On Monday, Leadership Health Care (LHC) members gathered for the Executive Briefing series with Neil de Crescenzo, President and CEO of Change Healthcare. In addition to discussing the evolution of Change Healthcare, the important role Nashville plays in the health care industry, and his own career path, de Crescenzo delivered the group some valuable advice on their own career growth within the industry.
“Whenever you’re in a room, you can sense who the top people are, the people that are going to do great work, the people that are ambitious,” said de Crescenzo. “Start putting yourself around those people. It’s why Nashville is such a great city for health care professionals, because you have a big pool of these types of people you can surround yourself with.”
During his talk, de Crescenzo emphasized that throughout one’s career, including his own, opportunities will arise that you can’t necessarily predict. If someone works hard, has high integrity, and has the respect of both customers and co-workers, those opportunities will present themselves. He emphasized that people want to work with and work for individuals that they respect and admire; for the most part, the expertise in a given area will come with time and can often be taught.
He went on to talk about the importance of culture at Change Healthcare—and it’s not just about talking culture; it’s about living culture. De Crescenzo highlighted one of Change Healthcare’s premiere programs—the Culture Ambassadors. Modeled after a similar program at a Fortune 500 company, the Culture Ambassadors are a group of about 50 employees throughout the company who embody the culture of the company.
“These are the people you are willing to stay at work late to help out, because they are just good, hard working people,” said de Crescenzo. “Apart from recognizing them once a year or with a pat on the back, we really wanted to amplify the impact they are having on our business. They do everything from organizing book clubs to participating in our hiring process; they go above and beyond.”
Finally, de Crescenzo emphasized the importance of transparency and having employees feel like they are a part of and understand the decision making process. In order to achieve this, Change Healthcare doesn’t just talk about transparency, they actually practice it.
“A challenge early on in one’s career is that you aren’t given the opportunity to make balanced, complex, tough decisions,” said de Crescenzo. “An important aspect of leadership is judgment, so we try to expose these opportunities to every person in our company.”
Before assuming his current position at Change Healthcare in 2013, de Crescenzo was the senior vice president and general manager of Oracle’s Global Health Sciences business. Prior, he had spent a decade at IBM Corporation including his last role as senior executive for Global Healthcare Business Consulting Services. Earlier in his career, de Crescenzo held leadership positions in a major hospital system, a large physician practice and at a major health insurer. In the beginning of his career, de Crescenzo worked in banking in the areas of corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions.
This executive briefing was part of ongoing programming for the Council’s Leadership Health Care initiative, offering members insight from national industry leaders in an interactive setting. For more information about LHC, visit www.leadershiphealthcare.com.