Market Forces Part #2 – Weekend Reflections for Leaders: February 23, 2019

In early March, I will be releasing my book, Looking Back – What I Learned When I Left a Great Company. There is a section of the book that discusses market forces in healthcare that are beginning to shift the foundation of healthcare in the US and across the developed world.

In follow-up to last week’s Weekend Reflection of Leaders Part #1 message on the role of AI and predictive analytics rapidly changing healthcare, this week’s message focuses on another dominant force changing healthcare today.

As senior executives and the top talent on their teams prepare to build a sustainable business in the years to come, these market forces need to be accounted for in their plans. Even though I describe these forces in the context of healthcare, these forces are making a meaningful and measurable impact on just about every industry today.

Market Force #2:

Non-traditional players are shaping the healthcare of tomorrow

Most large companies in the United States are self-insured and many innovative and forward-looking companies are aggressively looking for more efficient systems to better manage healthcare for their employees and families. Many of these companies account for millions of patient lives in the United States and as they make dramatic decisions to change the system, the inefficiencies in healthcare as we know it today will rapidly disappear.

The strategic thinking and absolutely brilliant minds running some of the most forward-thinking companies in the world that bring forth innovations to improve our lives in so many areas, along with the capital to scale virtually overnight, will rapidly bring that innovation to address the inefficiencies in healthcare.

The announcement of Amazon, J.P. Morgan, and Berkshire Hathaway teaming up to make healthcare more efficient and effective is just the tip of the iceberg that will drive massive change in traditional healthcare. The efforts of the innovative leaders in these companies and others like them will change the healthcare landscape in years rather than decades.

“On the question of healthcare…if you zoom out into the future and you ask the question, ‘What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind,’ it will be about health. We are taking what has been with the institution and empowering the individual to manage their health. And we’re just at the front end of this.” Tim Cook, CEO of Apple.

Healthcare product companies need to be proactive and aggressive in building products and services that meet the needs of those shaping healthcare for tomorrow as the demise of traditional healthcare is rapidly approaching. If senior executives in healthcare product companies are building company and product value propositions focused on the traditional decision makers like pharmacy and therapeutic committees in health systems, the health economic requirements of insurance companies, and government agencies, etc., without putting a premium on understanding the needs of the future decision-makers in healthcare (the leaders of innovative, non-healthcare, self-insured companies), they are putting their company’s future growth at significant risk.

As senior executives prepare their 3- to 5-year strategic plans, if the over-arching theme, when you strip away all the great business school buzzwords and window dressing, leaves you with the simple, parochial strategy of just doing what we have been doing a little better and more efficiently in the future, then it will be the beginning of the end of a once great company. The forces of change presently addressing healthcare will not be kind or patient with those leaders who maintain a death-grip on an inflexible, traditional healthcare model.

Senior executives and the top talent on their teams need to allocate a significant amount of time and attention to proactively addressing these market forces in order to minimize the risk of leading a once great business into a steady decline into the future.

What if I were to ask you, “What is the most difficult leadership challenge you are facing today?” What would you say?

Here are a few resources to help:

  1. Download FREE resources at
  2. Contact me. Email: (M) 269-370-9275

David Esposito

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