Matrixed Management Structures
It's almost like managing a franchise, instead of managing a company, he adds. If that's the case, success might mean something else going forward indeed.
Larry Tyler, chairman and CEO of Tyler & Co., an executive search firm specializing in healthcare, says he's seeing a lot more interest by boards at growing health systems in matrixed management structures, where the titles may be widely variable, but also where title is not nearly as important as the number of pieces of the enterprise that report to the executive on a dotted-line basis.
"We're seeing a lot of matrixed operations. As they're trying to flatten the management structure and take out the overhead, you're getting people in concurrent positions, so they are combining jobs," Tyler says. "I was in a health system last week and their chief nursing officer is also the COO."
It's part of the mandate to take costs out of the system wherever and whenever possible, he adds.
Another sign of hope: Many systems are experimenting and reorganizing along the capabilities of the individual involved instead of the other way around. The system's not necessarily going to follow the established c-suite pecking order, and the division of duties, including whom reports to whom, is much more variable.