Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A way with words

I just had the pleasure of being on a panel discussion at U. Mass Boston with three wonderful colleagues: Stephen Crosby, Dean of the McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies; Jim Sabin, Director of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Ethics Program; and Marc Roberts, Professor of Political Economy at the Harvard School of Public Health. The topic was "Health Care Rationing: The Elephant in the Room." Of course, the topic eventually swayed over to the improper incentives built into the current health care reimbursement system -- at which point Marc began to discuss the pigs of Provence who use their snouts to root underneath oak trees in search of truffles. The audience was lost for a moment until Marc drew the analogy with me and my fellow hospital administrators, whom he termed "truffle-seeking pigs" rooting through the reimbursement system to focus on those service lines that generate the most margin for our institutions. I am not sure how I feel about the animal he chose, but it was a superb image!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Levy

I am an MBA Student in the Health Care Management Program at UMASS Boston. And my career thus far has been in the health care field (in a non-clinical role). I attended your Collaborative Leadership Lecture. It was a very intriguing and inspiring speech.

I wanted to inquire, you mentioned you attended MIT. Did you have any formal training in management and/or leadership, or did you acquire your leadership skills through experience?

Looking back now is there anything you would have done differently?

Thank you.

Stacey Ramhit

Paul Levy said...

Hi Stacey. It was mainly on the job training.

On your second question, this blog has a limited amount of space allocated on Blogger. Not sure I could answer the question in the available space because there are so many examples!

:)

Benyamin B. Lichtenstein said...

Hello Paul,
Wonderful session this evening. Glad to say that five of my undergrad Entrepreneurship students were in the audience, and a dozen or more of my MBAs. We had a good discussion in the E-ship class afterwards: I think your approach to collaboration presents an ideal frame for their own organizing efforts as nascent entrepreneurs.

I also referenced the HBR article several times this morning in lecture on Organizational Change at the MIT Sloan School (for their large-section undergrad core course). (That's why I couldn't make it to lunch today).

The case is a great story of transformation, and many other lessons, including the power of your response to the department head who countered the meeting decision via e-mail; and how you were so direct and unequivacable about the new culture of respect that you were building - in that very e-mail! Beautiful.

Overall, thank you for spending the day at our humble campus. Your presence was a boost to our self-image and reputation, and I am extremely pleased to have been a small part of the day's success.

Enjoy your Passover. We're going to spend all day tomorrow cleaning and shifting to our full Pesach kitchen, and so on... Saturday night is just around the corner!

Blessings,
{:=>) Benyamin