10 Habits of Highly Effective Healthcare CEOs

There’s no such thing as a typical hospital or health system CEO. Shrewd observers, however, note that there are habits that successful healthcare CEOs share no matter the size or shape of their organizations. These habits, they say, can serve as core traits for up-and-coming leaders to emulate.

Witt/Kieffer Vice Chairman Andrew Chastain recently spoke with Molly Gamble of Becker’s Hospital Review about key attributes that…



Kim Smith: Obama’s Re-election Signals the End of Fence-Sitting on ACOs

U.S. healthcare reform is bigger than any one presidential election, and the rise of Accountable Care Organizations is a trend whose momentum would have continued regardless of which political party occupies the White House. Nevertheless, says Witt/Kieffer’s Kimberly Smith, senior vice president and managing co-director of the company’s Eastern Region healthcare practice, last night’s re-election of President Obama brings a more certain path for healthcare executives striding towards the future.



Where Will Your CEO Be in Three Years?

Last month, Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson announced that he would be retiring—effective December 2013. The fact that he has announced his retirement more than a year in advance of the actual date of departure is significant. How many healthcare organizations have the luxury of 14 months to find and transition in a new CEO? For all major strategic planning—a category CEO succession planning certainly falls under—Halvorson advises fellow CEOs to look…



Wardell: Ford, Citigroup Exemplify the Need for Succession Planning

As Ford Motor’s board met last week to deliberate over the company’s future, a key item on the agenda was succession planning—namely, how long should current CEO Alan Mulally stay on, and how should the company transition to a successor. Mulally has made it known in no uncertain terms that he’s not ready to retire. “Please, don’t write me off just yet,” he told reporters recently. “I mean, I love it here.”

What may seem like a conundrum for Ford…



In Life Sciences Partnerships, Will a New Type of Leader Emerge?

In the life sciences, the era of monolithic, self-reliant Big Pharma corporations is fading. To boost efficiencies and quality, companies are shrinking operations down to fundamental core competencies while relying on outsourcing and assorted creative collaborations to fulfill “non-core” needs.

Nowhere is partnering more prevalent and necessary than between drug makers and academia. At places like Pfizer, drug development budgets and teams have been slashed. Pharma and academic medical centers “need each other as never before, driven to collaborate by…



Becoming a Physician Executive: Suggestions for Taking the Natural Next Step

Guest post by Jason Petros, Associate, Witt/Kieffer

Within healthcare, the demand for physician leaders continues to trend upward. Physician executive jobs are plentiful, and yet despite this high demand there is a small pool of physician leaders with the experience and skills required to succeed in various executive positions. A vacuum waits to be filled by doctors who can develop the appropriate characteristics and resume to thrive in this environment.

The good news is that the leap that physicians must take…



Healthcare’s New Breed: Embracing the Unconventional

This week, Modern Healthcare unveiled the winners of its annual Up & Comers recognition program. The program, in its 26th year, highlights the rising stars in healthcare and provides snapshots of leaders who will transform the industry in the future. Some 265 professionals were nominated, yet as always only 12 made the cut. “This year’s honorees are extremely gifted with traits and skills distinctive to this new breed,”

Recruiting Higher Education Executives: A Matter of Instinct or Information?

Placement of executives for colleges and universities has become more sophisticated through the years, but fundamental practices and principles still apply. For higher education executive search committees, there is no substitute for due diligence. The best hiring process is a compilation of qualitative and quantitative factors that result in a “narrative” about a candidate, says Dennis Barden, Senior Vice President at Witt/Kieffer. For the candidates themselves, honesty and enthusiasm, as well as “doing…



Trends in Healthcare: Building Leadership Competencies to Create Strong Hospitalist Programs

Guest Post By Linda Komnick and Jason Petros

Recent economic, legislative, and societal pressures are making the need for high-quality, cost-effective medical care management increasingly critical. And nowhere are the stakes higher than in our nation’s hospitals. With an inpatient population requiring more intensive care—and the associated costs of providing it soaring—hospitals are compelled to grow the leadership competencies of their physicians and create internal hospitalist programs that meet the needs of patients, staff, and payors alike.

Who are hospitalists?
Hospitalists come…



Healthcare Administration Best Practices: Leadership Team Development and the Evolution of Physician and Nurse Executives

Guest Post by Christine Mackey-Ross

In the ever-changing landscape of healthcare administration, a new category of professionals is emerging at our nation’s hospitals and provider groups: physician and nurse executives. To maintain a competitive edge, healthcare organizations are ramping up their leadership team development programs to ensure that these newly established administrators have the background and skills necessary to succeed in what is becoming a more and…