Thought leadership

Appreciative Inquiry. Creative Listening.

Appreciative Inquiry. Creative Listening.

Recently the Gallagher Consultants invited three clients to share practical ideas about how their organizations are finding sustained successes in an era of population health and value based payments. The three executives represented a large and growing physician group, a system of senior services centers, and a chief strategy officer of a children’s hospital and were asked to  respond to these three questions:


  • What are the largest challenges facing your vitality through 2020?
  • What investments are you making to enhance your success over the next few years?
  • How can outside resources best engage with you to address these threats and opportunities?

An active conversation among the panelists and Gallagher staff surfaced revealing these observations:


1. What are the largest challenges you are addressing to secure your organizational vitality through 2020? Three key insights were shared:

  • 1. Uncertain sources of revenue due to changing state and federal payment policies. The unresolved debate over how best to refine the coverage and payment to health providers within the Accountable Care Act (ObamaCare) is creating confusion and an inability to develop clear strategies of how clients can best optimize their sources of revenues. 
  • 2. As the healthcare sector is a labor intensive industry, a growing shortage of health professionals and workers is constraining client capacity to achieve quality and growth goals.
  • 3. Clients need better data that can be transformed into information for enhanced and more effective program planning, higher quality services, and more cost effective operational performance.

2. What investments are you making to enhance your success over the next few years? Three bold insights surfaced in the conversation:

  • 1. Expanded investments into complex and expensive information systems that can help:
    • Better understand the needs of our patients and stakeholders with chronic care needs;

      Better mobilize our staff planning to ensure high quality services delivery; and

      Be more accurate in our billing to government and commercial purchasers.

  • 2. Strengthen human resources systems and compensation that attracts and continuously improves the capabilities of our physicians and health workforce. Success is dependent on modern talent management in markets where there are growing shortages of primary care physicians, health navigators, nurses and allied health workers.

    3. Expand a reliance on modern communication and monitoring technologies for care management by interdisciplinary teams, and that can enable patient collaboration in care coordination, and a wiser use of expensive services, pharmaceuticals and facilities.

3. What are the most important resources in identifying these threats and opportunities? 

  • 1. Bring Data to the Table: robust data is needed that represenes claims, market, and risk management information to help better plan and implement their business strategies, program and service delivery initiatives.

  • 2. Provide Talent Development Resources: teaming with the right partner to invest in creative talent capacity enhancements via:

    • Health worker and physician recruitment and onboarding tools, strategies, and training

      Creative compensation and benefits designs

      Performance management systems/strategies

  • 3. Support enhanced physician and hlth worker engagement: implement surveys that offer cost effective and customizable tools to assess and empower expanded employee, physician, and board understanding of, and engagement in, programs for strategic and sustained vitality.

James A. Rice

Jim Rice, PhD, FACHE is the Managing Director & Practice Leader with the Governance & Leadership service line of Gallagher’s Human Resources & Compensation Consulting practice. He focuses his consulting work on strategic governance structures and systems for high performing, tax-exempt nonprofit, credit union and health sector organizations and integrated care systems; visioning for large and small not-for-profit organizations; and leadership development for Boards and C-Suite Senior Leaders. 

Dr. Rice holds masters and doctoral degrees in ...

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