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I love what Doug King and the team at Northwestern Medicine are doing with regard to talent. If you are struggling with finding and developing talent you are going to want to listen to this short conversation. I hope you enjoy.

Transcript
Bill Russell:

Today in health, it,

Bill Russell:

Another one of our interviews and action.

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This comes from the healthcare to healthcare event, which I was a guest

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at from the serious health care team.

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It was in Montana.

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And I was able to sit down with a handful of CEOs.

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And I'm going to share those with you here shortly.

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My name is bill Russell.

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I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week in health.

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It.

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A channel dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged.

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I hope you're enjoying these interviews and action.

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We were able to do these interviews at the health conference, the

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chime conference, and now the healthcare to healthcare event.

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I've really enjoyed doing them.

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, just a reminder.

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We're going to get back to our normal programming where I take

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a new story, break it down.

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And talk about why it matters to health.

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It.

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We're going to be doing that as soon as the interviews are done we have

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done 10 from the chime conference eight from the health conference and

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we have five from the healthcare to health care conference so i hope you

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enjoy another one of these interviews

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All right.

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Another interview from the healthcare to healthcare, uh, invitation

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event from Cirrus healthcare.

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And now we're with Doug king CIO for Northwestern medicine, both

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the school and the health system.

Bill Russell:

Um, yeah.

Bill Russell:

Had to, I didn't mention that.

Bill Russell:

Well, welcome to the show.

Bill Russell:

I'm looking forward to the conversation.

Bill Russell:

Yeah,

Doug King:

absolutely.

Doug King:

Thank you very much for having me.

Bill Russell:

It's time.

Bill Russell:

A lot of interesting conversations over the last couple of days.

Bill Russell:

What's what's top of mind.

Doug King:

Top of mind for me right now, uh, is talent.

Doug King:

Um, I think that, uh, within healthcare and within technology, um, we finally

Doug King:

have, uh, technology and new tools with the cloud and machine learning

Doug King:

and artificial intelligence and natural language processing to make a

Doug King:

significant impact, uh, in a positive way.

Doug King:

Uh, now.

Doug King:

Uh, and also providers, but I think that we need the talent to do it.

Doug King:

And it's such a competitive landscape, uh, that, uh, you know, constantly

Doug King:

focusing on up-skilling re-skilling and recruiting, um, and really growing

Doug King:

that as a society, uh, is going to be a challenge for us, upskilling,

Bill Russell:

reskilling and recruiting, and you're downtown Chicago, correct?

Bill Russell:

For the most part,

Doug King:

we're in the Chicago land area.

Doug King:

So we are downtown and then we are also in the collar counties.

Bill Russell:

The collar counties.

Bill Russell:

Yes.

Bill Russell:

I had not heard of that before.

Bill Russell:

So, uh, man, those are interesting topics because when I went to chime, I would

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say the number one topic I heard was this whole idea of labor were struggling.

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People are recruiting people away from us.

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Uh, I heard one CIO say, I can now hire in 48 states, which you

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know, which means that talent can be, uh, gone after and whatnot.

Bill Russell:

What, what kind of programs, what kind of things are you putting in place to

Bill Russell:

attract new talent and really retain.

Doug King:

Yeah.

Doug King:

You know, I think, uh, I think that that that's right.

Doug King:

I mean, it acknowledges so portable across industries.

Doug King:

So we're competing, not just with health care, but with the Uber's

Doug King:

and the Microsofts and all of that.

Doug King:

A couple of things that we've really been focusing in on is, uh, you know,

Doug King:

we, we focus in on our pipeline and really looking at how we can get

Doug King:

interns to convert to college hires.

Doug King:

And then those college hires, we continue to.

Doug King:

Train them and bring them up to speed.

Doug King:

And we've done that through, uh, focusing on it over the past two to three years.

Doug King:

Um, and now, you know, we'll have things where we'll have, we'll have

Doug King:

years where we have 30 plus interns and then those interns, they go back

Doug King:

to college for their senior year with an offer and a job in hand.

Doug King:

And that has really started with.

Doug King:

Dividends, um, as far as having great young talent that wants to grow, um,

Doug King:

and it's, it's beneficial for them and it's beneficial for Northwestern.

Bill Russell:

You're bringing new blood into the health it world.

Bill Russell:

What, what does that do for your

Doug King:

culture?

Doug King:

It's, it's actually great.

Doug King:

A couple of things.

Doug King:

Number one, uh, when you bring new blood into it and at Northwestern,

Doug King:

uh, it's not just about them.

Doug King:

It also provides mentorship opportunities for a lot of our.

Doug King:

Uh, people that want to start to grow talent and they want to

Doug King:

start to work with others and really gain leadership experience.

Doug King:

So it's a great opportunity for them, but then bringing in the younger elements,

Doug King:

um, it, it has a different dynamic and that different dynamic is a more energetic

Doug King:

and a lot of ambition and a lot of wanting to drive and say, I'll try that.

Doug King:

I'll do that.

Doug King:

I'll go over there.

Doug King:

And that really just kind of disrupts in a positive way.

Doug King:

Um, overall for our culture.

Doug King:

And I think that's important, uh, especially when you start to think

Doug King:

about, you know, fixed mindset versus growth mindset and bringing new ideas

Doug King:

really helps kind of push that growth

Bill Russell:

mindset.

Bill Russell:

It's almost a, uh, it's actually creative.

Bill Russell:

Uh, my, my son works for a consulting firm.

Bill Russell:

He does, does work for a consulting firm and he's 25 years old and he's presented.

Bill Russell:

Yeah, multinational organizations presenting these new digital front

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end he's does UI and UX work.

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And, uh, he called me up.

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He said, dad, I can't believe these people are listening to me.

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I'm like, this is, this is incredible.

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But th there's almost a beautiful ignorance that it's like, these,

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these people on the other end, they're going, I've never seen

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this approach to this before.

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And that's what they bring.

Bill Russell:

They bring that, that energy and that, that, uh, almost, uh,

Bill Russell:

I call it beautiful ignorance.

Bill Russell:

It's just like, they don't know what they

Doug King:

are.

Doug King:

Yeah, I meet, uh, when we have new hire new talent, come in, I meet

Doug King:

with all of the interns as a group, I meet with every single new hire,

Doug King:

um, that we onboard as a group.

Doug King:

And we talk about growth mindset versus fixed mindset.

Doug King:

And it's, uh, you know, I think the, I always tell them when you're

Doug King:

learning here and remember you're you have the freshest ideas right now.

Doug King:

So challenge the status quo.

Doug King:

Um, and if you ask someone, well, why do we do it?

Doug King:

Like.

Doug King:

And the responses cause we always have it's the exact wrong answer

Doug King:

because we've got to continue to look at those things and they bring

Doug King:

those questions and it's great.

Bill Russell:

Now, one of the things my listeners are going to

Bill Russell:

be saying is, okay, this is great.

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How did you do it?

Bill Russell:

Um, I, I found, and I think you've probably found as well that the colleges

Bill Russell:

and universities are like, yeah, come on board, talk to our people,

Bill Russell:

set up these programs, but you will also went all the way down to high

Doug King:

school.

Doug King:

Yeah.

Doug King:

You know, we're really starting to actually justice here.

Doug King:

We're starting an apprentice.

Doug King:

And it's, uh, something where we, I think we're having six apprentice in

Doug King:

my senior year of high school, and we're working with, uh, high schools

Doug King:

within, uh, the city of Chicago.

Doug King:

Um, and they are in underserved areas as well.

Doug King:

So it's a win, win, win, win across the board.

Doug King:

And the way it's going to work is they're going to be apprentices and

Doug King:

then they will come in for senior year.

Doug King:

And ideally it's just kind of an earlier step to our talent.

Doug King:

Cause if they're apprentices and then they can go to college, then they can be

Doug King:

interns and then there'll be new hires.

Doug King:

And if you have that, where they've known you for five years and we've known them,

Doug King:

uh, it's a fantastic fit from a culture standpoint, as well as from a technical.

Bill Russell:

So have you, I assume you have somebody who's in charge of this.

Bill Russell:

Yes.

Bill Russell:

Because it you've set up a program and those programs take time.

Bill Russell:

You have to develop those relationships.

Bill Russell:

And obviously all the HR practices that go along with that.

Bill Russell:

Did that take a fair amount of time or was that.

Doug King:

Yeah, it did.

Doug King:

I would say that we started at about three and a half years ago.

Doug King:

Um, and, uh, we do it internally.

Doug King:

Um, and it is absolutely, uh, now primary focus for a program manager

Doug King:

that we have to really stand that up.

Doug King:

But it's also important because we do partner with HR.

Doug King:

And so it's beneficial for HR.

Doug King:

It's beneficial for it.

Doug King:

Um, because we are a little unique within the technology lane.

Doug King:

Uh, in focusing in on that program, but we have somebody that is day in, day out.

Doug King:

They wake up, they get out of bed and they think about talent

Doug King:

management at Northwestern for it.

Bill Russell:

I'd be remiss if we didn't talk about innovation,

Bill Russell:

the academic medical centers seem to be a, a hub for innovation.

Bill Russell:

What, what areas are you finding, uh, solutions at and how are you?

Bill Russell:

I don't know, priming that pump to, to see the innovation sort of come through your.

Doug King:

Yeah.

Doug King:

You know, it's, um, uh, I, I would say a couple of things on that.

Doug King:

Number one, um, at an academic medical center and a lot of institutions,

Doug King:

not just academic, there's so many good ideas and getting those

Doug King:

ideas out of someone's brain.

Doug King:

And then through the, the system, if you will, to kind of build that up

Doug King:

and actually get it to be something that where you can focus in on it and

Doug King:

you can try it to see if it works or.

Doug King:

Um, we're, we're trying to do that as well.

Doug King:

So really a funnel for all of these good ideas from clinicians and from others.

Doug King:

Um, but when we look at innovation, um, a couple of things I think makes us unique.

Doug King:

If we're going to invest in a company or we're going to create something, we will

Doug King:

use that technology at Northwestern and we're doing it because we think it'll be

Doug King:

better for our patients, our providers.

Doug King:

Um, and we also think that we can make that piece of technology, uh, better.

Doug King:

So when we go to innovation, we think of internal ideas that we want to do.

Doug King:

Helped foster and create and improve upon.

Doug King:

And then we also go to startups that we will maybe partner with.

Doug King:

Um, and we'll let them into Northwestern if you will.

Doug King:

Um, and give them the best lab in the world when you're talking about clinical

Doug King:

workflows and data and knowledge.

Doug King:

And then we look at, uh, the digital giants and how can we partner with

Doug King:

the Microsofts and the Amazons and the Googles to really say, where's it

Doug King:

going to be value for everybody and then really move forward together.

Bill Russell:

It's interesting.

Bill Russell:

So I, you know, governance is an interesting concept here.

Bill Russell:

Cause I, I remember we, we did want to create that atmosphere

Bill Russell:

where everything could rise up.

Bill Russell:

There's amazing.

Bill Russell:

Number of great ideas.

Bill Russell:

So how do you, how do you focus it in,

Doug King:

you know, I think part of it is when we look at all these ideas, we

Doug King:

try not to chase the shiny object and we try to align them with the problems

Doug King:

that we're facing as an industry.

Doug King:

And we will ask our operators and we will ask the presidents and we will listen.

Doug King:

I think listening is probably a key element to understanding where to focus

Doug King:

the innovation resources, because it's finite, you know, we are a large health

Doug King:

system, but in the end of the day, we have a limited amount of people that can really

Doug King:

turn the dial on these innovative ideas.

Doug King:

And I think the key part is to listen to the CNS, listen to the CMOs, listen

Doug King:

to the problems that are having, and then try to bring solutions.

Doug King:

To them, with all of the new capabilities that we have within our digital

Doug King:

platform, uh, such as, uh, machine learning or natural language processing.

Doug King:

Those are just different tools now in the toolbox and a few apply them correctly.

Doug King:

You can solve problems in new ways that were not possible.

Bill Russell:

We have, uh, incubators, we have, uh, innovation arms.

Bill Russell:

We really almost have within healthcare, VC operating in health systems.

Bill Russell:

Do you guys have any of those kinds of things?

Bill Russell:

Yeah, we do.

Doug King:

We are, we're actually, um, you know, just now building out

Doug King:

a physical space that is going to house a lot of our innovation team

Doug King:

and our digital team working together.

Doug King:

We're going to try to take startups and sit them with them

Doug King:

or sit them with that team.

Doug King:

Some of our departments are also going to have a space there so that we can

Doug King:

really cultivate those ideas and kind of come up and we do, uh, we have.

Doug King:

Groups of people that I would say meet, um, and they try to come up with

Doug King:

problems to solve, but honestly, most of the good ideas come organically.

Doug King:

And now, um, at our health system, just because of some of the great

Doug King:

things that we done partnering with the clinical side of the house,

Doug King:

it's, it's getting out there.

Doug King:

So it's the organic idea.

Doug King:

I have this difficult problem.

Doug King:

I'm going to go talk to it or I'm going to go talk to innovation

Doug King:

and see how they can help me.

Doug King:

And those are probably some of the ways that the ideas come, uh,

Doug King:

come the best ideas come from.

Bill Russell:

Fantastic, Doug, thanks for your time.

Bill Russell:

Yeah,

Doug King:

thank you.

Bill Russell:

Don't forget to check back as we have more of these interviews

Bill Russell:

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