How healthcare leaders can drive change during an acquisition

Guest post by Darlene A. Cunha, regional vice president of hospital operations for Prospect Medical Holdings.

For the past several months, I have been on the ground preparing an organization for acquisition. As with any acquisition, a delicate balance must be maintained between the current staff and those on site from the impending new ownership.

Since we don't actually own the hospital at this point, we are acting in more of a consultant role yet responsible for strategies that will drive the bottom line. Having bridged this healthcare chasm before, I know successful transitions require four steps during the "acquisition" phase, with each one equally important:

1. Build a strong executive presence: The first impression is important, so make it count! No one likes a helicopter leader--one who swoops in, quickly deduces what's wrong and puts a plan in place without input from the folks on the ground. We have all been there. You know the type, the leader who doesn't take the time to get to know the team, but instinctively knows what's best. Nothing is more important than that first impression. You may have heard it referred to as an executive presence. Be authentic, sincere and committed to providing true leadership. You must be approachable and lead by example.

>> Read the full commentary at Hospital Impact