The OKR Podcast
The OKR Podcast

Episode · 10 months ago

Less Omniscience, More Agility and Compassion

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Tina Murphy, President of GHX, joins Deidre for a discussion on the leadership lessons of 2021. She shares how GHX reset its operating rhythm from annual plans and QBRs to iterative OKRs and MBRs, and the power of purpose to galvanize greatness.

You're listening to the OKA our podcast. We talk about the power of lateral alignment and outcome mindset and empowering teams to do their best work from anywhere. We also talk about operating as a digital company, which is crucial. Now her journeys, learnings and victories from our guest speakers and get expertise from our host to scale your leadership capacity and operate with high impact, trust and efficiency. Here's your host daydrea pack nod. Today my guest is Tina Murphy. She's president of one of the fast growing business units at GCHX. Tina has been a workboard customer and a friend and a collaborator and a colleague of mine now for quite a few years and I've always been a student of her leadership wisdom and the way she thinks about equitting and inclusion, the way she thinks about leading the way forward, the honesty and integrity in her leadership. So I'm just delighted that she's our guest today and you will have an opportunity to hear how she thinks about leading the charge and how she thinks about the balance of, as she puts it, being a Berne Brown leader at the same time that you're a wartime CEO. So Tina, thank you for joining me. A lot going on in your sector right, healthcare sector, macro changes of epic scale. Tell us a little bit about those. You know, covid really cast a stark light on health equity, or I should say health inequity, you know, and in this country, the greatest indicator of your health is your zip code. Can you imagine, and a nation as wealthy as ours, that that shouldn't be the case? And this really really became clear during covid when we saw the populations hit hardest being people low income, people of color, these populations that went into covid with pre existing conditions like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and so it caused healthcare providers to ask this very provocative question. What would have been the impact on our economy if we'd gone into covid with greater levels of health equity? Set another way, what would have been the impact to society at large if we'd gone into covid is a healthier population into the change that this is driving is healthcare providers being way more thoughtful about keeping populations healthy and beautiful acts of service like taking to nutrition asserts that the best fruits or vegetables parents can get for their kids as a banana at the seven eleven. And they're delivering nutrition or delivering refrigerators to help...

...people manage their meds and, you know, wearables, so reminders to take them, or or community service communities standing up nutrition classes or nutrition classes or parenting or things that all in service to creating healthier populations and I think it's I think it's one of the, you know, the great impacts on our society that's going to come out of Covid so, when you think about health care industry at large, who are some of the companies that really stand out for the acts and the actions that they took to address the inequities? You know, Mayo Clinic has invested a hundred million dollars in health equity, not just in the US but globally. So let's pick up on the subject of acceleration right, which has affected not just the health care industry but really every industry over the last eighteen months. Bring us into Ghx how it's trying to accelerate and how that translates into bringing a strategy to life, bringing everybody on board faster to the new opportunity is that present themselves now? Hospitals used to make money every time you walked in the door. So if they do an MRI, they do a procedure, they make money. In value based CARE, if you get a hip implant and you come back in twenty four hours later due to an infection, they're not reimbursed. So motivations are now aligned with keeping populations healthy, keeping people healthy, and the way you do that is keeping them outside of the hospital. That feels like it's a long time in the making. It's a long time in the making and I would say if it was kind of been gradually, value based care is bending the acceleration curve. During covid because the healthcare supply chain runs on GCHEX, we were able to see where there was surges in demand, where there were back orders. We were also heads the data to be able to see where, you know, all these bad actors popped up. So, for example, this might surprise you, we vetted about a thousand suppliers because, remember, there there were all these back orders, you couldn't get your hands on PP right and so there were all these third parties coming up to deliver and hospitals desperate, we're grabbing them from whoever they could. We vetted a thousand suppliers. Half of them were fraudulent, so millions of millions of dollars of waste. So yes, absolutely, we had the data to be able to manage a more seamless supply chain. During covid we had to be able to move faster because the healthcare ecosystem, the landscape, was moving so fast. WHO's really...

...important for us to leverage our platform, our network, to lead the transformation and the evolution of the healthcare supply chain. And you know, maybe it helps if let me step back, set some context and the problem we had to solve, to mobilize, and then I can talk about how we did it. So first it's important that GACHEX was founded twenty one years ago by healthcare, by Baxter, Abbot, Johnson and Johnson, GE medatronic and and through the years healthcare's largest providers and GPO's have come together to build what is today healthcare's largest supply chain platform. The why that matters? What's this important is that we are mission critical to the supply chain. Again, this was very clear in covid. GCHEX has a bad day and there's a hospital that doesn't get their products and can't deliver care. So when you run a mission critical business, things like, you know, high levels of security, in compliance and uptime, these are really, really important and they can't falter. But now our industry is changing, so we need to innovate, be more mad agile, move fast in service to supporting our customers and healthcare. And so what we found is kind of a tale of two cities. And so in the our core business, the way we set okay ours, the way we set strategy, the way we managed is very different than in the incubation, the innovation and transformation zone. fact, what's really interesting is even the kind of people you hire. Right you need to hire people that never saw an initiative. They didn't want to wrap a tight process around, you know, operationally excellent people that just are, you know, thrive and innovating around how to be more efficient and tightening programs and processes. And so you run that business like that because that's why your customers need and emission critical operation. But then you come over here and you have to be agile and innovative. In the way we did that, the way we mobilized. It's spinning up separate teams right. So, for our incubation and transformation zone, we hired more agile leaders. We set okay ours that were more about experimenting and Learning...

...and we rewarded those types of behaviors and the type of leaders here are leaders that are okay skinning their knees and and learning from that. In the whole you know, pivot and persevere. Is it hard? Yeah, yeah, it's hard to have the discipline in the clarity to manage and lead these two components or pieces of the bit the the business. But the way we do it is like back to the fundamentals. Leverage are okay ours to drive strategic clarity and alignment and visibility and transparency. You know, this side needs to understand what this side is doing and vice versa. So I do believe those fundamentals of managing with an okare mindset serve us well. You bring up such a wonderful point, in one that I hear from a lot of leaders right now which, how about, maybe always had the contrast between we need to run the business and then we need to grow a transform the business, and there's a kind of operating model steady as she goes in both incremental transformation run it. All of that came under pressure in the last eighteen months, and and completely different pressure. Right. The stresses on the run the business, when to do that from home, if to do it really quickly, we have to do with no disruptions. The security exposures you rightly point out, like what it took to run the business, dramatically changed. And the rate of acceleration, the rate of change, the presentation of new opportunities for the transform the business came at a clip that never seen before. Right. And so you have to actually be phenomenal at both. and that was a different mode for leaders and really so many industries. How do you manage that as a leader, balancing the duality of or going to upend how we run but not break a thing? We're going to innovate at a rate that we haven't really in the past. How do you hold both places in in your mind? How did the leadership team do that with intention great out so, and I say that. I say that because if I were to go back in time five years when we were a very different company, I think we would have thought of that as Oh my, we've got a bunch of plates to keep spinning. Right. Oh wait, this leader needs to be doing this and this leader needs to be doing this. And so when I say with intention, we were very deliberate that these are the types of leaders we need here, these are the types of key results we need here, this is the type of some culture, because it is, it's a subculture we need...

...here versus here. And perhaps the most important part is we had such an awareness and realization that more often than not, people that thrive here do not thrive here. And it doesn't mean they're bad people, it doesn't mean they're effective people, it means that their nature thrives here. So going that extra step of taking kind of inventory and understanding who thrives where. So being with intention, being deliberate, leveraging those muscles that we started building three or four years ago through our OK ours of each quarter learning resetting, really served us well. One of the things I've enjoyed about all the conversations we've had is, not surprisingly, the word with intention right comes forward. You are very intentionally to really thoughtful on your impact on people in the organization, the culture that you want to create, and it seems like that too was phenomenal preparation for holding multiple intentions and thinking about microculture is not just a single, monolithic culture. You are ready for the moment that was presented. I had the opportunity to hear from your new CFO in an in internal presentation he done with the community of your okayre coaches rights of the people in the organization who are passionate about alignment, who are passionate about value and outcomes and so on. And in the narrative he shared a story about the recent equity funding that leadership team had done. And we both know how distracted and that is. Yeah, executive team right, yes, your your eyes over here and the balls over there for the business, and he was sharing that with surprise. When close the funding, the business had just run right, and his epiphany was we had aligned objectives. People knew where we were going, they knew what impact they had. They have the transparency and there was this operating rhythm that really worked well and efficiently, even though this all happened while everybody's working from home. The muscle you have around alignment and measurement and iteration and learning is now very well developed. Yes, yes, it's I'm smiling it's interesting you bring that up because I think you know when, when you've been living through it, you don't always see it. But it took Chris, our phenomenal, by the way, new CFO, to point that out to us. And and when he did, and I took time to reflect on that, he's absolutely right in the reason things flowed so smoothly while leadership was distracted was because everybody knew their role, everybody knew their purpose, everybody knew where we were going, they knew why we were going. We had the very tactical...

...level right, we had our processes in place right where we're tracking progress to KRS and we're able to rapidly course correct when necessary, and it was extremely rewarding to come back and then could of survey what had been happening and go right on, right on. They nailed it. It really was. Yeah, yeah, of course, remember the building of the muscle in the first place, right, which is your you can really feel what it's like to build that muscle and then you stop feeling what it's like when the muscle just has memory and runs. Yeah, yeah, it took US leveraging the okay, our methodology of every quarter. How do we learn and improve, learn and improve how we intellectually honest, do we not cry victory too early so that we can continually get better? And you know, one of one of the by products of that, I think, was that across all of our employees they saw how our leaders, they saw leadership show up with that humility, that vulnerbradiability, that we're not perfect, we got a lot to learn, but that's okay. I think that drove a shift all the way through the organization to more of a learning or beginners mindset. So one of the things that I saw you do really well in those early days, as you're oping, you know, cares into the cycle, is that you approached it like it was a learning journey, right, and you were open, clear, public, really transparent with your team that you were learning to which give them permission to not be perfect right and to actually flow with the cycle. And the other thing that really stood out is you are as accountable to yourself and to them as you hope they beat you, and that mutual accountability is not always present. Right. There's a do as I ask, not do as I say, mindset. Often right, like if you'll all just get aligned and get clear with each other, I'll continue to be of tuse and disconnected. It won't ever work that way, right. But you were very clear and open and very accountable to making the process work and improving it and the hard discussions in alignment really requires you had. Yeah, yeah, you know, I always I value this feeling of we're all in the trenches together, right, when you've got a clear mission and purpose worth fighting for, it, when you're all together as a team. And my contributions are not...

...any better worse than yours, they're just different. Like that, that we're all in this together mindset is an important part of our culture and I think it's an important part of why everybody shows up ready to give their best every day. So let's talk about the next eighteen months of leadership. The world still changing, yes, what will it require of us? And it's interesting. I don't think the fundamentals of leadership have changed. I think that the importance of strategic alignment, the importance of transparency, the port importance of, you know, agility and moving fast like those fundamentals haven't changed. I think the the fact that great leaders have always recognized that what people want is they want to wake up every day and they want to work on a mission that matters and have a very clear purpose and they're not scared of hard work when they understand its meaningful work. So I don't think those fundamentals have changed, but I think how we show up as leaders will change. And so you know, when when Covid the leadership muscles that needed to show up, we're across a spectrum. On one side of the spectrum was the wartime CEO that need to be disciplined and make decisions fast and and move and aggressive, all in service to just keeping the wheels on the bus, and then also the, you know, Brun a brown leadership of empathy and compassion. And so what leaders had to do is they had to learn to modulate, sometimes between eight am and noon, between wartime CEO and Brune a brown CEO. And the most important part knowing when, knowing when to modulate to what end of the spectrum. So, you know, we found ourselves where we're a country in crisis, the industry in which we serve was in crisis and our employees were in crisis. And in some ways it was it was great to be on the GHX team because while everybody else was asked to stay home and watch Netflix. We were allowed to serve right we were allowed to serve the healthcare supply chain. So it's really in some regards, its really motivating and energizing for a group of people that were called to serve. However, they were still there was just a lot of going on and so we had, we needed to be very thoughtful about how we were not just mobilizing to serve our customers, mobilizing to serve our teams, and what we realized was that training,...

...that education had to happen at all levels in the organization because, while I certainly could do a video saying, you know, hey, let's which we did do. Meeting free Wednesday was a huge hit, by the way, to this day we have it, but also people needed their managers, they needed their managers to be trained to help them navigate through this. So we quickly mobilized, albeit being via zoom, to train each levels in the organization to how to support their teams. So one of the dynamics, obviously, in distributed workforce, distributed leadership team, accelerating change is what the operating rhythm of the organization is, and you today have a high velocity operating rhythm. That wasn't always the case. Take us back what it looked like before and then what does it look like now? Can I plan the fifth? So it's I make a joke about it, but you know, when I reflect back, we had quarterly business reviews, right and and that was the cadence. We had annual planning wherein I guess this is how Omnisha we thought we were, because we thought we could plan for the twelve next twelve months with any degree of accuracy. And when we didn't, we, you know, had to take time to course correct. And so you know, that's how we did it at that time and it got us to where we are today. But I would never dream I did. It's we'd never go back. We'd never go back to that the pace at which we can react to our market, our customer needs today. It's just it's just night and day. So a lot's changed between the eighty page slide deck on the quarterly business review to the data driven digital monthly business review cadence you have today. Yes, yes, you know it's in a lot of ways it's so much simpler as leaders because I don't need to look at eighty pages to get to the one metric on one slide that matters. I've pulled through in my rbr, like the things I care about and and that's that's where my energy is focused. I'll tell you we've had the best performance the past twelve months. Well, cheers to that. Yes, you've been listening to the OKA our podcast. Subscribe in your favorite player so you never miss a moment. Thanks for listening. Until next time,.

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