From Healthcare COO to CEO – and Back?

The role of chief operating officer varies from industry to industry and organization to organization. For some COOs, responsibilities are primarily procedural. Increasingly, the line between COO and CEO can blur, in that the COO can have a more strategic role with responsibilities such as assessing new revenue streams; developing a future vision for the organization; and working to build relationships between physicians, staff, community and government leaders, and others.

Donna Padilla



“Nontraditionals” as College Presidents: What Can Be Learned from Controversy?

Much has been said and written lately about the prospects of “nontraditional” candidates for college presidencies. There have been successes and failures in recruiting presidents from outside of education – from the corporate, government, and even military sectors. One recent high-profile controversy and resulting departure of a CEO-turned-president has many education leaders signaling the end of these experiments.

“Don’t carve that epitaph into the marble quite yet,” writes…



Leadership Lesson: Put Rookies in the Game

As Major League Baseball returns, Witt/Kieffer CEO Charles W.B. Wardell, III reminds us of the importance of giving young professionals a chance to prove themselves. In his article “For a Home Run, Put Your Rookies in the Game,” on the website of Chief Executive magazine, Wardell writes that too many young employees are rarely given chances to excel early in their careers.

“Even the…



For Healthcare Boards and CEOs, Is the Mission Set in Stone?

By Andrew Chastain

The mission for all healthcare organizations – nonprofit or for-profit – is critical. It is the mirror against which all strategic decisions are held up for reflection.

Should the mission statement, therefore, be set in stone? In a 2012 AHA Center for Healthcare Governance special report on Transformational Governance, Larry Gage notes that the originator of a mission typically wants to “memorialize” it and…



Recruiting a CEO? Have You Considered the CHRO?

As with many executives in today’s workplace, chief human resources officers are witnessing a change in their function and scope within the leadership team. They are no longer seen as primarily supportive players; instead, many HR executives are taking on greater strategic and high-profile roles in their organizations.

“HR executives understand the central nervous systems of their organizations better than anyone,” writes senior partner Jena Abernathy…



Leadership Candidates: Have You Done Your Research?

By Joyce De Leo

The tools and methods that executive search firms use to research candidate backgrounds are extensive – from thorough reference checks to academic degree verification to review of applicants’ social media history. Leadership candidates must do equal due diligence on potential employers. This is an idea I discuss in a recent article for HigherEdJobs entitled, “Your Next Leadership Position: Dive Deep…



The Healthcare CFO in an Era of Consolidation

By Tom Quinn

Tom QuinnWhat does today’s healthcare CFO role look like? It really depends – mainly on where the role lies in an organization’s structure. CFOs now generally fall into three different categories: a hospital-specific site CFO, a divisional CFO, and a centralized, system-wide CFO.

I have spoken with countless CFOs about how consolidation is shifting their responsibilities, and recently had the opportunity to publish a two-part article for FierceHealthcare. Linked below, the…



What Questions Should Health IT Leaders Ask About Cybersecurity?

By Nick Giannas

There has been an explosion in the demand for cybersecurity and the recruitment of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), especially in vulnerable and data-rich industries like healthcare and academic medicine. This demand results from a perfect storm of events and trends that have increased information security risk like never before:

  • The continued proliferation and mass utilization of technology − Going digital comes with consequences for any organization, as anything that is “networkable” can come under…


What Aspiring VPs of Advancement Need to Know

The day-to-day responsibilities of an advancement officer in higher education are expansive, and growing. Of course fundraising skills are a major component of what makes a successful advancement officer, but there are countless other essential talents – including leadership ability, strategic thinking, and political savvy, to name a few.

Dennis Barden, a senior partner in Witt/Kieffer’s Education practice, has recently published two articles that…



Recruiting New Executives for Children’s Hospitals

By Jim King

There is no question that today’s healthcare landscape is evolving. For children’s hospitals, this change creates unique challenges to serve the industry’s most unique patients.

In a recent article for Becker’s Hospital Review, I examine the emerging responsibilities for executives in children’s hospital leadership and the new roles they have to play. One by-product of change is the introduction of new executive positions. Below are…