Levy Makes an Impression even before He’s Hired
We first must analyze the decision process and execution of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) to hire Paul Levy as CEO. The hospital was in desperate need of a competent leader who possessed the qualities that would turn around and save the not-for-profit company. In comparing the situation faced by BIDMC with Groysberg’s “Are Leaders Portable?” article, it becomes clear Levy possesses many “portable” qualities. Through the political frame we can see Levy has many political ties within the Boston area which making him a well respected and recognizable figure. The numerous connections he has within the area along with being familiar with Boston policies and practices gives him a high level of experience that will be helpful in revitalizing the hospital. This can be seen in the initial stages of the hiring process when Levy uses his relationship with the Attorney General to convey his feelings towards keeping the hospital a not-for-profit organization.
Levy’s reign at BIDMC as CEO started months before he had even been officially hired to run the company. He gave the board of directors three demands that would need to be carried out if he were to be hired; (1) the board would be removed from the day to day operation, (2) the board would be reduced to 15-18 members, and (3) he would have to be in the job in the first week of January. Each of these demands are very effective forms of leadership as seen through the political and symbolic frames. He establishes himself as strong-handed leader with the power to be the deciding force in decision making. It gives Levy the upper hand in the struggle for power with the board even before he is ever offered the position. Also, symbolically, this shows all employees and the board of directors he is going to be a powerful leader. Levy’s demands could have been symbolically taken negatively by employees and the board as arrogant, but the risk actually paid off as these strategic demands set the stage for how he would eventually run BIDMC.
A New Leader Dealing With Layoffs
With the Hunter Report calling for 500-700 layoffs in order to turn the tide at BIMDC, Levy was put into a very tough position at the start of his term as CEO. When he was first asked to discuss the layoffs publically, Levy had a “eureka” moment which ended up being very helpful in establishing himself as a leader. He said the 150 nurses who were recommended to be laid off would be kept on because BIDMC prides itself in providing the highest quality of care. Symbolically, this showed BIDMC employees he was already making decisions regarding the strategic overhaul of the company. He wasn’t just coming in as a new leader to only implement the consultants’ plan; he was going to personally integrate his own decisions to turn around the hospital. He also an introductory message, which through the human resource frame, can be seen as an attempt to be honest with employees about the layoffs. While he recognizes BIDMC needs to carry out these layoffs he still acknowledges that people and organizations need each other. He says BIDMC will be left with a group of highly talented people and this tactic hopefully lets the remaining staff know they will be needed and a good relationship will benefit them and the organization.
Levy needs to get everyone remaining after the layoffs to be completely on board with the new plan and does so by releasing the Hunter Report on the Intranet. Through the human resource frame we can see Levy is empowering his employees by giving them information and encouraging autonomy and participation. This is a very effective leadership tactic, especially after massive layoffs, because it helps employees to feel more secure about their job while directly involving them in the new processes. By sending out another message in the following week to “lift the spirits” of remaining employees, Levy...