Open Letter: Management Tips to Dr. Lillian

· March 15, 2015

I’ve just concluded one of the most challenging yet rewarding projects of my career. In my role as a coach, I witnessed remarkable transformation at a hospital on the brink of collapse, now thriving and profitable within seven months.

At the helm of this turnaround is Dr. Lillian, a responsive and dedicated leader who embraced radical change. I extend my gratitude to her and the entire hospital staff, whose collective efforts made this success possible.

As I bid farewell to the hospital last Friday, I remain vigilant, residing only 150 meters away. But before I depart, I wish to impart some advice to Dr. Lillian for the journey ahead. While rooted in healthcare, these insights hold relevance beyond the hospital walls.

Start with Why

Communicate the purpose behind every action, aligning it with your vision. Continually ask: “How does this action contribute to our vision?” This not only reinforces the vision but ensures that every endeavor serves its purpose.

Ensure transparency by sharing the rationale behind decisions. “We’re pursuing project X because…” This clarity fosters understanding and alignment.

Think Like a Patient

Empathize with patients and seek their feedback. Address their concerns methodically, recognizing that patient satisfaction is paramount. Actively solicit and act upon patient feedback to drive continuous improvement.

Embrace Transparency

Share real-time performance data with staff to foster a sense of ownership and accountability. Conduct daily morning meetings for concise updates and enhanced engagement. Display project status on visible boards to promote transparency and accountability.

Pursue Incremental Improvements

Prioritize small, iterative improvements over large-scale initiatives. Break down complex projects into manageable tasks to facilitate adaptability and responsiveness. Embrace agility to address evolving needs and minimize emergencies.

Foster Trust

Empower frontline staff to solve problems by soliciting their input and granting autonomy. Delegate tasks with trust and accountability, empowering individuals to take ownership. Cultivate leadership among staff to drive continuous improvement.

Prioritize Efficiency and Effectiveness

Focus on quality and compassionate care as cornerstones of efficiency. Streamline processes to optimize patient experience and reduce lead times. Minimize reliance on physical resources like paper and cash to enhance security and efficiency.

Maintain a Culture of Inquiry

Encourage a culture of curiosity and continuous improvement. Emphasize understanding over blame, fostering a learning environment. Continuously assess the “why” behind actions and decisions to drive learning and improvement.

When faced with challenges, reaffirm the purpose behind actions and projects. Break down initiatives into smaller, manageable tasks to maintain momentum. Ensure alignment with overarching goals and seek support when needed.


Dr. Lillian, I offer these guiding principles to support your ongoing journey of improvement at RS Bungsu. It has been an honor to contribute to the hospital’s transformation, and I look forward to seeing its continued success.

Until we meet again,

Marcus Hammarberg

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