The headline on this month’s cover story can be taken in a couple of ways, but there’s one important way you as a board member should not take it. As the article makes clear, experience matters when it comes to running a hospital. A thorough understanding of health care operations, regulations, physician relations and everything else that impacts the day-to-day management of a complex organization is critical.
So “The New CEO” isn’t meant to suggest that your board run out and find somebody different to take the reins if the person you already have is doing an exemplary job. True, health care is undergoing dramatic change and, as the article spells out, leaders need skills that go beyond traditional hospital management, especially a willingness to embrace change and think like an entrepreneur. But longtime executives are perfectly capable of developing those skills, if they don’t already have them.
By the way, that not-so-new face accompanying this column is mine, and speaking of needing to expand a skill set, that’s certainly my challenge these days. I’ve been editing Trustee’s sister magazine, Hospitals & Health Networks, for a number of years and now that I’ve taken on this one, too, I’ve got some learning to do. For one thing, I want to figure out how we can get trustees the information you need in a format that is most helpful to you. That will include this print magazine, as well as our website, e-newsletters, special digital publications and who knows what all? Information delivery — like health care delivery — is undergoing some radical and unpredictable changes. I sincerely hope you’ll be in frequent touch to let me know how we’re doing and how we can do better. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.