Monday, May 14, 2007

What I did at work today

The "Open letter to Mr. Levy" questioning my use of time writing this blog led me to think that lots of people out there might wonder how I actually spend my time, not so much because of interest in me personally, but because most people don't get to be a CEO, and you might just wonder what this is all about. So, here's a sample day. "Empty" time between meetings is for talking with staff in the hallway, phone calls, emails, and bodily functions. Let me know if this is at all interesting -- I sort of doubt it -- but I will provide other days if enough of you think it is.

Today, Monday, May 14
8:30 -- Welcome new staff at new employee orientation and provide background on the hospital's mission and values.
9:00 -- Meet a candidate for the hospital's Board of Overseers, one of our governing bodies.
10:00 -- Review aspects of the hospital's pastoral care program.
11:00 -- Meet with a physician about a possible recruitment of another physician.
12:00 -- Meet with senior vice president for health care quality for an update of our safety and quality programs.
1:00 -- Meet with senior vice president for human resources for an update on a variety of topics.
1:30 -- Visit a patient.
2:00 -- Meet with senior vice president for development, CFO, and senior vice president for facilities to ensure there is an integration of our capital investment programs with our fund-raising efforts.
3:00 -- Meet with COO for an update on a variety of topics.
4:30 -- Meet with representatives of the Longwood Symphony Orchestra (which comprises area doctors and others) to get a progress report and receive requests for assistance.
5:30 -- Short update from senior vice president for network integration regarding a relationship with a group of referring doctors.
5:40 -- Write this post.
6:00 to 8:00 -- Attend Board of Overseers meeting.


Fernando said...

I'm just curious, but at how many of those meetings did you make a decision or design a plan of action? I am convinced that 90% of meetings held in a corporate/semi-corporate environment are a 'keeping up appearances' waste of time.

Anonymous said...

Excellent question. Some sessions are just for updates or check-ons on previously agreed upon plans; sometimes for decisions; sometimes to brainstorm ideas. I think my VPs would tell you that our meetings are very efficient and purposeful. None of us really wants to spend time in meetings. We'd rather be out actually getting things done. That being said, if you don't stay in touch, things can go awry. We do a lot with emails, as the asynchronicity is very powerful, but face-to-face is important from time to time.

Dave said...

I think it's fairly obvious that your meetings are efficient. You say you were doing something important at 2:00 but by 2:29 you were already done and able to put the chart below up on the blog. Just thought I'd let you know I'm keeping you honest, given that I have apparently spawned some degree of navel-gazing on your part.

All in good humor,


Anonymous said...

I was wondering if someone would notice....


Anonymous said...

Do you visit patients regularly?

Anonymous said...


Carolyn Kent said...

I'm impressed by your 1:30 time slot. No doubt one of the most important activities of your day!

Tom said...

Very interesting -- I think this should be a reoccurring post, maybe once every two weeks...that way readers can get a feel for different days, b/c I doubt many days are "typical"...

Margaret said...

How do you decide which patient to visit? What do you talk about with a patient? Doing those visits is very wise I think.

lyette said...

Man...looking at your calendar is giving me horrible, horrible flashbacks to my time trying to manage it.

EB said...

I find this extremely interesting and would like to see this as a recurring post every 2 weeks or so. Very interesting. When do you find time to eat?

Mike said...

I have found a way to eliminate some waste in your schedule.. replace the patient visit at 1:30 PM with another meeting.

To schedule MORE meetings.

And then, you can talk about "quality initiatives" and "interdigitation".

Anonymous said...

How did you know that "interdigitation" is one of the words I hate the most?

Please don't assume one day is representative of my whole schedule.

By the way, are you angry or joking? Hard to tell from your note and from your own blog.

pesha said...

My sked (dedicated to the ROUs--rest of us)

6:00 Lie in bed deciding which socks to wear
6:10 Open sock drawer
6:15 Paw through socks
6:20 Still pawing through socks
6:22 Choose blue socks
6:23 Return blue socks to drawer
6:24 Choose tie-dyed socks
6:25 Return tie-dyed socks to drawer
6:30 Give up, get back into bed, decide to try again tmrw

Anonymous said...

Very good!!!!

Anonymous said...

Good question from Margaret. Will answer that fully some day soon.

Rob said...

A good manager or executive knows how to balance face-time with formalized discussion forums.

Problem is, for those of us, say, in IT, good managers and/or executives can be rather rare. Instead we tend toward blame-avoiding turf-defenders. That's when meetings are dumb.

As a manager, I go out and see what's going on, in person, so I know what to ask my people about what's going on. I also listen to my people on how they're feeling they relate to the rest of the organization. My job is to figure out what we need them to do, get the right resources, and work problems out of the way of progress.

In other words, I work for the employees. I am accountable to them.

The upshot of which is that this is what I'm seeing in this schedule.

I could be completely wrong, on account of, yeah, I'm not there. :)

Steve Pashley said...

Great idea for a post.

I'm curious to know what percentage of your meetings are initiated by others, (presumably because they want your perspective on an issue they are responsible for progressing) vs what percentage you initiate (presumably because you want to know what's going on or have a view about what needs to be done that you want to get that view across). Coaching and validating vs directing and controlling i guess would be the crude distinction.

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve,

With VPs, these are regularly scheduled updates on mutually established objectives. I usually don't have a view as to what specifically needs to be done. After all, I am not the expert in each area. Sometimes they find my perspective helpful, though. Also, it is a chance for me to make sure there is good cross-connection between VPs on overlapping issues.

I'm not big on directing and controlling. Thoughtful and reliable people are in their positions because they are thoughtful and reliable!

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous May 21 2:28 AM. I received your message about the salary issue, and it is under review already.

In the future, for messages of this sort, you can email me directly.

April Silver, Agoos Medical Library, BIDMC said...

If you think "interdigitation" is bad, here's a list of the Worst Words:
To counter the bad taste of the Worst Words, here's a list of the Best Words:
Perhaps you would like to add to these lists.