• Article
  • October 12, 2017

Leadership Tip: Disrupt the Chain of Command

Michael Apkon, M.D., MBA, Ph.D., has been president and CEO of The Hospital for Sick Kids (SickKids) in Toronto, Ontario, since January 2014. Before heading to Toronto, he spent years as a pediatric physician and senior executive in U.S. children's hospitals, including The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Yale New Haven Children's Hospital in Connecticut. Children's Hospitals Today asked this seasoned health care leader to share a piece of advice for children's hospitals on both sides of the border.

Gain an understanding

"One thing I focus on a lot is closing the distance between the executive team and the teams working on the front lines. We want to ensure that we fully understand how everything we do at the executive level affects the experience of everyone on the front lines. The key is to understand their priorities, and make sure there is an active two-way dialogue as much as possible."

Don't wait around for information

"Somebody once told me that information never leaks up in an organization. The trick is figuring out how to get to the information where it is. This doesn't happen by going through the chain of command. It happens when you disrupt the chain of command and proactively create opportunities for executives to interact with front-line caregivers and non-caregivers."

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