As the chief digital transformation officer and chief innovation officer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Omkar Kulkarni is tasked with devising and building solutions that enhance the experience and outcomes for the children and families the hospital serves. He says the key to any successful project is focusing on the end user.
“I always think about who this is for and what their objective is—how will this project affect them?” Kulkarni says. “I always keep that as a central principle and challenge myself to build something the customer will love—not just what they would want.”
Kulkarni says he and his team are “kind of obsessed” with meeting the customer’s needs and drive hard toward the goal of building solutions their customers will love—especially understanding they’re often working to improve the lives of the hospital’s patients and their parents. But he adds the same approach is crucial to maintaining quality for his internal clients as well.
“When we have an initiative that impacts our IT team and the people who report to me, I think about that. I want to make sure I communicate things properly and advocate for them so I can deliver what they're looking for,” Kulkarni says.
In the end, Kulkarni says this customer-centric mantra aligns with a key leadership quality: empathy.
“If you're empathetic, you know what the customer wants because you're trying to put yourself into their shoes,” Kulkarni says. “Empathy is the leadership trait that a lot of this flows from, but it's also a very deliberate evaluation of how to provide customers with what they need.”