Transformational Healthcare Leadership: Do your own exercise

‘You can't pay someone else to do your exercise and expect to lose weight.’

Mark O’Brien in conversation with Natalie Smith

In episode 2 of Transformational Healthcare Leadership, Dr Mark O’Brien talks to Natalie Smith, a specialist in digital transformation in health and community services in Australia.

Natalie’s career has been grounded in and around technology projects in a range of industries. In her early career, she was a systems and data engineer, implementing technology for a range of private and public organisations.

More recently Natalie has been specialising in the digital transformation of health and community services. Her roles have included being a partner in Deloitte's risk advisory practice, as well as the chief delivery officer for the state health department in Queensland which is at the forefront of digital health transformation in Australia. She now has a number of significant governance roles in large university, and health and community service organisations in Australia.

I think one of the challenges with digital is that it's invisible. And I think with that, it is harder to measure progress. It is hard to know if you're getting what you've been sold.

She is passionate about helping organisations successfully implement their technology projects to deliver better healthcare. In their conversation Mark talks to Natalie about the role of organisational leaders in transformational projects and her theory of ‘transformational friction’ - the forces at play between the existing organisation and the organisation that's changing.

They also discuss how all layers of an organisation, including boards, need to be involved with, and paying attention to, complex digital transformation – in other words ‘do your own exercise’.

(If you are interested in more stories about transformational leadership in other industries then do listen to our Transformation Leadership series.)

In our Transformational Healthcare Leadership podcast we are talking to leaders from across the globe about the massive disruption in ‘business as usual’ healthcare caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the depth of the workforce exhaustion, and the wave of technological and therapeutic innovations impacting the industry. Throughout this series we will be exploring the five key themes of our Oxford Healthcare Leadership Programme: 

  • the personal leadership journey
  • understanding the evolving environment
  • effective strategy formation
  • driving innovation
  • improving performance

Mark is the programme director and has worked in healthcare since the mid-1980s. He has a lifelong passion for improving the culture and quality of healthcare, and is confident the programme will bring together great minds to help foster lasting change and innovation.