Intermountain CEO's secret to building an innovative exec team

Marc Harrison, MD, CEO of Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, joined the Becker's Healthcare podcast to talk about healthcare delivery transformation and building an innovative organization.


Below is an excerpt from the conversation. Click here to hear the full episode.

Question: What is the mindset of building great teams and leaders?

Dr. Marc Harrison: Charles Sorenson, MD, [president and CEO emeritus at Intermountain and founding director of the Intermountain Healthcare Leadership Institute] talks about principled leadership. He says it's really easy to find folks who can rebalance sheets and create plans for transformation. The question is whether these folks are motivated by the right things, and do they know how to get along with one another. I hope we're modeling our team after those tenets Charles laid out. I believe I am. The things I look for in terms of high skill levels and intellect are table stakes, but the things I really prize are an ability to execute and grit, and maybe most importantly, an ability to get along together.

I was at a talk just before the pandemic really heated up, and three of my executives were up on a stage, and I was watching them, and they were asked about how Intermountain has been able to innovate and evolve so quickly. I really believe our transformation is about as profound as any legacy health system anywhere.

One of the executives answered that the key to this is that the executive team loves each other. I had never really heard it framed that way, but when I think about it, these people respect each other and work well with each other. There is no drama. They are competitive, but they're competitive for the organization and not for themselves.

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