Sunday, 22 March 2009

A CEO with a head and a heart

Paul Levy is the CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Just like everybody else, the hospital is hurting from the downturn. Things came to a stage where they had to shed 600 jobs. Ouch ! But nothing special - this is what every organisation is going through.

But Paul Levy's reaction was different. He called a town hall meeting. What happened in that meeting was something different. Read about it here in Kevin Cullen's excellent report in the Boston Globe.

Paul Levy could not bear to let 600 of his technicians, secretaries, administrators, therapists, nurses, the people who are the heart and soul of any hospital, go without a fight. He knew they would hurt and so would their families. Getting another job today would be impossible for most. But ,equally, he could not just do nothing. So he enlisted the whole hospital to join the fight.

Find savings. The better paid employees would sacrifice a little to enable the others have a job. People would take pay cuts. The whole hospital has come together as one. From the most junior person to the CEO. They'll cut costs. They'll all share the pain. But they won't let a fellow worker lose her job, without giving it everything they've got.

Thus far, they have found savings to retain 450 jobs. One week to go and another 150 to be saved.

Paul Levy is a regular blogger. Click here to read his blog. Its a great read.

Readers of this blog would know that I am a strong advocate of job losses being the absolute last option. I have posted before on this - click here to read the post.

The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical center is a place with a fantastic team spirit. Its because Paul Levy and his team have demonstrated that hey have a head for business and a heart for the people they touch. I would be proud to work for such a place.

Won't you ?


Athivas said...

People like him and you are Museum specimens, Ramesh--very rare to find. Last year, in an organisation here, in a place where the team-mates suggested their own pay-cuts, in the place of sacking their colleagues, the management refused.

Thanks for leaving the link of his blog, too.

Ramesh said...

@athivas - Oh you are far too kind. I don't belong to that league, but Paul Levy is a specimen indeed.

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