Numerous organizations run crowdsourced innovation programs, because companies can find better new ideas and take action on those ideas faster. This process allows companies to set a challenge and gather ideas from hundreds, thousands, or hundreds of thousands of participants.
Organizations maintain and manage many different kinds of resources. Managing them can get complicated, considering all of their components and the potential risks that they bring. Not only do they have to be allocated properly, but there need to be safety nets set in place for potential mistakes and legal consequences.
In the glitter of leadership, management seems to have lost its appeal. Much like the glamor of strategy seems to have overshadowed the indispensability of operations. Can a leader really succeed without superior management skills? CIOs cannot create business value without understanding how to manage their organization to perform at its peak.
Toward that end, this week, we are referring you to an excellent discussion on management. This e-book covers the essentials of managing an organization – it makes the case for effective management and show the path to becoming an effective manager.
Amazon thinks the cloud can make hospitals run better.
The company’s Amazon Web Services unit is sponsoring a program at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) that applies machine learning to improve hospital efficiency. The initiative will focus on clinical care, operations and waste reduction, which Amazon said will ultimately improve patient care.
The Amazon grant will supply as much as $2 million to machine learning research, Bloomberg reported.
“Every minute spent on cumbersome clerical tasks and management adds up to millions in lost productivity and directly impacts patient care,” Dr. John Halamka, executive director of the Health Technology Exploration Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said in a statement.
This is yet another push by Amazon into health, where it is in fierce competition with fellow tech giants Microsoft, Apple and Google. Late last year, the company’s cloud division unveiled a service to mine and decode medical records called Amazon Comprehend Medical.
The Harvard learning hospital is going after the boring stuff first. Two ongoing projects that aim to improve operating room scheduling and document management can save the hospital staff time and help avoid errors and delays, Amazon said.
Another project is working to identify which patients are likely to skip an appointment and send them reminders. In the future, BIDMC will use machine learning to predict when the hospital can expect high volumes of incoming patients and where there might be free space.
The Boston-based hospital is using tools like Amazon SageMaker, Amazon Comprehend Medical, Apache MXNet and Tensorflow, which are hosted in on AWS.
“BIDMC’s innovations using AWS machine learning services like Amazon SageMaker will ultimately pave the way for other healthcare providers to save lives and reduce costs for patients nationwide,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, VP of machine learning at AWS.
As the CEO of Adaptive Biotechnologies, Chad Robins has shown a knack for turning really good ideas into a viable business. But even Robins admits that he makes for an unlikely leader of a biotechnology company.
Adaptive dates back to a phone call Robins received ten years ago from his brother, Harlan Robins, saying he’d made a discovery that he thought could “change the world.” Chad Robins jumped at the chance to start a biotech based on sequencing the immune system.
While in college at Cornell, Robins spent more than three months on a backpacking trek with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).
“My whole leadership style to this day is based on those 100 days in the wilderness,” Robins said.
“There was a thing called expedition behavior and … at the end of the day it’s just do your sh*t and be a good person. Do the right thing, right?”
While hiking in the desert, Robins was part of a group, and each member had a job to do when they got to the campsite. “If one of those people didn’t do their job, you either wouldn’t drink, you wouldn’t eat, or you wouldn’t sleep well,” he said. “If I was mailing it in, someone else was picking it up. And that’s not fair.”
His love of the outdoors led Robins to his first attempt at launching a business. Soon after graduating, Robins started an outdoor luxury travel company called American Beauty, named after the Grateful Dead album.
Lesson #2: Learn to love fundraising
“I love fundraising” isn’t a phrase you hear often, but that’s exactly how Robins feels. As he sees it, his job is to make sure the company has the money it needs.
“I try to simplify a CEOs job into really three categories: money, people, strategy. If you don’t have money, you can’t get the right people. And if you don’t have the right people, it doesn’t matter what strategy you set,” he said.
Fundraising has also led Robins to Brian Kaufmann from Viking Global Investors, who helped Adaptive find its strategy and set fundraising targets.
The biotech industry requires mountains of cash to stay competitive, which has spurred Adaptive to raise more than $400 million to date.
Lesson #3: Build culture from the top-down and the bottom-up
When companies talk about management strategies, they often discuss either ruling from the “top-down” or encouraging grassroots change from the “bottom-up.”
For Robins, building a company culture requires doing both at the same time.
“First and foremost, you have to have a cultural leader. And that should be the CEO, who sets a tone of what you want this company to be,” he said.
On the flip side, cultivating culture from the bottom-up comes down to smart hiring. “We want to be an innovative company overall and we want to be compared to the disruptive, game-changing companies across the board. To do that, you need to hire for the right mindset and the right type of person.”
For Robins, the right type of person is one who has good ideas and is eager to listen and encourage debate within the company.