Health care leaders come from diverse backgrounds yet share common traits. They develop insights that alter how people think about the future. Moreover, their confident and humble mentorship inspires others to consider new possibilities. These leaders conceptualize the innovations that improve medical practice. They challenge norms and, instead of solely identifying existing problems, perceive what’s missing. With this in mind, the following seven leaders share TED Talks that challenge conventional thinking in ways that can be applied to the health care industry.
Fields Wicker-Miurin: Learning From Leadership’s Missing Manual
Fields Wicker-Miurin spearheads the finance firm, CDC Group, as well as the global real estate consultancy, Savills. Wicker-Miurin, founder of The Leaders’ Quest, also hosts global conferences called Quests, where organizational heads explore their executive roles.
Through Quests, he endeavors to strengthen global leadership by facilitating a streamlined focal point of networking. The CEO believes that the connections will produce the next market disruptions, resulting in worldwide innovations sourced from an international consortium.
Stanley McChrystal: Listen, Learn… Then Lead
As a onetime Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) chief officer, Stanley McChrystal has been charged by international governments to lead the most elite armed forces in the world. As the former United States commander during the Afghanistan incursion, McChrystal possesses a stellar leadership record, earning substantial notoriety for executing successful complex wartime operations. His talk discloses lessons learned during his deployments, such as building morale by listening, learning and offering honest assessments.
Jacqueline Novogratz: Inspiring a Life of Immersion
Through her nonprofit organization, Acumen, founder and CEO Jacqueline Novogratz advances impoverished communities by using business practices. She has also published a book highlighting philanthropic initiatives that aid underprivileged groups in helping themselves. Novogratz’s organization connects recipients with entrepreneurs who invest in critical community infrastructures, such as:
The Acumen methodology reshapes global strategy for developing Third World regions. Novogratz’s talk narrates how win-win business investments foster growth in poverty-stricken areas.
Ernest Madu: World-Class Health Care
Globally, physicians have adopted, as standard practice, Ernest Madu’s noninvasive method to evaluate coronary artery disease in obese patients. Through his organization, the Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC), the globally acclaimed cardiologist delivers over 1 million dollars in free or reduced-cost care in the emerging city of Kingston, Jamaica, which suffers from a nearly 60 percent mortality rate due to cardiovascular disease. The doctor has since opened similar practices in his native homeland of Africa. Madu’s stirring TED Talk recounts how his organization provides innovative cardiovascular care and demonstrates how technology helps physicians improve community well-being among undeserved populations.
Rebecca Onie: What If Our Health Care System Kept Us Healthy?
While earning her degree, Health Leads founder, Rebecca Onie, realized that United States health care services overlooked the basic causes behind most common sicknesses. Today, Onie’s organization connects clients with local resources — such as clinics, housing and food — to combat illnesses at the source. The group serves nearly 9,000 clients in:
• New York
• Washington, DC
Onie’s talk explains how to apply the same tactics used to build high-performing sports organizations in drafting skilled talent for civic causes.
Atul Gawande: How Do We Heal Medicine?
In this talk, Atul Gawande explores how physicians improve patient outcomes with basic planning. Among other public services, the doctor advocates globally for higher safety in surgery. The surgeon has also penned three best-sellers, “Complications,” “A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance” and “The Checklist Manifesto.” His talk explains how relying on checklists helps surgeons to simplify and improve their practices.
Deborah Rhodes: A Test That Finds 3x More Breast Tumors, and Why it’s Not Available to You
Mayo Clinic Executive Health Program Director, Deborah Rhodes, has improved on the traditional mammography procedure. The breast cancer expert, along with her colleagues, has developed a new screening technique called molecular imaging that costs little more than a standard mammogram. Rhodes and her associates use a “gamma camera” to detect minute tumors lodged in dense tissue. The procedure complements rather than replaces mammography screenings, while causing significantly less patient discomfort.
Putting New Ideas to Work
Health care practitioners currently grapple with sweeping changes. While attempting to decipher what works in this new environment, care providers must make monumentally difficult decisions.  According to information from the National Center for Healthcare Leadership, executives who have historically devoted their talents to providing internal organizational leadership must now collaborate with community enterprises and other health care providers. Health care leaders must manage change at an unprecedented pace, while maintaining a commitment to ongoing education that might reveal bold new innovations and improve performance among their respective enterprises. TED Talks represent a fertile ground for unearthing innovative concepts.
The leaders that shape current operating environments among the country’s health care organizations learn new concepts from many sources. They must oversee a gamut of responsibilities that consist of change initiatives, compliance strategies, clinical practices and marketing campaigns — among other duties. In this fast changing environment, ongoing learning is profoundly critical.
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