What Leadership Can Do for You

At the 2015 RLI Summit, radiologists gathered to learn from some of the business industry’s best.


September 2015

August 6–9, 2015, marked another landmark collaboration between one of the nation’s top business schools, Babson College, and the Radiology Leadership Institute® (RLI).

The fourth annual RLI Summit connected attendees with thought leaders in the private, government, and academic radiology sectors for four days of intensive discussions. Topics ranged from marketing to strategic planning to negotiation.

Some of the most intense discussions, however, occurred outside the classroom setting, where topics were discussed and strategies considered. For example, we discussed the implications of IBM’s recent acquisition of Merge Healthcare and explored whether the programming of the Watson supercomputer will be a good or bad development for radiology? One school of thought among attendees was that Watson is infringing on our place in patient care. Others believed that, with the numbers and complexity of imaging increasing, Watson may be able to assist us with the less complex studies, allowing radiologists more time to spend on the complex studies. This potential collaboration may also provide us with more time to spend with our patients, a goal of the Imaging 3.0™ initiative.

We also had the opportunity to learn about the challenges our radiology colleagues are facing. Michael S. Webb Jr., MD, president of Mountain Medical Physician Specialists, shared with us his practice’s struggle to remain independent as Intermountain Healthcare sought to employ the practice. This case was fought all the way to the Utah legislature. Ultimately, Webb’s practice saw success. Strategic planning and fortunate timing (which included, among other things, the timely arrival of a new CEO), helped this radiology group retained its independence.

Syed F. Zaidi, MD, president of Radiology Associates of Canton, and CEO of RadHelp, LLC, shared his successful experience with co-management and radiology population-management strategies at his institution. Samir B. Patel, MD, director of the value management program at Radiology Inc., taught us how to develop a value-added matrix for our radiology departments that has demonstrated value to his referring physicians and C-suite administrators. Patel’s efforts resulted in an invitation to serve on the board of directors of his hospital.

The summit may be over for 2015, but RLI programs continue. We have exciting events happening, including the inauguration of the Level 2 Leadership Accelerator Series, which began September 1, 2015. The Level 2 Leadership Accelerator series is an innovative 12-week online collaborative program that will rapidly accelerate a radiology leader's knowledge in the critical issues required to succeed in today's increasingly complex health care system. The very popular Harvard Emerging Leaders Seminar continues in 2016, and the RLI Summit 2016 is returning to Babson College September 8–11, 2016. Check out the RLI’s website to learn more.

Five Lessons I took from the RLI Summit

1) Scenario planning should be used to think about radiology's future, but we should focus on what might happen in the future rather than what we would like to create.

2) A resonating focus value proposition should be used to develop a sophisticated understanding of how we can provide the greatest value to our customers (hospitals and patients.)

3) One should be able to clearly define the objective, scope and advantage of a radiology practice's strategy. If it is not unique to the practice, it is not a good strategy.

4) Resonant leaders are the best leaders, and an emotionally intelligent leader can improve the results in their organization by an order of magnitude.
5) Superior negotiation is the art of getting the other side to choose what you want for their own reasons.

By Ian A. Weissman, DO

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