity presents itself, they should take that opportunity and continue to grow and develop, not be hyper-focused on titles, but enjoy the journey. And in my experience, the harder you work and the more you succeed, the more doors present themselves for you to open in the future. There's some relatively good data to suggest that clinicians provide higher quality care as CEOs of integrated delivery systems like Intermountain Healthcare. But I can tell you there's some really lousy physician CEOs out there and there's some really great non physician CEO. So think either the business world or the clinical world can lead you to the kind of role that I'm in.

What were the responsibilities and decisions that you handled at work? What major challenges did you face in your job?

Based on experience at: Chief of International Business, Cleveland Clinic
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Mar 09 2020
I had lots of leadership roles at Cleveland Clinic. Roles like the chairman of the department of pediatric critical care. I had enterprise roles like associate chief of staff. I was responsible for the care and feeding of about 3500 in-point physicians. I ended up being the Chief Medical Operations officer for the Cleveland Clinic, responsible for integrating a very large and complex system across countries. And then I was responsible for being the founding CEO of Cleveland Clinic, Abu Dhabi. Spend about five and a half years in the Gulf. After that, I then became Chief of International Business for Cleveland Clinic commuted between Abu Dhabi in London for a year. The challenges just varied from operational challenges to clinical challenges to political challenges to financial challenges. When you run big organizations, things happen, and you need to be able to rapidly assess, solve and move on and not be paralyzed by your mistakes.

How did the school prepare you for your career? Think about faculty, resources, alumni, exposure & networking. What were the best parts?

Based on experience at: Managing Health Care Delivery, Harvard Business School
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Mar 09 2020
I will probably bust your bubble by saying I don't think school prepared me almost at all. I learned by doing. But school was extremely useful in terms of creating relationships with other leaders from across the industry and to hear the trials and tribulations and successes of my peers from across the country and around the world. But there's no absolutely, no substitute for doing. And, when people asked me whether I think they should get an MBA or MMM or an MHA once they're already on their leadership trajectory, I say only if it is something that you really want to do. But it is certainly not going to guarantee you leadership success in any way, shape or form.

Would you like to share something that is not on your resume? This may include your passions, facing setbacks or adversities, a unique experience, or an unexpected help.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Mar 09 2020
My greatest joy and challenges are related to having children and that's a task that is never done. We're really lucky we have three adult children, and they're grown-ups they're 27, 25, 22. They come with unique challenges and opportunities, but it's always a pleasure. And, I think it's important for folks who, looking somebody with what looks like a big job and a lot of authority to realize that we're regular people and we worry about our kids and we worry about our spouses, and we try our very best to balance the competing aspects of life and be as whole as we can be. I'd say that my family comes first in my work comes second, and playing outside comes third.

Do you have any parting advice for students hoping to get to a position such as yours? What 3 dos and 3 don'ts would you suggest?

Based on experience at: President and CEO, Intermountain Healthcare
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Mar 09 2020
So first of all, I would recommend that they do not become obsessed with the position itself. There's something I think everyone should do, I think you should have people who you love, people who love you and meaning for work to do. And, I think if you attend to those three things life ends up being pretty rich regardless of what your title is or how much money you make. It really is about purpose, and it's about people first and then service to the community immediately after that. And I would say that we should never believe our own press too much either good press or bad press. And we should learn to be self-actualized to the extent that we can and then the final piece would be there's nothing you can do about yesterday except learn from your experiences. You can't predict or control tomorrow. So live today really fully and, enjoy it as much as you can and smile, and every day you should see if you can do something nice for another person. I'm not a big person on what-ifs. I think the only thing that I'd do probably different is to take bolder stands earlier in my career. I'm already fairly bold. I pushed really hard, and I know what I believe in. And the more I see, the more I think that people want to be lead in a way that, inspires them and gives them confidence that they're participating and they're building something. And, I would have started that even earlier than I did already in my career. Any favorite books? It's a book called once a runner by John L Parker. It's about a young man who has a quest to make the Olympic team in the 1500 meters. It may not be the greatest piece of literature, but I've read it again and again over the years because they're some real nuggets in there about growth through adversity. And, I think we never remember or talk about the things that were easy. We almost always remember to talk about and grow from the things that are hard. So Once A Runner by John L. Parker Thank you for your dedication and helping the next generation to become better and better.