Why healthcare CEOs are getting a new job

Regulation, technology, demographics and underlying economics are fueling a contemporary industrial revolution in healthcare. According to Accenture research, 82 percent of healthcare executives agree that their organizations are being increasingly pressed to reinvent themselves before they are disrupted.

Boards will evaluate CEO performance on the basis of membership, market share, wallet share and consumer lifetime value. CEO and leadership responsibilities, competencies, challenges and opportunities will be different from today’s norm as a result.

Fundamental to the CEO’s successful leadership will be the creation of an organizational- and community-based ecosystem in which healthcare transformation can occur. CEOs, with their leadership teams, will set the organizational purpose and North Star—guiding and driving the transformation. The CEO will need new talent along a broader span of control because he or she can’t go it alone.

New leadership roles for the new era of healthcare
CEOs today must expand their leadership teams with skills not historically found in healthcare organizations. Nearly three-quarters of the healthcare CEOs interviewed indicate they have talent gaps. While traditional roles are needed to continue to operate existing business lines, leadership teams are exploring new roles to build out the current roster.

These roles include:

Chief Digital Officer
Navigates the tsunami of technology to implement new systems that allow better consumer connections and innovative care.

Chief Experience Officer (or Chief Consumer Officer)
Fundamentally flips the business model to focus on the consumer, not the physician or hospital. Generally filled with outside talent from consumer-centric industries such as retail and financial services.

Chief Innovation Officer
Drives areas such as clinical innovation and venture capital strategies. Background in a test-and-learn culture, particularly in the start-up arena, can be advantageous. This individual helps separate science from science fiction, helping teams to see the art of the possible.

Transformation Officer
Creates and drives the change agenda, marrying strategy and agility for new results. Usually comes from an organization change management background. Look for an individual who has focused on business and/or culture transformation at a company known for constant reinvention (e.g., entertainment or consumer product companies).

Population Health Officer
Oversees an organization’s payer/risk strategies with a growth agenda in mind and is capable of understanding if, where and how payer disintermediation might occur.

The leading lineup
CEO success will hinge on how well they blend these new sets of skills together with the old to drive better decision-making, execution and innovation. What might feel like a "team of rivals" will need to celebrate their differences and remain ruthlessly focused on their North Star to achieve any hope of successful transformation.

The healthcare CEO gets a new job
Read Accenture's report about how chief executives need to reinvent not only their organizations, but their own position.