Learning Activity 2 (addresses power and influence)
View Office Politics
This video uses the word manager and leader interchangeably. Keep in mind that the role of the leader is to make all employees followers.
Using the facts below explain how Reid can get around the office politics and make his decision to his satisfaction and for the best interests of the organization. Be
careful to include in your discussion the types of power and the tools that help make leadership happen.
THE UNHEALTHY HOSPITAL
When Bruce Reid was hired as Blake Memorial Hospital’s new CEO, the mandate had been clear: Improve the quality of care, and set the financial house in order.
As Reid struggled to finalize his budget for approval at next week’s board meeting, his attention kept returning to one issue—the future of six off-site clinics. The
clinics had been set up six years earlier to provide primary health care to the community’s poorer neighborhoods. Although they provided a valuable service, they also
diverted funds away from Blake’s in-house services, many of which were underfunded. Cutting hospital personnel and freezing salaries could affect Blake’s quality of
care that was already slipping. Eliminating the clinics, on the other hand, would save $256,000 without compromising Blake’s internal operations.
However, there would be political consequences. Clara Bryant, the recently appointed commissioner of health services, repeatedly insisted that the clinics were an
essential service for the poor. Closing the clinics could also jeopardize Blake’s access to city funds. Dr. Winston Lee, chief of surgery, argued forcefully for
closing the off-site clinics and having shuttle buses bring patients to the hospital weekly. Dr. Susan Russell, the hospital’s director of clinics, was equally vocal
about Blake’s responsibility to the community, and suggested an entirely new way of delivering health care: “A hospital is not a building,” she said, “It’s a service.
And wherever the service is needed, that is where the hospital should be.” In Blake’s case, that meant funding more clinics. Russell wanted to create a network of
neighborhood-based centers for all the surrounding neighborhoods, poor and middle income. Besides improving health care, the network would act as an inpatient referral
system for hospital services. Reid considered the proposal: If a clinic network could tap the paying public and generate more inpatient business, it might be worth
looking into. Blake’s rival hospital, located on the affluent side of town, certainly wasn’t doing anything that creative. Reid was concerned, however, that whichever
way he decided, he was going to make enemies.
Source: Based on Anthony R. Kovner, “The Case of the Unhealthy Hospital,” Harvard Business Review (September–October 1991), pp. 12–25
At some point in leadership, Blake should realize that it is not always a smooth flow of policies and changes and therefore not everybody would agree with him. In the
case, he would need to remodel his presentation and intentions in a more understandable way. They will have to take his position and with time, it will be part of
Learning Activity 3
Use the article from your reading from Gitomer and debate the statement above. Research and both sides must be presented to support your argument.
Influence without authority is meaningless.
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