October 26, 2016

Organizing for Success: Positioning UAB Medicine for the future

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In his book “Good to Great,” business consultant Jim Collins says that “Greatness is not a matter of circumstance. Greatness … is largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline.”

This quote, to me signifies an important challenge that’s facing UAB Medicine as an academic health center: pairing the desire to grow and be a national leader across our mission areas with a tailored strategic direction that will allow leaders to intentionally transform the organization.

You’ve probably heard of AMC21, the UAB Medicine strategic plan to lead the organization as the preferred academic medical center of the 21st century. The Joint Operating Leadership identified four primary benchmarks that would help define the organization as “preferred:”

  • Top 10 in Quality
  • Top 10 percent in Patient Satisfaction
  • Top 20 in NIH funding
  • A destination for top talent

UAB Medicine has a strong foundation of quality and achievement to build upon, but so far our organizational growth has been largely evolutionary—adapting to changes we had to make to be competitive. This evolutionary change is no longer enough. In order to move from the “good” of UAB Medicine today to the “great” of UAB Medicine as the Preferred Academic Medical Center, change must be intentional and transformational.

What do I mean by that? This idea of intentional, transformational growth is the vision of UAB growing under the goals of a unified mission— believing that what is good for our academic mission is good for the clinical mission and what is good for the clinical mission is beneficial to the academic mission. Growth isn’t just recruitment and increased extramural funding, but increasing our scientific impact into research and discovery, providing a foundation for new discoveries that will impact the treatment of our patients and training the next generation of physicians and scientists. The mutual synergy of the academic, clinical and research pieces of our mission are the key to innovation and transformational growth.

This is the first in a series of messages I’ll be sharing about growth for UAB Medicine and the Organizing for Success initiative. Next month, I’ll share more specific details about our next steps as we work together to achieve this growth as well as address questions that we’ve heard these last few months in discussions regarding Organizing for Success.
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