Michael Porter is generally recognized as the father of the modern strategy field and has been identified in a variety of rankings and surveys as the world’s most influential thinker on management and competitiveness. He is also a leading authority on the application of competitive principles to social problems such as health care, the environment, and corporate responsibility. Porter is the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at the Harvard Business and the author of 18 books and over 125 articles. He received a B.S.E. with high honors in aerospace and mechanical engineering from Princeton University in 1969; an M.B.A. with high distinction in 1971 from the Harvard Business School, where he was a George F. Baker Scholar; and a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University in 1973. In 2001, Harvard Business School and Harvard University jointly created the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, dedicated to furthering Porter’s work.
Topic: The Future of Health Care
Michael Porter: Well I could probably say the most about healthcare because that’s an area where I devoted approximately the last five or six years really intensively to try and understand the puzzle of healthcare.
In healthcare, I think we have every opportunity to truly transform the value equation in healthcare if we actually are able to go back and step back from the incremental changes to what we have today, and ask ourselves what would it take for us to create a dramatically higher value system.
I’ve written a lot about this lately and talk about it incessantly now.
Things like, just how you organize care; things like, how you measure success. These things sound very, very simple, but our best guess is that we can get double the value from the amount of money we’re spending today. Or we can get pretty much the same value for half the money we’re spending. That’s the order of magnitude and transformation, and I’m very optimistic about healthcare because I now see enough grassroots, bottom-up effort, and enough belief in the basic framework of that value as how we need to think. And the patient perspective is what we should care about.
I can see a line in sight to a healthcare system that we’ll be proud of, and it will lead the world, and it will be affordable.
Recorded on: June 11, 2007