Archive for January, 2022

Choose Your Battles

January 28, 2022

FountainBlue’s January 28 Front Line Managers Online meeting on the topic of ‘Choose Your Battles’.  Where there are people, there will be conflict – especially in times of great change, like we’ve all experienced with the pandemic over the past two years.! Below is a compilation of thoughts and ideas from our wise, experienced and engaging panelists.

  • Build relationships of trust which are broad and deep, and which will last for the long-term.
  • Collaborate with internal and external teams to articulate, communicate and align on mission/vision/goals.  
  • Listen deeply with emotional intelligence to understand messages and intentions so you can head off or better manage individual battles.
  • Treat everyone with respect and support, regardless of whether he/she/they will directly work/interact with you currently or in the future. 
  • Give yourself (and others) grace when there are imperfections. Focus on building the tools, communications and processes to improve the quality rather than engaging in battles over imperfections. 
  • Speak to the data and focus on the business objectives rather than making conversations personal. 
  • Be comfortable with ambiguity, and trust your team and partners to collaborate to agilely deliver results, especially when circumstances are difficult and the future is unclear.
  • Work with your teams to be more open to diverse input and perspectives so that conflicts and misunderstandings will more likely lead to innovation rather than leading to battles.
  • Know yourself and your own buttons and tendencies, and manage situations so that you can practice being curious, patient, inquisitive and open-minded, focusing on the facts in the heat of a battle. 
  • Respectfully raise questions when you don’t understand something, or when it appears to contradict vision/goals/objectives. This may be a key to avoiding a much larger battle.  
  • Have a zero tolerance policy when core values or violated, but make sure that an unacceptable communication or action actually occurred before taking action.

The bottom line is that if we each are clear on saying what we think and doing what you say, we will more likely align on the business imperatives and less likely go to battle.


Bring Your Full Self to Work

January 24, 2022


FountainBlue’s January 21 When She Speaks program, on the topic of ‘Bring Your Full Self to Work”. Please join me in thanking our hosts at Lam Research and our esteemed panelists. We were fortunate to feature such passionate and practical leaders speaking on the topic of ‘Bringing Your Full Self to Work’.  

Our panelists spoke eloquently on how having a safe space, building broad and deep connections, and connecting with authenticity can help bring out the divergent thinking, speaking and doing in our people. Indeed, limiting the ‘should-ing’ might mean having less stringent ‘guard-rails’ and more freedom for full expression.

Our panelists provided insights and advice on the business up-sides for bringing your full self to work, including the innovation, creativity, collaboration and engagement benefits. Below is a compilation of their thoughts on how to foster a culture where everyone shows up fully at work:

  • Align with leaders on the corporate and product direction, and invite input from all levels on how we can all work together to achieve amazing results.
  • Authentically speak your truth with integrity and invite others to do the same, so that motivations and intentions are understood and supported.
  • Boldly act like it will no longer be business as usual – the future is unclear, but everyone should feel emboldened and empowered to support the goals and direction for the organization.
  • Reward and encourage everyone to include a wide range of people and perspectives in all activities.
  • Help everyone understand the best way to express their full selves, including managing the audience and timing for chosen words and actions.
  • Develop deep individual connections with a broad range of people. 
  • Measure and report on the impact of your diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, and collaborate with everyone to better strategize, plan and execute to deliver incremental results.
  • Be positive and constructive with feedback, and gently raise the bar.
  • Manage your own biases and reservations so you can be more open, inclusive and receptive, and model that behavior for others. 

The bottom line is that it takes courage to show up as your full self at work, and a lot of work to help people feel comfortable enough to do so. But it’s also clear that leaders and managers who are able to do so will reap the business benefits, while also doing the right thing for all.

Communicate, Connect, Engage

January 14, 2022

FountainBlue’s January 14 Front Line Managers Online meeting on the topic of ‘Communicate, Connect, Engage’. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation: Tammy Sanders, Shobhana Viswanathan, Louise Lamb.

We were fortunate to have such practical and inspiring leaders for this week’s panel, speaking so passionately and eloquently on how to better communicate, connect and engage with your stakeholders.Our panelists shared why engagement was so important from the people, product and business perspectives. Their success stories showed how they overcame obstacles to deliver quantifiable and qualitative results for their teams and organizations. Below is a summary of their advice for how to better communicate, connect and engage:

  • Align on values and ensure that you and everyone else can consistently think, speak, and act on those values.
  • Embrace the opportunities for contemplation and reflection to see how your own view of the world could be a little more flexible, more broad.
  • Hire, retain and develop the passionate doers who will show up and follow through, and support them in adopting others-like-them on to the team.
  • Look also at what’s-not-said/done, for reading between the lines can tell you what motivates others as well as what they meant by the words they said, the actions they took.
  • Create a safe space for people to transparently and authentically share their challenges, opportunities and successes.
  • Understand the motivations of your stakeholders and ensure that you and the team are solving problems of interest for each stakeholder.
  • View the problem from a larger lens/perspective, so that you can better communicate and better connect and engage with others.
  • Speak from a bottom-line/revenue impact perspective to get sponsor and executive buy-in.
  • If ‘snow melts on the edges’ as Andy Grove would say, invite the team to understand what the product, business and customer implications are for today’s circumstances and needs and for tomorrow’s technologies and solutions. 

People have always been a company’s greatest asset, and it’s much more important now when we are all impacted by the ‘Great Resignation’. Communicating, connecting and engaging with your people helps managers and leaders at all levels to recruit, retain, and develop their people, and encourages everyone to go that extra mile to deliver value, while contributing to a positive culture.

Data Meets Healthcare

January 14, 2022

FountainBlue’s January 14 VIP Roundtable: Data Meets Healthcare

FountainBlue’s January 14 VIP Roundtable was on the topic of ‘Data Meets Healthcare’, with opening remarks by Change Healthcare. Data is the photon that’s foundational to providing value for all stakeholders, providing energy to solutions which serve all. But the question is how do we optimize the data to provide value, optimize care at minimal costs in an industry with so many stakeholders and so much regulation? 
Although digital transformation has a huge potential to impact the healthcare sector, as it has done for other sectors, the challenges are much more complex in healthcare because of the needs of disparate stakeholders, the regulations around the industry, the slim margins of hospitals and clinics, the disillusionment of patients to the point of not engaging, etc.,
Below are some thought-provoking ideas from an engaged and informed set of executives in attendance.

  • Facilitate interoperability of data between payors, providers, patients, insurers, etc., 
  • Ensure patient ownership and access to their own data, but also provide regulations to ensure the safe, secure, and ubiquitous sharing of data which also protects the privacy of patients.
  • Address the needs of empowered consumers to provide personalized value-added solutions at scale in a way which is collaborative and scalable.
  • Support hospitals and healthcare centers to leverage data for better financial management, more efficient access and improved care metrics.
  • Use data to document and support the end-to-end patient journey from coverage and benefits to payments and insurance.
  • Invite the use of longitudinal care programs to provide ongoing personalized care and also to inform the care of others with similar conditions. 
  • Democratize and expand access to care.
  • Develop and design solutions which build patient engagement, build communities of care, and in general better leverage technology and innovation to optimize care for more people.

The pandemic has accelerated adoption of existing technologies like MRNA to accelerate drug discovery and improve care, and telehealth to expand access to care. 
The Silver Tsunami is coming with a large population reaching 65+ and therefore with the increased likelihood of chronic disease, and the need for constant care, monitoring and interaction. Let’s work together to focus on ensuring a healthy population by providing better clinical, operational and financial outcomes.

Leverage technology solutions to address any friction for providing digital services, leverage data to ensure accuracy and progress of treatments, leverage hospitals and healthcare systems to support patient acquisition and adoption of digital solutions, and work together to ensure that payers own payments, insurers embrace technology and data, and regulations facilitate the adoption of digital transformation in healthcare.