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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, Another one of our interviews and action. This comes from the healthcare to healthcare event, which I was a guest at from the serious health care team. It was in Montana. And I was able to sit down with a handful of CEOs. And I'm going to share those with you here shortly. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week in health. It. A channel dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged. I hope you're enjoying these interviews and action. We were able to do these interviews at the health conference, the chime conference, and now the healthcare to healthcare event. I've really enjoyed doing them. just a reminder. We're going to get back to our normal programming where I take a new story, break it down. And talk about why it matters to health. It. We're going to be doing that as soon as the interviews are done we have done 10 from the chime conference eight from the health conference and we have five from the healthcare to health care conference so i hope you enjoy another one of these interviews All right. Another interview from the healthcare to healthcare, uh, invitation event from Cirrus healthcare. And now we're with Doug king CIO for Northwestern medicine, both the school and the health system. Um, yeah. Had to, I didn't mention that. Well, welcome to the show. I'm looking forward to the conversation. Yeah,

Doug King:

absolutely. Thank you very much for having me.

Bill Russell:

It's time. A lot of interesting conversations over the last couple of days. What's what's top of mind.

Doug King:

Top of mind for me right now, uh, is talent. Um, I think that, uh, within healthcare and within technology, um, we finally have, uh, technology and new tools with the cloud and machine learning and artificial intelligence and natural language processing to make a significant impact, uh, in a positive way. Uh, now. Uh, and also providers, but I think that we need the talent to do it. And it's such a competitive landscape, uh, that, uh, you know, constantly focusing on up-skilling re-skilling and recruiting, um, and really growing 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? For the most part,

Doug King:

we're in the Chicago land area. So we are downtown and then we are also in the collar counties.

Bill Russell:

The collar counties. Yes. I had not heard of that before. So, uh, man, those are interesting topics because when I went to chime, I would say the number one topic I heard was this whole idea of labor were struggling. People are recruiting people away from us. Uh, I heard one CIO say, I can now hire in 48 states, which you know, which means that talent can be, uh, gone after and whatnot. What, what kind of programs, what kind of things are you putting in place to attract new talent and really retain.

Doug King:

Yeah. You know, I think, uh, I think that that that's right. I mean, it acknowledges so portable across industries. So we're competing, not just with health care, but with the Uber's and the Microsofts and all of that. A couple of things that we've really been focusing in on is, uh, you know, we, we focus in on our pipeline and really looking at how we can get interns to convert to college hires. And then those college hires, we continue to. Train them and bring them up to speed. And we've done that through, uh, focusing on it over the past two to three years. Um, and now, you know, we'll have things where we'll have, we'll have years where we have 30 plus interns and then those interns, they go back to college for their senior year with an offer and a job in hand. And that has really started with. Dividends, um, as far as having great young talent that wants to grow, um, 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. What, what does that do for your

Doug King:

culture? It's, it's actually great. A couple of things. Number one, uh, when you bring new blood into it and at Northwestern, uh, it's not just about them. It also provides mentorship opportunities for a lot of our. Uh, people that want to start to grow talent and they want to start to work with others and really gain leadership experience. So it's a great opportunity for them, but then bringing in the younger elements, um, it, it has a different dynamic and that different dynamic is a more energetic and a lot of ambition and a lot of wanting to drive and say, I'll try that. I'll do that. I'll go over there. And that really just kind of disrupts in a positive way. Um, overall for our culture. And I think that's important, uh, especially when you start to think about, you know, fixed mindset versus growth mindset and bringing new ideas really helps kind of push that growth

Bill Russell:

mindset. It's almost a, uh, it's actually creative. Uh, my, my son works for a consulting firm. He does, does work for a consulting firm and he's 25 years old and he's presented. Yeah, multinational organizations presenting these new digital front end he's does UI and UX work. And, uh, he called me up. He said, dad, I can't believe these people are listening to me. I'm like, this is, this is incredible. But th there's almost a beautiful ignorance that it's like, these, these people on the other end, they're going, I've never seen this approach to this before. And that's what they bring. They bring that, that energy and that, that, uh, almost, uh, I call it beautiful ignorance. It's just like, they don't know what they

Doug King:

are. Yeah, I meet, uh, when we have new hire new talent, come in, I meet with all of the interns as a group, I meet with every single new hire, um, that we onboard as a group. And we talk about growth mindset versus fixed mindset. And it's, uh, you know, I think the, I always tell them when you're learning here and remember you're you have the freshest ideas right now. So challenge the status quo. Um, and if you ask someone, well, why do we do it? Like. And the responses cause we always have it's the exact wrong answer because we've got to continue to look at those things and they bring those questions and it's great.

Bill Russell:

Now, one of the things my listeners are going to be saying is, okay, this is great. How did you do it? Um, I, I found, and I think you've probably found as well that the colleges and universities are like, yeah, come on board, talk to our people, set up these programs, but you will also went all the way down to high

Doug King:

school. Yeah. You know, we're really starting to actually justice here. We're starting an apprentice. And it's, uh, something where we, I think we're having six apprentice in my senior year of high school, and we're working with, uh, high schools within, uh, the city of Chicago. Um, and they are in underserved areas as well. So it's a win, win, win, win across the board. And the way it's going to work is they're going to be apprentices and then they will come in for senior year. And ideally it's just kind of an earlier step to our talent. Cause if they're apprentices and then they can go to college, then they can be interns and then there'll be new hires. And if you have that, where they've known you for five years and we've known them, 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. Yes. Because it you've set up a program and those programs take time. You have to develop those relationships. And obviously all the HR practices that go along with that. Did that take a fair amount of time or was that.

Doug King:

Yeah, it did. I would say that we started at about three and a half years ago. Um, and, uh, we do it internally. Um, and it is absolutely, uh, now primary focus for a program manager that we have to really stand that up. But it's also important because we do partner with HR. And so it's beneficial for HR. It's beneficial for it. Um, because we are a little unique within the technology lane. Uh, in focusing in on that program, but we have somebody that is day in, day out. They wake up, they get out of bed and they think about talent management at Northwestern for it.

Bill Russell:

I'd be remiss if we didn't talk about innovation, the academic medical centers seem to be a, a hub for innovation. What, what areas are you finding, uh, solutions at and how are you? I don't know, priming that pump to, to see the innovation sort of come through your.

Doug King:

Yeah. You know, it's, um, uh, I, I would say a couple of things on that. Number one, um, at an academic medical center and a lot of institutions, not just academic, there's so many good ideas and getting those ideas out of someone's brain. And then through the, the system, if you will, to kind of build that up and actually get it to be something that where you can focus in on it and you can try it to see if it works or. Um, we're, we're trying to do that as well. So really a funnel for all of these good ideas from clinicians and from others. Um, but when we look at innovation, um, a couple of things I think makes us unique. If we're going to invest in a company or we're going to create something, we will use that technology at Northwestern and we're doing it because we think it'll be better for our patients, our providers. Um, and we also think that we can make that piece of technology, uh, better. So when we go to innovation, we think of internal ideas that we want to do. Helped foster and create and improve upon. And then we also go to startups that we will maybe partner with. Um, and we'll let them into Northwestern if you will. Um, and give them the best lab in the world when you're talking about clinical workflows and data and knowledge. And then we look at, uh, the digital giants and how can we partner with the Microsofts and the Amazons and the Googles to really say, where's it going to be value for everybody and then really move forward together.

Bill Russell:

It's interesting. So I, you know, governance is an interesting concept here. Cause I, I remember we, we did want to create that atmosphere where everything could rise up. There's amazing. Number of great ideas. 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 try not to chase the shiny object and we try to align them with the problems that we're facing as an industry. And we will ask our operators and we will ask the presidents and we will listen. I think listening is probably a key element to understanding where to focus the innovation resources, because it's finite, you know, we are a large health system, but in the end of the day, we have a limited amount of people that can really turn the dial on these innovative ideas. And I think the key part is to listen to the CNS, listen to the CMOs, listen to the problems that are having, and then try to bring solutions. To them, with all of the new capabilities that we have within our digital platform, uh, such as, uh, machine learning or natural language processing. Those are just different tools now in the toolbox and a few apply them correctly. You can solve problems in new ways that were not possible.

Bill Russell:

We have, uh, incubators, we have, uh, innovation arms. We really almost have within healthcare, VC operating in health systems. Do you guys have any of those kinds of things? Yeah, we do.

Doug King:

We are, we're actually, um, you know, just now building out a physical space that is going to house a lot of our innovation team and our digital team working together. We're going to try to take startups and sit them with them or sit them with that team. Some of our departments are also going to have a space there so that we can really cultivate those ideas and kind of come up and we do, uh, we have. Groups of people that I would say meet, um, and they try to come up with problems to solve, but honestly, most of the good ideas come organically. And now, um, at our health system, just because of some of the great things that we done partnering with the clinical side of the house, it's, it's getting out there. So it's the organic idea. I have this difficult problem. I'm going to go talk to it or I'm going to go talk to innovation and see how they can help me. And those are probably some of the ways that the ideas come, uh, come the best ideas come from.

Bill Russell:

Fantastic, Doug, thanks for your time. Yeah,

Doug King:

thank you.

Bill Russell:

Don't forget to check back as we have more of these interviews coming to you, that's all for today. If you know of someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note. They can subscribe on our website this week, health.com or wherever you listen to podcasts, apple, Google, overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, you get the picture. We are everywhere. We want to thank our channel sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health. VMware Hill-Rom Starbridge advisors, McAfee and Aruba networks. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.

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