Category Archives: Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and the Life Sciences

Angèle Beausoleil: “Design is the bridge”

Rosemary Hannam, Senior Research Associate with the Centre for Health Sector Strategy at Rotman, recently sat down with Angèle Beausoleil, Assistant Professor, Business Design and Innovation. Their talk focused on what Angèle would bring to Rotman’s Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and The Life Sciences (GEMBA-HLS) and what students can expect in the San Francisco module of the program.

Rosemary: I understand you’ve recently come to us from the West Coast. We’re thrilled to welcome you to Rotman, and to the GEMBA-HLS program. Could you give us a quick overview of what you’ll be teaching for us in the program?

A woman looking at the camera

Angèle Beausoleil, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream — Business Design and Innovation

Angèle: I will be designing and delivering a course that integrates design thinking into healthcare innovation. At Rotman we have pioneered a methodology called Business Design™. Business Design takes our students through a process of understanding and applying human-centred design principles and methods to business innovation activities. The course offers foundational knowledge on the innovation process and weaves practical frameworks and techniques in first need or problem finding, then problem framing and finally problem solving.

Rosemary: Your course will be delivered in San Francisco in Module 2, along with our Digital Health course. I understand you’ve spent quite a bit of time there. How will you take advantage of the location? What types of experiences can your students expect to have?

Angèle: Yes, I am a recovering entrepreneur and former executive, having worked with many San Francisco-based organizations on educational and technological initiatives over the past 30 years. Following my recently completed PhD from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, I was recruited to UC Berkeley Haas to teach an applied innovation and design course for executive MBAs, similar to the course I’ll be teaching in this program. The San Francisco and greater ‘Bay Area’ location is very relevant to this course, as it has evolved into one of the largest design centres in the world where firms are integrating design into technological and social innovations. Agencies, R&D firms and corporations have been able to demonstrate how design is the bridge between research and development, art and engineering, technical performance and human behavior.

This intensive business design course for the GEMBA-HLS will integrate course modules with site visits. The course modules offer the building blocks to truly understand the innovation process, and how to apply design principles and techniques to find, frame and solve business challenges relevant to their industry. The site visits offer the student the opportunity to engage with executives from these firms and take a look at how they’re applying design principles in day-to-day practice. This experiential course will have a live healthcare case for the students to apply their learning to – increasing their level of fluency with design.

Specifically, the students will apply ‘lean ethnography’ methods, such as observations and interactions in the field, to the live business challenge in an effort to build empathy and discover deep user insights. From the data collected, they will use design-driven data analysis and synthesis techniques to frame the challenge through the lens of the user/patient/stakeholder. From this critical framing phase, the students will then iterate potential solutions based on the key insights and propose one as an innovation.

Rosemary: Overall, what is unique about the healthcare and life sciences sector in San Francisco?

Angèle: With the advent of successful innovators from the engineering and technology sectors, we are seeing a move toward applying patient and user-centred mindset to healthcare and life sciences. For example, universities, foundations, and governments are applying “design thinking” to their missions. For the past few years, Apple has been aggressively hiring healthcare-related talent. Most recently, they recruited our very own Dr Mike Evans, a physician from St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and an associate professor of family and community medicine at the University of Toronto. Overall, the Bay Area is one jurisdiction actively integrating design into digital technologies as a way forward to transform their current healthcare systems, and we’ll be taking a first-hand look at how it’s done.

Angèle Beausoleil is the assistant professor, teaching stream of Business Design and Innovation at Rotman. She has a PhD in Innovation and Design Pedagogy from the University of British Columbia. She is a visiting lecturer at UC Berkeley Haas, having received a “top teacher award” for her applied innovation MBA courses, and was formerly an adjunct professor at the Sauder School of Business, at the University of British Columbia. She teaches human-centred design for business innovation, design research, creativity and innovation management at Rotman. She leads teaching-related research with organizations in technology, healthcare, consulting and creative sectors in Canada, US and Mexico. Her research is focused on studying teaching and learning methods for design and innovation fluency. Prior to graduate studies, she held executive positions in marketing, strategy and innovation for Canadian, North American and global agencies and corporations. During her 25 years in industry, she garnered over 20 international awards for educational products, service design and digital platforms. She has held board directorships with Telus Health, Interface Health, Vancouver International Film Society and Merging Media.

Read more about Rotman’s Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and The Life Sciences.

Singapore: A Global Destination for Healthcare Management

Rosemary Hannam, Senior Research Associate with the Centre for Health Sector Strategy at Rotman, recently sat down with Professor Will Mitchell. The interview below focuses on what students in Rotman’s Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and the Life Sciences can expect in Singapore, and why this is a global destination for healthcare management.

 

Rosemary:  Professor Mitchell, congratulations on launching the new Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and the Life Sciences. I hear the response has been tremendous so far.

Will:  Thanks Rosemary, we’re really pleased with the number and quality of the applicants so far.  The class is shaping up beautifully.

Rosemary:  That’s just terrific.  Clearly, you’ve designed a program that fills a need in the MBA market.

Professor Will Mitchell with a student

Professor Will Mitchell with a student

Will:  We believe so.  The combination of the MBA, customized for the healthcare industry and delivered in a modular format for the working professional, with a focus on global best practices, is really resonating with the sector.

Rosemary:  That’s great to hear.  The global nature of the program is particularly unique, and it would be interesting to know more about that aspect of the program design.  Let’s focus on the global destinations, specifically Singapore, one of three cities you visit in the program.  As I understand, there are six residency periods, four in Toronto, one in San Francisco and one in Singapore.  Why did you choose Singapore?

Will: It’s a good question, and it wasn’t easy to decide.  We spent quite a bit of time speaking with other faculty and leaders in the field regarding possible destinations, and many options came forward.  After some weeks Singapore emerged as a clear winner, for several reasons.

Overall, the country is a centre of excellence for care delivery, health and clinical research, the biomedical and life science industries, and technological innovation.

From a care delivery perspective, Singapore has one of the best health systems in the world.  They deliver high quality services for a reasonable amount – only 4.9%[1] of GDP is spent on health, compared to 10.5% spent in Canada, 17.1% in the U.S., and 11.7% even in highly regarded health systems such as Switzerland.  The services are funded by mandated private insurance for individuals, with a fall-back option for those without employment.

From a commercial perspective there are many global health and life sciences firms in the pharma and med tech sectors that have headquarters in Singapore to serve the Asian markets.  For example, Novartis Alcon, GE, and Johnson & Johnson.

From a technology perspective, Singapore has developed and implemented many innovative solutions, such as a National Electronic Health Record program launched in 2011, and telehealth and telemedicine are both used expensively throughout the country.

The Singapore market itself is small but sophisticated, and close to the quickly emerging markets in Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and close to India and China.

It’s a small place, easy to get around, and the population is a mix of Singapore natives and expats on short term assignments.  We’ll spend 7 days there in early July, and while we’re there we’ll take full advantage of the local environment and provide opportunities to learn about a major growth region.  We’ll hear from executives about their experiences, visit facilities, and potentially engage in local projects.

The region also offers an opportunity to compare emerging strategies – for example, we’ll be able to see how a company’s strategy for Vietnam, an emerging market, is different than one for Thailand, which is more developed.  It’s also an opportunity to learn about how companies are tackling huge growing markets such as China and India.

Rosemary:  Wow, that’s very convincing.  How are you going to pack all that into 7 days, with school work as well?

Will: Two ways – One, the local experiences are designed to cover specific learning objectives, so some of the hours spent engaged with senior executives will count as our class time, and two, we’ll cover as much material as we can using our distance learning platform before and after the trip, to free up hours to studying the local industry when we’re there.

Rosemary:  That makes good sense, thank you.  Any other comments for us?

Will:  Come and join us, it’s going to be a fantastic learning opportunity!

For more information on Singapore see Quora.

[1] https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.XPD.TOTL.ZS?locations=SG (retrieved Feb 16, 2018)

The Leadership Development Program: An Integral Piece of the Executive MBAs at Rotman

We hear again and again from students and alumni that one of their top reasons for choosing Rotman is our expertise in leadership training. Being a great leader and being a great manager are two very different pieces. We take pride in helping managers and executives become powerful leaders using a personal approach. With that in mind, we sat down with Professor Scott Rutherford who is truly an expert in leadership training.

Scott Rutherford Associate Professor, Faculty-at-Large

Scott Rutherford
Associate Professor, Faculty-at-Large

Prof. Rutherford teaches courses in leadership and management consulting, business problem solving and integrative thinking as well as working within . Additionally, he works with McKinsey & Company and their clients on topics such as Leadership Development and Top Team Strategy & Alignment. But one piece we were particularly interested in was Rotman’s Leadership Development Program, which is available to students in Rotman’s Executive MBA programs: the One-year Executive MBA, the Global Executive MBA and the new Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and the Life Sciences.

Rotman: Tell us about the Leadership Development Program.

Rutherford: The Leadership Development Program at Rotman provides some important connective-tissue between curricular and co-curricular offerings. It helps students leverage their concurrent work experiences and integrate what they are learning into a coherent, informed and intentional journey of professional and personal development.

Rutherford: The work of the program is spread across the entire Executive MBA experience, but the cornerstone of the program is a two day, offsite residential Leadership Retreat that helps to catalyze and accelerate the transformational leadership development journey that the students have embarked upon.

Rotman: What kind of impact can students expect as an outcome of the program?

Rutherford: Executive MBA students will learn an amazing number of new and valuable ideas and concepts, and also practice new skills. The real impact of the Leadership Development Program extends these new ways of thinking and doing into new ways of being. They learn new ways of showing up in the room and in the world.

Rutherford: We encourage students to step back from their success so far in life, take stock, and give themselves permission to step into a new sense of professional identity and become more the leader that they aspire to become.

Rotman: How does the Leadership Development Program tie back into everything else students will learn during their Executive MBA?

Rutherford:  In a way, everything students will do during their Executive MBA experience at Rotman will be part of their Leadership Development Program. That is, one definition of leadership is the ability to bring about a desired future for oneself and others. Therefore at the very beginning of their Rotman experience, we ask students to imagine and articulate their desired future as a result of this period of intense work and study at this point in their lives.

Rutherford: The rest of the Leadership Development Program, and indeed the MBA itself, is focused on helping students bring about their desired future by offering new ways of thinking, acting and being. We do that by providing rich learning and experiences with regular developmental feedback and, most importantly, supporting the active co-development of the entire cohort through sharing of experiences, challenges and successes.

Rotman: You’ve been running the Leadership Development Program for a few years now. Can you tell us about some of the tangible changes you’ve seen in students and alumni?

Rutherford: The tangible changes we’ve seen to date from this program include accelerated career progression, successful transitions to new regions, countries and industries, and many other key indicators of professional growth and development.

Rutherford: I’m particularly proud of those students that have extended their leadership development success from the professional space into their broader ‘life’ space, and feel in a much better place not just at work, but at home and in other life pursuits. I believe these students are now more inspiring to others by becoming more inspired themselves.

Dr. Amir Sheik-Yousouf: Leadership and Business Education for Healthcare

The Canadian health sector is an intersection of economic and political priorities. This industry is on the verge of significant change due to pressure for a more sustainable, cost-effective, and integrated system across all provinces and territories. As the industry changes and adapts, our health leaders need to change and adapt as well.

Physicians like Dr. Amir Sheik-Yousouf, who specializes in internal medicine, are already ahead of the curve. Amir is on the verge of completing Rotman’s One-Year Executive MBA while maintaining his practice.

Thinking across silos

Photo of Dr. Amir Sheik-Yousouf

Dr. Amir Sheik-Yousouf

“If I look at my training as a physician, there are a lot of aspects of teamwork, personal and organizational leadership that I would have wanted to gain,” says Amir. “The Executive MBA has taught me to think outside of the box. Where perhaps I might have always used the lens of a physician or the way that I understood healthcare I can now appreciate it in a deeper manner, looking at the financial aspect of it, to even how we manage the people within the system.”

One of the major challenges of our current healthcare system is a lack of communication and collaboration across organizations, regions, and other boundaries. Each province has its own approach to care, often duplicating the work put into other provincial systems. By learning how to step back and look at the full value chain, physicians like Amir can position themselves as innovative leaders, ready to ensure our system evolves to become more effective and cohesive.

But it’s not just key business knowledge or new ways of thinking that Amir is getting out of his MBA. “One aspect of the program that I found very useful was the 360̊. It comprises of selecting peers — our managers, subordinates, and anyone else we think would be relevant — to give us an appropriate evaluation. That feedback was very useful in how I could perhaps change the way I work.”

An MBA that fits

Each professional MBA program offered at Rotman is designed to fit around the busy schedules of our students, and finding the right one often requires a combination of planning and research. The schedule of Amir’s One-Year Executive MBA was one of many key factors in his decision to attend Rotman. “Being a physician, doing an MBA program that would fit within my timetable was essential,” he says. “I had to make sure that I had applied a year in advance so that I could arrange my schedule to cater for it.”

The Rotman School focuses on helping leaders and future leaders succeed. Participants receive a personal leadership plan, one-on-one coaching, and experiential learning about a variety of topics, including personal leadership. “At the end of the day, when I compared programs across other universities, there wasn’t one that gave the reputation of U of T and Rotman, and neither was there one that I found that catered for my needs as a potential health care leader. The leadership component was what really drew me to the program.”

Amir said he applies what he has learned about management in his practice, especially the personal skills and leadership skills. “Now that people know I’m doing an MBA, they actually approach me to help them with projects. Most recently it was a staffing project within our Intensive Care Unit, which I helped the nurse manager with. So my skills certainly help, but there’s also the recognition that Amir is potentially someone who can help or a potential leader.”

At the end of his MBA, Amir will have developed the robust business and transformational leadership skills he needs to take his career, and our health systems, to the next level. “Taking your vision of yourself and the world to a different level I think is very useful.”
Rotman’s Global Executive MBA for Healthcare & the Life Sciences is designed to accelerate your career in a world of unprecedented health sector business and leadership opportunities. Applications are currently open for the inaugural 2018 class.

Rotman’s Executive Diagnostic Test for Executive MBAs

One difference between the Executive MBA Programs and the other MBA programs offered at Rotman, is the Executive Diagnostic Test (EDT). All candidates who have an undergraduate degree from a recognized university have an option to complete this test instead of the GMAT  in order to be considered for admission to any of Rotman’s Executive MBA programs.

Obtaining a successful EDT score ensures that each class is comprised of the highest quality students – those with both the necessary skills, but also the motivation to be successful. At Rotman you’ll be challenged and motivated every day by your classmates, an exceptional group of professionals who will enrich your learning and form a strong network you can leverage long after you graduate.

The EDT was developed by Rotman’s world-class faculty and focuses on key topics that will be used in several MBA courses. The test has three sections: math, graphing, and logic and reasoning. It takes approximately three hours to write. A passing grade is 80% or higher on each of the three sections, and typically, students receive feedback on their test within 72 hours. You can write the test up to three times.

One of the benefits of the EDT over the GMAT is that it requires significantly less preparation time. We provide you with all the information you need in order to prepare for and pass the test. You will receive a Math Help Guide, an EDT Workbook, and access to our EDT portal. The portal contains additional information about the EDT, including ten online video tutorials, each addressing a different topic.

Each month we offer free in-person tutorials at Rotman from 6:00 to 9:30 pm on two consecutive nights, and if you arrive early, you can enjoy a buffet dinner starting at 5:30pm. Each night covers different topics, so it’s important to attend both sessions if you can. Candidates who are out-of-province or overseas are offered additional online support in lieu of the in-person tutorials.

The first step in the admissions process for any of our Executive MBAs is to send us your resume. We review it and if we see you meet the requirements in terms of work and managerial experience, you will be invited for an interview. If the interview is successful, we will invite you to write the EDT and will give you access to all the free resources available to prepare and succeed in the test.

You can learn more about Rotman’s Executive Diagnostic Test here.

Better Now: Danielle Martin on Six Big Ideas to Improve Healthcare

Each year, Rotman hosts approximately 100 public talks by international bestselling authors, top management executives, and other influential thought leaders. On October 4th, Dr. Danielle Martin addressed an audience of healthcare, life science, and business professionals about her book Better Now: Six Big Ideas to Improve Healthcare for All Canadians.

Dr. Martin is Vice-President, Medical Affairs & Health System Solutions and also serves as a family physician at Women’s College Hospital. Her experience and insights into healthcare make her uniquely qualified to address the specific challenges facing our country today.

Brian Golden, Vice-Dean, MBA Programs with Dr. Danielle Martin

Brian Golden, Vice-Dean, MBA Programs with Dr. Danielle Martin

Brian Golden, Vice-Dean, MBA Programs and Program Director for Rotman’s new Global Executive MBA for Healthcare & the Life Sciences introduced Dr. Martin.

Dr. Martin began her talk noting that as a nation, Canada has a great reputation for healthcare and health outcomes. A child born in Canada today has a life expectancy of over 82 years – an excellent measure of our success. But we now spend over 10% of our GDP on healthcare. That is far less than what America spends, but far more than comparable countries elsewhere. At the provincial level, healthcare takes up more than 40% of the annual budget, and rising.

She noted that healthcare systems are, of course, about much more than money and medicine. They’re about the values that define us as a society. Ask Canadians about what the important elements of the Canadian identity are, and chances are they will mention healthcare. We love to talk about the successes of our health systems, but we are less interested in discussing the challenges that lead to rising costs, to lowered quality of life, and to poor patient experience.

But, Dr. Martin says, if we don’t talk about these issues, we’ll miss opportunities to make changes that would have a huge impact.  For example, the current Canadian system is full of problems that cause us to pay far more for the drugs we buy than other countries.  Plans and coverages are inconsistent, inefficient bureaucracies are abundant, and fragmentation works against economics of scale, driving up costs. The cost of private drug plans negatively impacts our individual lives and drags down our economy.

Small and medium-sized businesses feel as though they need to choose between their bottom lines and supporting their employees with comprehensive benefit plans. Precarious and part-time work is on the rise, and will not go away here or elsewhere in the world, which means we are going to be failing increasing numbers of Canadians each year who will not receive healthcare benefits from their employer. That’s not just for low-income Canadians, either. It includes people who are self-employed, such as highly paid consultants and lawyers.  Having a chronic condition could mean being tied to an employer with a strong benefits package, eliminating the freedom to start a new firm or small business.

Solutions like OHIP Plus cover Ontarians over 65 or under 25, but leave the middle range, which contains the majority of people who have chronic diseases, without coverage. These people experience early stage issues that, when not addressed, lead to huge complications down the road.

Dr. Martin’s point is that every one of us is a job loss and a cancer diagnosis away from having to choose between our lives and our happiness, our families, and our freedoms. “No one should have to decide between their health and their family,” she says.

One solution she suggests is a universal pharmacare program, which she believes could reduce total spending on drugs in Canada by as much as 7.3 billion dollars[1]. Re-organizing the resources we already have in this manner could reduce the cost of drugs to the consumer, which would go a long way to ensuring everyone has access to the drugs they need to get better and stay healthy.

The secret sauce to solving our problems is breaking down barriers and silos – not putting provincial limits on healthcare, but working as one unified country to provide the best possible care. That’s how we save money and create better outcomes at the same time.

Healthcare is an $8 trillion global industry, representative of the service and knowledge-oriented focus of the 21st century economy. The Rotman School of Management is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in the innovations taking place across health and life science systems, helping people across the full value chain provide greater patient value. Visit the Centre for Health Sector Strategy for more information.

You can view a short version of Danielle’s talk here to learn more.

[1] https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/03/16/national-pharmacare-program-could-save-73-billion-study.html