"I stay clear of business models. The best thing for CMOs is to always focus on the care delivery model and the evidence. That's supposed to be our expertise," he says. "If you aspire to that, people will respect you, however, that doesn't mean you won't be victim of politics."
CMOs can't be concerned with that, however. If you level the playing field among your nursing and pharmacy peers and ensure that physicians are part of a multidisciplinary team, that helps you weather political storms, he says.
If nursing and other leadership peers are behind the strategy toward standardizing care, then that structure can help break up some of the political storms that come along with the job. But he also counsels CMOs to know what it's like to try to do the job from other members' perspectives.
"What carries a lot of weight is knowing what the challenges are for the frontline staff. I need to be trained on it to have a constructive dialog with people," he says.
For example, one of his clients is in the middle of an Epic IT conversion and he's undertaking 45 hours of training on the system because the implementation is encountering more-than-anticipated challenges.