The need for executive training investment did not stop there. Dieckert was tasked with developing a "mini-MBA" program, now called the Scott & White Executive Education Program, in 2006. The yearlong program, which starts annually in June, meets every Thursday evening and Friday morning at the UT campus in Austin and is taught by UT business faculty.
"Since then," Dieckert says, "we've trained 150 physicians, nurses, and actually nonphysicians in principles of business management and executive leadership. One of the unforeseen benefits of that was, not only did they learn the principles of leadership, but we saw a lot of networking going on across our system where people were comfortable talking to each other, picking up a phone, and asking for help. Because business education is very much about teamwork, we saw a lot more team-type activity going on amongst these individuals and those that work with them."
While collaborative leadership is embedded throughout the clinical and organizational structure, Dieckert emphasizes that involvement from a variety of team members is still the core value.
"We feel like being purely physician-led is not enough, being purely nursing-led is not enough, and being purely business-led is not enough," Dieckert says. "Just like in business school, when you do a project, you want five or six people who all bring something different to the table. Our physicians have learned that there's value in people who've not been to medical school. Although we are physician-led, that has allowed us to bring some talented business individuals into our leadership team. We really respect these individuals and we depend on them very much. They are a blessing to Scott & White."
This article appears in the December 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.