At Cigna, we continue to tackle the toughest challenges, and in the process, focus on the most pressing issues impacting our customers, clients, patients, and other stakeholders today. For me, this means using technology, data, and analytics to make healthcare more personal and affordable, expand choice, and improve whole person health and well-being—ultimately giving those we serve peace of mind.
But to use a common phrase, we need to be skating to where the puck is going. Leaders are required to anticipate and address the challenges and opportunities that we’ll confront tomorrow. Taking this long view, and having this insight, prepares an organization to influence the environment, rather than react to it. It enables you to be there for your customers today and in the future as the marketplace changes.
To best put the future into focus, I recommend a clear lens aimed on three areas: continuous learning, servant leadership, and an outside-in, customer-first view.
1. Continuous learning: Stay curious
Education and continuous learning level the playing field. With the move to more value-based care, the need for evidence-based medicine—as well as the explosive growth of digital engagement—healthcare has never been more complex.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to stay current. The best leaders in our industry benefit from not only relentlessly pursuing knowledge within the health care sector, but also more broadly across other industries. This holistic view of the world helps us understand and plan around potential market influencers and disruptors.
Related article: Five Ways Digitization Will Impact Healthcare in 2019
For example, in healthcare, we’re witnessing the digital disruption and drive to retail-centricity that many other industries such as media, retail, and consumer finance have already seen. By studying the broader dynamics of other sectors, the disruptors, the market winners and losers, and the forces that influence change, you can navigate and come out on top. Forward-looking leaders remain curious throughout their careers and find opportunities to keep learning; it’s the only way to stay relevant. This means both formal and informal learning. And reading everything you can makes for a better leader and more informed influencer.
2. Servant leadership: The role of empathy
An organization is only as good as its people. Take care of your people and you in turn take care of your customers. I would suggest then modeling the behaviors you want your teams to embrace; most importantly, show caring values in words and actions.
At Cigna, we are laser focused on attracting, developing, and retaining top talent; it is the essential element for future growth. A new generation of talent is entering the workforce: Generation Z. This generation is predicted to change the norms of the workplace by putting culture and experience first in what they’re looking for from their employers. Leaders may need to break out of their comfort zones when it comes to managing Gen Z talent.