George Halvorson Says Pay Attention!

The head of Kaiser Permanente offers up advice to fellow CEOs.
  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Question: What is some advice you have for CEOs?

George Halvorson: A couple of pieces of advice. One is, pay attention, understand very, very clearly what is happening, in your environment and in our organization. Don’t work out of theory, or past practice, or history, but have a really clear sense of what is actually happening right now and make sure that if there are any barriers to the truth getting to you that you knock them down, or get them out of the way. So, that’s one step.

The second thing is you should always be looking out to the horizon. You should be looking out over the horizon and have a three to five year planning horizon and know that if things go well, here’s where we want to be five years from now. And to get there, here are the things we have to do in four years, three years, two years. And then build your agenda around that, and don’t build it around being responsive to the crisis of now. You have to deal with the crisis of now. The crisis of now is now. And so that has to be dealt with, but if you are dealing with the crisis of now and you know where you want to be in five years from now, you may go this way instead of that way to get around it. And that’s critically important.

So, yeah, you need to understand where you are going and you need to pay attention. So, if I were giving people advice, those would be the two pieces of advice I would give.

Recorded on: September 21, 2009

 


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