December 28, 2018 HCMatColumbia

“In between the years” a space to think

The time “in between the years” offers a particular space to think. Some people feel boredom, others anxiousness, excitement, enthusiasm… I personally love this mix, the opportunity to rest, relax, and reconsider; the chance for special encounters – be it out in the wild or in familiar territory.

First and foremost, I feel thankful this year. For the colleagues we worked with, we had the chance to listen to and learn from. And for the many laughs shared while working on serious issues. This does not go without saying in a competitive landscape and I cherish this collegial and productive atmosphere.

Second, I am deeply appreciative of the “context” we work in – passionate and sometimes emotional organizations. Different cultures, countries and healthcare systems thriving for excellence. It requires the ability to adapt, to improvise and change plans if needed, but it is exactly this context that excites us and triggers high performance.

Third, content is cool and creating new knowledge not only inspiring, but essential for development and evolution. Digging up the details of a phenomenon, an unknown fact or shedding light on the “why” of an “is” gives us a special kick. And we believe that discovering this through meaningful communication among human beings is not old-fashioned, but the only way to find out what the real issue or matter is. Listening to understand – not just to respond – was and is one of the core values of our work.

Here is from me to you a few thoughts on motivation and new year news. I’m happy to discuss details in person.

Don’t ask “what if” in 2019, but “why not” – let’s go for it with passion, love and empathy!


Prof. Dr. Katharina Janus
Founder and Managing Director of the Center for Healthcare Management at Columbia University, New York, USA, and Paris, France
President and CEO, ENJOY STRATEGY, Europe & US

What motivates us to think, act and create?

One of the big questions of human life and life in organizations, markets and social cultures. I refrain from referring to countries here – much more is driven today by always moving trans-national professional cultures. Millennials, generation xyz…, baby boomers, best-agers, silver surfers – you name it. When we convene people from around the world at our forums we are often stunned that core management issues are the same across the globe. And as we’re moving into 2019 and planning our next forum, to be held at the Columbia Global Center in Paris from September 11-13, 2019, you will realize that for example topics such as artificial intelligence, robotics and big data as well as how they will shape the workforce has been and will remain on our radar. Other topics will relate to ventures and investments in healthcare globally as private equity and new roles of specialized professionals emerge.

And we’ll do it again: in 2019 we will hold already our 8th Forum. Why? Because we believe it is important to maintain and cherish this space for slow thinking in a fast world as Mark Lloyd Davies, Senior Director, Government Affairs & Policy – EMEA at Johnson & Johnson put it nicely. This not a classical conference – our fans point out that it is a unique space for interaction of a range of different people from around the world who reconnect after the meeting and on an ongoing basis because the discussions they had at our forum lifted topics to a higher level. It is also the collegial environment and the ability to think freely that makes this forum different from the usual commercial ventures. But we need your support to continue this tradition. Please read about our past forums and contact me if you would like to get involved this time. More details follow soon. We hope you can join us in 2019!

What motivated us to act? The last quarter of 2019 brought a big change for us as the Center’s European base moved to Paris. This move is a happy one as much of our work has been in Central Europe and internationally and our forums have found a home at the Columbia Global Center in Paris. We’re also running our tailor-made executive trainings, workshops and mini-forums at our new base which grew out of our forums and well appreciated interactive format and methodologies. We aimed at creating an innovative approach to training and education that is based on actual case studies and strategy of the respective organization while simultaneously offering management tools and out-of-box-thinking. This adaptive and flexible approach is resonating well with executives from around the world who we have the pleasure to welcome in Paris.

What motivated us to create? Creation is motivated often by curiosity targeted at understanding phenomena, healthcare markets, and healthcare professionals’ behavior in organizations in those markets. Creating cross-national concepts and strategies consumed most of our time in the past year. We applied these to hand hygiene & hospital acquired infections, new medical devices, drugs and management interventions to optimize care pathways and integration. We invested heavily in an unconventional and dynamic approach to unveil underlying facts, drivers and confounding factors (also known as “entourage effects” when one phenomenon cannot be clearly separated from another). The increasing complexity of our world demands this proceeding and often our approach leads to surprising results. Frequently, we connected the involved stakeholders through forums or workshops after conclusions of market analytics were done. Again, it was/is about picking up the phone, making the extra mile and connecting the dots to draw a reliable and valid picture that supports decision-making in research and on the shop-floor inside organizations.

Et voilà, this is just a short glimpse of what kept us awake and what we love to do and will continue to pursue in the next year. Many of you are already engaged in our Center’s work and projects. We look very much forward to old and new encounters to think, act and create! More on the 8th Forum follows soon – stay tuned @HCMatColumbia!