If 2016 was a year of transition for me, then 2017 was the year of settling into the new. That is, if launching a new business and working with new clients can be called settling in. As 2018 looms, it’s time to reflect on lessons from 2017.
2017 has been a year of learning what it takes to grow a business and gain the trust of clients. I covered this in the post, “One year anniversary, how are we doing?” It’s also been a year of learning how to spend more time with family – my retired husband, my daughters and grandkids. But that will have to wait for a future post.
My most important business lessons this year:
Do what you love and are good at – Yes, it’s important to have stretch goals and get out of your comfort zone. But if you truly love what you do, you are going to get better all the time. Our client work at StarBridge Advisors involves a range of IT consulting, interim management and leadership coaching. As an operations type person and change agent, I enjoy being an interim CIO. To work for a period with a new team and figure out how best to help them succeed is challenging and rewarding. And to work with someone as an executive coach as they learn about themselves, identify their development needs and goals, and work through their action plan is also very challenging and rewarding.
Relationships are everything – Whether it’s our clients or channel partners, developing and sustaining honest, open and trusting relationships is critical to success. Continue reading
In just the past few weeks, we saw several major healthcare merger announcements – Dignity and CHI, Advocate and Aurora, Ascension and Providence St. Joseph Health on the provider side. And then there’s CVS Health and Aetna – a potential disruptor in the healthcare market. And we don’t yet know what other market disruptors like Amazon or Google might do in the healthcare space.
There have been predictions in recent years that eventually there would be just 10-15 major healthcare systems in the U.S. Are we on our way to that prediction with the latest merger announcements? The combined Advocate and Aurora system would create a 27-hospital healthcare system in Wisconsin and Illinois with projected annual revenue of $11 billion. The Dignity and CHI merger would include 139 hospitals in 28 states. If Ascension and Providence St. Joseph Health merge they would create the largest hospital chain with 191 hospitals in 27 states and annual revenue of $44.8 billion.
What is driving these mega mergers? The announcements about them talk about improved access to care, improved outcomes, lower costs, sharing best practices and overall being more prepared for success in the changing healthcare market and landscape.
Jane Sarsohn-Kahn, health economist, wrote a great piece earlier this month – “Will Getting Bigger Make Hospitals Get Better?”. She talked about the value that matters to patients — the trust that is needed between hospitals and patients.
And what are the IT implications of these mergers? If markets don’t really overlap, what degree of system integration is needed? Is one seamless patient record needed as it is for large regional systems with a lot of patient movement between community hospitals and specialists at academic medical centers? Continue reading
These are just two of the key findings of the recently published, “LinkedIn 2017 U.S. Emerging Jobs Report”. Not at all surprising. The report is worth checking out regardless of where you are at in your career. As I always tell people, be open to the possibilities.
The report notes the estimate that 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately hold jobs that don’t yet exist. Just think back to what your options were when you started primary school.
I know as a young girl in the 60’s, it seemed like teacher or nurse were the options. My sister did become a nurse and then went on to get a master’s degree in public health. By the time she retired a few years ago, she had run many of the state health departments in Minnesota at one time or another. I wanted to be a math teacher when I was young. Instead I found my path to computer programming in the early 80’s when the field was starting to really explode. Here I am today having served several healthcare organizations as their Chief Information Officer before starting a health IT advisory firm.
Back to the “tech is king” finding. The report says that the top emerging jobs are machine learning engineer, data scientist, and big data engineers in a wide range of industries. It also notes that there are currently 1,600 open roles for machine learning engineer in the U.S.
The report also found that there is a low supply of talent for top jobs. For example, data scientist roles have grown over 650% in the past 5 years but only 35,000 people in the U.S. currently have data science skills. Any CIO looking to build out the analytics capability for their organization is probably all too aware of this gap. Continue reading
It’s been boiling for years, decades. It’s been in the headlines for months. This week Time Magazine recognized the enormity of this sea change and named the women they call “the silence breakers” as Person of the Year. Women who have come forward and named the men who have sexually harassed and abused them. And Time did not forget those still too afraid to speak out.
I started a blog post a few weeks ago that I was going to call “I believe the women”. But I was unsure how to approach the topic, and I set it aside and covered other subjects. I had commented on the topic when the Harvey Weinstein story was breaking in October in my post, “Time to support, not harass women”. This week, I have decided to write about three unique programs that are committed to developing girls and women.
The sea change or watershed moment, as news commentators call it these days, is long overdue. And it is not over. It has just begun. There will be more women speaking out, more denials, and ultimately more men facing up to what they have done. More industries and sectors will be affected, although Hollywood and politicians will be the most talked about stories.
Let’s advance this sea change by talking about ways to develop strong girls and women. Let’s provide them with every opportunity they deserve in a society that treats them equally and with respect. Sticking with that theme, here are those three programs I mentioned:
Girls, Inc. is a national program which inspires all girls to be “strong, smart, and bold”. I recently learned about it at the CHIME Fall Forum in San Antonio. The Women of CHIME group hosted a session titled “Breaking Down Barriers and Paving the Way”. The program featured Lea Rosenauer, President and CEO of Girls Inc. of San Antonio. She discussed issues that prevent women from career advancement and suggested strategies to get women into leadership roles. Continue reading
December brings the holidays and social time with co-workers, friends and family. It’s also a good time to take stock and reflect on your work and career. Two years ago at this time I planned my next chapter and decided to leave a permanent CIO position. My two goals were to live where I wanted to live and have more flexibility in my career.
I talk with a lot of people at different stages of their career who are taking stock and trying to figure out their choices.
They may be in their 30’s, relatively young in their career, and thinking about the next right move and where that would position them for the long run.
Or, they may be someone in their 50’s or early 60’s and thinking about how long they want to work and the one final job change that might make the capstone to their career.
Or, they may be someone who has made the decision to “retire”, but not quite yet. They are considering what kind of work they still want to do, and how much.
For people in that last group, I ask them to think about 3 questions:
- What do you want to do? After all, what you are good at and enjoy the most?
- How much do you want to work? If you’ve been working 60+ hours a week at a demanding job, it’s time to consider how much time you want for yourself, your family, your other passions and hobbies.
- What do you need financially? There are 3 ways to look at it: continue at roughly the same income level and continue contributing to your retirement, make enough to live on but not contribute any further to retirement, or start drawing on your retirement savings.
Until you ask and answer these important questions, it’s hard to make a solid plan.
For people younger in their career, these questions still apply. But there are others: Continue reading