The New Leadership Model for Healthcare

Time after time in a variety of industries (technology and retail most recently), a handful of leaders have stood apart for their ability both to bring about transformational change in their own organizations and to lead the market toward a new vision.

Healthcare today needs that sort of leadership to guide and accelerate the movement toward a consumer-centered healthcare market that is global, digital, social/mobile, and powered by big data and genomics. To help define a new approach to leadership that can unlock a healthcare value revolution, the Oliver Wyman Health Innovation Center (OWHIC) convened a dozen of the industry’s most innovative leaders. The full agenda for the ideation session can be found here.



For more on the ongoing work of OWHIC and
its bold vision, see Clinical Innovation + Technology's
July 2013 cover story "All Rise With Innovation."




The Oliver Wyman Health Innovation Center enlisted a dozen innovative leaders from across the industry to (1) explore the challenges presented by the new market environment; (2) test our hypothesis that the current leadership model in healthcare is evolving too slowly and incrementally to truly transform the market; and (3) build a new leadership model, one capable of both bridging the chasm from fee-for-service to fee-for-value and creating a new breed of health wellness companies capable of near constant innovation.

The New Leadership Model for Healthcare

Tom Main, Partner and U.S. Market Leader Answers 4 Questions
  • 1Why did you focus on leadership for this ideation session?

    The healthcare market has so much opportunity for positive change—but it is moving too slowly, at an enormous cost to all of us. It’s not that there isn’t leadership. We have seen dozens of examples of admirable leaders bringing about significant change, and it’s clear that the actions of individuals can have significant impact. But so far, that impact has been restricted to specific geographies or business models. We need more to truly transform the market.

  • 2What do you hope the new leadership model will accomplish?

    Today’s leaders need to not just ignite a revolution but sustain it in a way that ultimately tips the market to value. This means they must find a way to bridge the gaps between sickness and wellness, between insurance risk and care delivery, and between the benefits-based economy and the direct consumer spend economy. And they’ll need to accomplish that in the face of constant discontinuous change and rapid innovation cycles.

  • 3Why hasn’t innovation spread further and faster?

    One of the big obstacles is that fee-for-service medicine is still very profitable for healthcare companies. It’s not sustainable though. But as long as employers and Medicare keep funding the current way of doing business, it is hard for payers and providers to walk away from it. As a result, they’re slow to change, and that means that the capital markets are slow to invest adequately in innovators trying to change their organizations.

  • 4What do healthcare leaders need to realize?

    The problems and opportunities of healthcare are bigger—far bigger—than your organization. The healthcare market itself is profoundly dysfunctional; it erodes value rather than creating it by focusing on sickness instead of prevention, and on volume of care instead of cost, quality, and outcomes. To truly change healthcare’s basis of competition—and unleash enormous pent-up value—leaders have to learn to think beyond their own four walls and devote some of their attention to the broader industry.