Get a Glimpse Into the Lives of Healthcare Consultants

sbarnet1 March 12, 2018
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The life of a healthcare consultant can be very rewarding yet challenging, given the demands of remaining focused on the project at hand and meeting business goals.

At ACHE’s 2018 Congress on Healthcare Leadership, you can learn from a panel of healthcare leaders about their experiences as healthcare consultants during the Healthcare Consultants Forum Special Session, “How to Achieve Sustained (Long-Term) Success in Consulting,” on Tuesday, March 27.

The panel will share strategies they have developed to navigate healthcare assignments, build trust with clients, overcome common pitfalls and achieve balance in their careers. This session will provide valuable insights for current healthcare consultants and those who aspire to become trusted advisors.

Here, two of the sessional panelists—Erin F. Bartley, managing director, Huron Consulting Group, and Anton J. Gunn, senior diversity officer/executive director, community health innovation, Medical University of South Carolina—and moderator Jack Schlosser, FACHE, managing director, Spencer Stuart, and chair of the ACHE Healthcare Consultants Forum Committee, provide a preview of the special session.

ACHE: What are some of the biggest challenges or barriers healthcare consultants face?

BARTLEY: At Huron, we have motto that you have to “own your future or be disrupted by it.” The healthcare landscape is rapidly evolving and, with costs continuing to rise, it’s only a matter of time before major disruptors create significant change in the market. That said, one of the biggest challenges for consultants and providers alike is to stay ahead and plan for what will drive success for tomorrow, knowing that is likely going to be different than what is creating success today.

GUNN: The biggest challenge as a small firm is finding your niche in the market. There are a lot of good consultants out there, so you have to find your niche and be the best at it.

SCHLOSSER: One of the biggest obstacles consultants face is trying to balance the time required to stay connected to the industry broadly, while executing current engagements that require intense focus.

ACHE: What’s one difference between a good consultant and a great consultant?

BARTLEY: Sometimes consultants are viewed as an extra set of resources. A great consultant goes beyond being an extra set of hands to become a trusted adviser—always thinking about what is best for the client, helping them understand new insights and delivering tough messages that challenge the organization and its leaders to grow.

GUNN: One difference between a good consultant and a great consultant is the level of subject matter expertise. Great consultants are not only versed in best practices, they are also versed in “next practices,” which dive deeper to help deliver value.

SCHLOSSER: A good consultant consistently executes assignments in line with the scope of the projects, resulting in satisfied clients. A great consultant consistently surpasses client expectations, takes a long-term perspective, places the best interests of the client before their own and consistently chooses principle over expediency. This approach generally results in long-term client relationships.

ACHE: What advice would you give to a professional interested in becoming a healthcare consultant?

BARTLEY: There are many different types of consulting in the healthcare market (e.g., strategy versus implementation, niche versus broad focus). Spend the time to consider what type of consulting is the best fit for your particular skill set, interests and values.

GUNN: Do it!

SCHLOSSER: Whether you are a recent graduate or a veteran executive looking for an “encore career,” reflect on what interests you in consulting and continually assess how things are going if you enter the field. As part of your due diligence, take an inventory of your own interests, competencies, temperament and skill set.


The cost for attending this session and reception is $100 for Forum members, $125 for ACHE members and $175 for nonmembers. Register today!

This session is one of many tailored to healthcare consultants at Congress. Check out other sessions that may be of interest right here on Inside Congress!

Category: Q&A, Thought Leadership
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