The latest insights on leadership from our Harvard Business School faculty and guest bloggers. Tell us what you think by submitting a comment.
By Amy Edmondson | June 19, 2013 | Comments (0)
Telemedicine. Virtual care. Telemental health. Video conferencing. Skype. Facetime.
The information technology that allows us to shrink global distances by holding meetings with faraway colleagues appearing on small screens at our desks can give us a false sense of connection and security. We are too easily lulled into the belief that teamwork among geographically dispersed employees requires nothing more than a fast Internet connection or the latest video-conferencing technology. In fact, there are substantial barriers to sharing and integrating knowledge across vast distances.
In many companies, work teams spanning geographically dispersed locations (so-called “virtual teams”) are used to integrate multiple … Read more
By Nancy Koehn | June 6, 2013 | Comments (0)
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently came to Capitol Hill to defend his company against charges of tax avoidance. At stake was more than a whopping potential tax bill for the electronics manufacturer; the Apple brand, the most valuable in the world, was also at risk. In an age of both informed, empowered consumers and increasing competition, no company can afford to have its brand tarnished by questionable business practices—be they shoddy accounting, labor conditions, environmental management or customer relations.
By Paul F. Levy | May 28, 2013 | Comments (1)
When things go wrong in a hospital—on either the clinical or administrative front—we are often left wondering how a dedicated and thoughtful team of people could have jointly participated in the decisions and actions that led to the failures. Recent stories in the news may give us a clue.
Problems recently uncovered at the Internal Revenue Service are typical of those found in many organizations when a team of people become isolated and feel unsupported. The team might be doing a job that nobody else wants to do or is out of the mainstream, work often characterized by a large … Read more
By Amy Edmondson | May 13, 2013 | Comments (0)
Innovation is a rallying cry in almost every industry today — it’s how companies win customers and achieve profitable growth. In healthcare, innovation is needed to figure out ways to deliver cost-effective, high-quality care for more and more people. But in any industry, calling for innovation isn’t enough to produce it.
It takes effort, an unusual leadership mindset, and an organization culture that embraces paradox. Innovation springs from combining disparate elements. It takes experts and boundary-spanning generalists who deeply empathize with customers. It requires high standards but celebrates failure. In fact, innovation depends upon pairs of seeming opposites coexisting. And … Read more
By Paul F. Levy | May 3, 2013 | Comments (0)
As a leader, you must do everything you can to encourage people to admit mistakes they have made and to call out problems they have found in the organization. (As Amy Edmondson of Harvard Business School similarly suggested in an earlier post). If people think they will get in trouble for having erred, or for having brought up a systemic problem in the organization, those errors and problems will go unreported. The person and the organization will thereby lose an opportunity to grow and improve. Accordingly, a strong commitment not only to transparency but to a just culture is … Read more
The Gauntlet Before Health Care Leaders is to Eliminate Unnecessary Care
By William Chin, MD
Who better to achieve higher quality outcomes and reduce the waste in care than the physicians leading this process? If we are the best people to do this, then let's start. Or, we need to stand aside and stop lamenting the change happening around us. Read more
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