Insights & News

HBA Leadership Conference: Crossroads of a Connected World: Navigate, Network, Transform

I recently attended the hands-on HBA Leadership Conference at the Gaylord National Hotel in Washington D.C. with more than 800 female healthcare executives.

Unlike some conferences where you listen passively in the darkened auditorium, HBA is a roll up your sleeves, share your experiences and connect with others kind of conference. I met people over coffee, in the breakout sessions and even in the ladies room. The conversation was non-stop. We talked about the rapid-fire changes in healthcare, doing more with less, and how we keep learning. We discussed the occasional need to re-create ourselves. And we laughed together when we shared our desire for work/life balance.

Nothing is permanent but change

Change is the new norm in healthcare today. We’re seeing massive consolidations and re-engineering from pharmaceuticals and biotech to payers and providers. Women in healthcare today seek to drive innovation, spark interest and keep their teams engaged throughout the course of change.

The message? Embrace change and use it to transform.

There were two presentations that especially moved me. The first was a compelling keynote from Renee Mauborgne on Blue Ocean Strategy. The second was a small workshop lead by author Laura Vanderkam “168 Hours: Work and Life 24-7” based on her book and process 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think.

Blue Ocean Strategy.

The healthcare industry has seen an increased focus on innovation coupled with more regulation, more competition and less resources. I really liked Mauborgne’s approach to break out of the competitive “red ocean” sphere and instead look for ways to create a new market – “a blue ocean” that is ripe for growth. Her book is now on my reading list to kick off 2012.

168 Hours: Work and Life 24-7

I really enjoyed the small workshop lead by author Laura Vanderkam. The workshop was based on her book 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think. As we filed into the room, I noticed a lot of the women talking about having no me-time, and wondering if another time management talk was even something they had time for.

Laura talked about the 168 hours that we all have in a week. Where we spend our time shows what we value for better or worse. She asked us to think about our meetings. Are they productive? If not, how could that time be used better? Are we looking at outputs over outcomes? What do we do best at work and at home? What can someone else do best?

She recommended we keep a time log for at least a week and see where we are actually spending time. Then decide what could change. To illustrate this, she had HBA members as “time makeover” studies on how they could find more time to do what mattered most to them.

She was funny and real and had us all pledging to try something we have always wanted to try, but could never “find the time” by the end of the session.

It was gratifying to learn from others, to re-connect with past clients and meet many of my Mid-Atlantic HBA chapter members in person.

– Laurie