1. Briefly tell us a little bit about your organization and your role within it. (Background, products, services, customers that you serve – your general responsibility)
Like a lot of other Medical Alley members, we have evolved and grown. I am one of the Principals with our firm. We’re in our fourth decade of providing talent management and leadership solutions for payers, providers, healthcare services and technology companies, and life science organizations. We remain one of the largest healthcare firms partnering with clients on retained executive search for board members, CEOs, and other C-suite leaders. We also have expanded our leadership consulting and launched it as a new company, NuBrick Partners, which provides services ranging from board development and succession planning to executive team performance and leadership development for our clients. We are a member of a multi-industry, global organization called IIC Partners. The IIC Partners network is one of the top 10 retained executive search groups in the world, and this relationship allows us to leverage the capabilities and experience of those partner companies who operate across the globe and within multiple industries.
2. What is the biggest challenge your company faces today?
Every segment of healthcare – from providers, payers, and services to the life sciences – is being affected by the Affordable Care Act, and the upcoming presidential election in the United States could have wide ramifications for each of these sectors. We are assisting our clients as they work through this uncertainty and the potential shifts in leadership demands and responsibilities within their organizations. As our own firm continues to grow in size and reach, it is our job to guide our clients through these ambiguities and help them utilize not just recruitment but leadership development and succession planning to tamp down concerns around retaining their high-performing leaders.
3. What do you predict will be the biggest surprise in the next five years that our industry is not yet anticipating?
It’s hard to say, because we’ve seen so much change – some of it unexpected – in the five preceding years. But I think the continued growth of consumerism, big data, health information, and medical innovation breakthroughs may bring more profound changes than anyone is anticipating. It is a very exciting time to be in healthcare in our country and to have a front row seat to the quantum leaps as the various segments of the healthcare ecosystem adapt to the demands of consumers, innovation, information, and analytics.
4. What do you consider to be the advantages to operating your business in Minnesota’s Medical Alley?
There’s no healthcare ecosystem like it anywhere in the world. It’s a mature and complicated healthcare community. We have international recognition from companies like 3M, Boston Scientific, Mayo, Medtronic, St. Jude Medical, and UnitedHealth Group, and regional/national recognition from companies like Allina Health System, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of MN, Fairview/University, HealthPartners, and Medica. In addition, our entrepreneurial environment and spirit of innovation has incubated hundreds of start-ups. All of these entities continue to add to, develop, and leverage an incredible talent pool and environment of innovation and collaboration.
5. What are the top three skills you consider the most important to be an effective leader?
First, there has to be a clear sense of vision and strategy for where the organization is going and an ability to communicate that to others. The best leaders have great leadership agility. In this environment of change and uncertainty, they have demonstrated the ability to move from a board meeting, where they are dealing with investors or trustees on issues impacting the overarching direction of the company, to being able to apply their experience and judgment on issues impacting the current business with their executive leadership teams. Lastly – and this is related to the first skill – the best leaders have outstanding communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal, and that has to be grounded in great listening.