Archives for Health Care

The Health Care Industry Needs to Start Taking Women Seriously

By Carolyn Buck-Luce and Julia Taylor Kennedy


What is the greatest impediment preventing Americans from getting good health care? Surprisingly, it’s not the cost of care. Instead, according to new research from the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI), the fundamental issue is the health care industry’s failure to develop a nuanced understanding of, and commitment to, women as consumers and decision makers. For the full report, see the Harvard Business Review (Free registration required).

Categories: Carolyn Buck Luce, Health Care, Legacy Building, Power of the Purse, SHEconomy, Thought Leadership, and Women.

Face to Face with SHE — Insights from WPP Stream Health and TEDMED 2014

Two weeks ago I attended WPP Stream Health in Orlando, the “unconference” hosted by Grey Healthcare and ended in San Francisco at TEDMED 2014. The theme of both gatherings was unleashing imagination and collaboration to redesign our approach to building a healthier world.

I had a particular mission. As the Executive-in-Residence at the Center for Talent Innovation, I am leading a research project sponsored by leading bio-pharma, health solutions and managed care companies on “The Power of the Purse: The Implications of the SHEconomy on the Business and Talent Models in Healthcare.” Although it has been known for a while that women are estimated to make 85 percent of the health care decisions for their families and are the majority of patients, pharmacists, regulators, nurses and HC workers in the largest and fastest growing segment of most economies, these facts have not yet translated into broad ranging innovation in HC discoveries or delivery — much to the detriment of health outcomes for individuals, families, and society. Not to mention the health of the bottom line of companies.

In an industry that is still predominately product and disease-centric, I was on a search to meet and understand SHE — the women behind the stats. I wanted to put a face to and a voice on the women who are under-served, under-treated, under-heard and under-supported to better understand the pathways to a healthier future. This includes the patients, their caregivers, and the healthcare professionals who serve them.

Let me introduce a fraction of the SHEs that I met:

The Chief Medical Officer — At WPP Stream Health, a multidisciplinary group of physicians, marketers, digital technologists, regulators, consumer advocacy groups and bio-pharma scientists, redefined Mom as the CMO of the family and reimagined the power of elevating her to a position of respect and responsibility as a key member of the medical team. After all, the CMO is the chief nutritionist, lead diagnostician, statistician, caregiver and enforcer of adherence for her family, identifying early symptoms, creating guidelines of healthy eating, monitoring compliance and encouraging adherence. Think about the opportunity to support her with respect, blockbuster tools and transparent, trusted information so that she could do her job.

The Surgeon General – -At TEDMED, on Sept 11, we heard from the U.S. Army Surgeon General, Lieutenant General Patricia Horoho. While acknowledging the approximately 3000 people who lost their lives when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor and, again, on September 11th, she spoke of the 400,000 patients that die every year in US hospitals due to “preventable harm”. She called for doctors and hospital systems to become more courageous, honest and transparent about medical errors so that they can be understood, examined, measured and remediated.

The Nurses — In the Hive at TEDMED, a buzzing arena filled with innovative entrepreneurs experimenting with technology that will revolutionize health, I played a Virtual Reality game of Snowmen, presented by Howard Rose, the CEO of DeepstreamVR. This game is played by burn victims coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan as a pain management intervention during the treatment of their wounds in the burn unit. Howard explained that the Doctor-centered model that exists today underutilizes our ability to heal ourselves. DeepstreamVR’s targets are the nurses, who burn out in part due to the pain they impart during the treatment. Virtual reality as a pain management device allows the nurses to experience healing as opposed to hurting.

The Researchers — In the Hive at TEDMED, I met women researchers, like Rupal Patel, who were motivated to commercialize their research to answer the emotional suffering that comes from disease. Through her company, VOCALiD, Rupal is creating customized synthetic voices, not the standard issue voice that we associate with Stephen Hawking. Rupal’s technology combines sounds from “unheard” patients who are unable to speak clearly with “sound DNA” contributions from volunteers who contribute their voices to be digitally combined with the patients’. As a result, patients are able to type messages that are expressed with a unique vocal persona that engages and builds emotional connections. For all her ingenuity as an inventor and a woman entrepreneur, she is challenged in the male world of venture capital.

The Doctor - We heard from Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician who has received death threats for her decision to launch and the Total Transparency Manifesto imploring doctors to reveal who they really are — their values, their views on end of life, sexual orientation and reproductive rights, their conflicts of interest, and other humanizing facts that could help increase the trust and confidence of their patients.

The Patient – Through the inventor of an expert-system online protocol, I glimpsed into the world of women with headaches who go from doctor to doctor looking for relief and proper diagnosis without understanding that women are 3 times more likely to experience headaches due to their hormonal, kinetic and neurological makeup. And the women with heart disease who goes undiagnosed because her symptoms don’t include numbness and chest pain – making heart disease the largest killer of women in the US.

Face to face with SHE. And SHE has so many faces.

This is great news because by better relating and connecting to SHE, we can be on the road to recovery.


Categories: Carolyn Buck Luce, Health Care, Thought Leadership, and Women.

How the ‘SHEconomy’ Will Reshape the Private Sector

By Carolyn Buck Luce

Last week, I had the honor of being the MC for the event at the United Nations to celebrate International Women’s Day. Presented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the UN Office for Partnerships, “Turning Inspiration into Action: Next Steps for the Private Sector to Empower Women Globally” convened a cross-section of social empowerment heavy hitters, including Chelsea Clinton, Ambassador Melanie Verveer, and representatives from some of America’s biggest companies who make it their business to help women succeed.

Why should the private sector care? And why the UN? Today we are facing a new Emerging Market that will dwarf the size of both the population and GDPs of China and India. What is the Emerging Market that will redefine society and the world? Women. And there is a powerful business case for developing sustainable women’s economic empowerment programs, not just in the United States but also around the world.

In the next decade it is estimated that close to 1 billion women, mostly in the developing world, are going to enter the formal economy and become new economic contributors, as full-time workers and micro-entrepreneurs. The growing pace of urban migration, access to education, better health, mobile technologies and micro credit will continue to fuel this phenomenon.

This tidal wave of talent and new purchasing power joins the growing dominance of women in the developed world.

• In the U.S. and Europe, women account for the majority of college students, and this is trending towards 60 percent.

• Working women in the United States generate $4.3 trillion in earned income annually and now represent 50 percent of all workers in this country.

• Women contributed nearly 100 percent of the change in family income in the past decade in the U.S.

• They represent the fastest cohort of wealth accumulators — owning 75 percent of the nation’s wealth in the U.S. — and are estimated to inherit anywhere from $12-$40 trillion over the next 20 years.

• If women were working at the same rate men were global GDP would take off — for example, in Egypt, GDP could grow by 34 percent, 12 percent in the United Arab Emirates, in Japan by 9 percent, and in the United States by 5 percent.

• Globally women make 65 percent+ of all purchasing decisions, including cars, houses and health

In other words, the economy is turning into the “SHEconomy.”

At a time when country boundaries are hardening, creating challenges for multilateral and civil society organizations to fulfill their missions, there is good news. The private sector is growing in consciousness as it goes global in a shrinking world. The demographic, social, geopolitical, technology and economic realities are coming together to paint a vivid picture in the C-Suites — and executives are realizing that women are the greatest untapped and abundant natural resources left on the planet. And courageous private sector leaders understand that we are reaching a tipping point where companies will need to take a longer-term view and embrace the possibility that the private sector could be a unique engine of transformation for the world.

At the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI), the New York think-tank where I serve as Executive-in-Residence and co-founder, women’s empowerment has been one of our core themes since the Center was founded ten years ago, and it remains central as we move into our next decade of amplifying the conversation on under-leveraged streams of talent around the world.

In fact, we are calling 2014 “The Year of the Woman” at CTI: We kicked off the year by launching “Athena Factor 2.0: Accelerating Female Talent in Science, Engineering and Technology.” We’re also producing in-depth, data-driven reports on “The Power of the Purse: The Implications of the SHEconomy for Health and Wealth” which examines the ways companies can leverage their business and talent models to capitalize on these demographic mega-trends. A subject near to my heart, we will also be launching “Women and Power,” which will illuminate how women differ from men in how they define power, what they want from it, how they “wear” it, and how their relationship with power and ambition contributes to their “stalling” at the threshold to executive positions.

In a panel discussion which I moderated at the UN event, four of our sponsors of these studies — Tupperware Brands, UBS Financial Services, Cardinal Health, and Grey Healthcare Group — had a thought-provoking conversation on the “SHEconomy” and the power of the female consumer in a growing middle class to effect change in all different sectors of the economy.

It’s a conversation that will spread to every corner office, cubicle and kitchen where a talented women is making decisions about how to invest her money, pay for her — and her family’s — healthcare, and progress in her career. I hope you’ll join in. I’d love to hear your comments.

Categories: Carolyn Buck Luce, Thought Leadership, and Women.

Connected Health: Connected Leaders

Download the pdf below to the talk given this year at Annual Meeting of the SFO chapter of the HBA on October 24th, 2013. It's a large file (17 mb, but it's worth it.)

Download the PDF slide deck at right to the talk given this year at Annual Meeting of the SFO chapter of the HBA on October 24th, 2013. It’s a large file (17MB) so it might take a moment.

Carolyn Buck Luce spoke at the Annual Meeting of the SFO chapter of the HBA on October 24th, 2013 at the HQ of Onyx Pharmaceuticals.  She shared her vision for the future of the HC industry and the new competencies that leaders will need to drive the transformation that is upon us.

Download the PDF slide deck HERE

Categories: Carolyn Buck Luce, Thought Leadership, and Women.

Is there a Doctor in my Phone?

Reflections on the future of telehealthcare

Remember when you had to make an appointment with the computer scientist at the University to bring your punch cards to the Mainframe computer there in order to get computing done? Now you don’t have to leave your bed to upload, download, troubleshoot and even have your genome decoded. But we still have to beg for an appointment with the doctor, drag ourselves out of bed when we are sick, be shuttled around to get various tests over the ensuing weeks and not be able to get your own test results because they get sent to your doctor which requires another appointment…

Welcome to the reality and the promise of telehealthcare where the Doctor’s Office is the Mainframe of the Decade.

I recently key noted at the inaugural Telehealthcare Leaders Forum held in Newport, RI and sponsored by Tunstall America, a leading global creator of telehealth solutions. The footprint of telehealthcare continues to expand because of the exponential impact of Big Data, the Internet of Things, smartphone utilization, the super consumers’ demand for better and faster healthcare insight and service, the forecasted shortage of doctors and the incredible pressure felt by individuals, payers, providers and governments to contain HC costs.

Think about this – -I would venture to say that there has never been so much pent up demand for improvements in any system by Main Street, Wall Street and Washington then currently exists to improve the entire HC system – – how HC is produced, delivered, consumed and paid for. And the technology is already in place, at our fingertips, to make a substantial and transformational change.

There is not a panacea for change because systems evolve organically based on multiple factors and we know from the decades long battles over health care legislation that money, politics and policies are a three-dimensional chess game and the pricing incentives that help make markets honest will be a long time coming.

However, as pointed out by another keynoter at the Forum, Dr. Jason Hwang the co-author with Dr. Clay Christianson of “The Innovators Prescription”, the price of computing did not require legislation to drive disruptive innovation of the mainframe business.

However, as pointed out by another keynoter at the Forum, Dr. Jason Hwang the co-author with Dr. Clay Christianson of “The Innovators Prescription”, the price of computing did not require legislation to drive disruptive innovation of the mainframe business.

The promise of telehealth care (e.g. home monitoring, smart clothing, remote telemedicine, hand-held hospitals, smartphone ECGs etc) will also be driven by behavioral change at many levels:

HC savvy consumers, who have learned how to use technology to make their lives easier by bringing the expertise to them through digital innovations- – fast, reliable, dependable, assessable and affordable with online on demand banking, shopping, learning, computing, publishing. etc.

Company behavior, otherwise know as a Business Model, as traditional and non-traditional companies are experimenting with the components of telehealth to finally be in the patient outcomes business, instead of the product and device business.

Leadership behavior as more professionals and executives recognize that it is a personal (and corporate) competitive advantage to become digitally fluent in order to enhance the way they lead, manage, communicate and innovate.

This will be a great win for patients, companies and society.

Categories: Carolyn Buck Luce and Health Care.


 Imagine if you could accomplish this in three days…

  • Bring all your key stakeholders together into the most creative environment and most collaborative process they have ever experienced
  • Quickly learn what other industries are doing to respond to the kinds of changes you are seeing in your marketplace
  • Dramatically reduce the time it takes you to explore strategic alternatives and promising new business models
  • Use a process that combines creativity and precision to select the path forward that holds the highest potential for success
  • Build an aligned, committed team that can accelerate the implementation of your transformation

DesignShop® reliably produces outcomes like these, time and again, with organizations all around the world. The patented DesignShop® Process was designed specifically to help solve highly complex problems by bringing all the stakeholders together in an experience that combines creativity with precision and discovery with decision, to produce breakthrough results. Our clients typically report that they accomplish months – even years – of difficult work in the few days we spend together.

Our clients include some of the best companies, public sector organizations, and not-for-profit organizations in the world.

From helping a huge aerospace company reinvent the process it uses to design new airplanes, reducing the cost of bringing a new medicine to market, helping to design and roll out a company’s manufacturing facility of the future, working with a major automotive manufacturer to design a new integrated IT system, engaging the Millennial generation in rebuilding New Orleans after Katrina, to accelerating the multi-faith movement for justice in America, we help our clients achieve results beyond their expectations.

Rob Evans is one of the world’s best known and most respected leaders of the DesignShop® Process. He has worked with over 25,000 executives representing 35+ of the current Fortune 100 companies. Rob has also trained hundreds of facilitators and knowledge workers in this proprietary methodology over the last two decades while tirelessly working to make the process ever more effective.

Heather Kelly is a DesignShop® Facilitator with Imaginal Labs LLC. Heather specializes in team-based transformations using the process to drive innovation and alignment. Her passion for collaborative design evolved from her time at Ernst and Young, and later Capgemini where she helped to build the Accelerated Solutions Environment (ASE). These centers pioneered the development of large-scale collaborative projects to dramatically accelerate strategy and organizational transformation projects.

Contact us to learn more about the DesignShop® Process

Download the slide deck DesignShop® Overview – Accelerating Decisions, Design, and Delivery


Imagine if a bio-pharma company could reduce the cost and time that it takes to develop and bring to market a new life-saving medicine by 30%.

In today’s reality, that would mean reducing the development time by 3-5 years and saving $500 million – which could be reinvested in more new medicines and lives saved.

Our client gathered the top 50 people in their clinical development organization responsible for a multibillion $ pipeline of promising drugs with the challenge of designing a way to reduce the cost of drug development by 30% – more than $500 million – beyond which the company management had thought possible.

Our DesignShop® provided the environment that allowed the participants to challenge all aspects of the current state and design and stress test alternative scenarios. The result was an action plan that embraced radical external collaboration with competitors and leveraged technology and data.


Imagine if a global Pharmaceutical company was able to design a commercially viable and socially responsible strategy and operations that could get their life saving medicines to the 4 Billion people in the world who make less that $3 a day.

Our client brought 60 executives from all parts of the company – R&D, manufacturing, legal, sales and marketing, public affairs and philanthropy together with external stakeholders – the World Bank, the American Cancer Society, socially responsible investors, Grameen Bank, the Gates Foundation – to design an approach that would could heal the world.

Our DesignShop® helped define what the world needed from this company and what their leaders – – the local heads of their operations in Africa, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, China – wanted to aspire to. Imagine being able to go home to your country knowing that you did all that you were able to leave a legacy that mattered to millions.


Imagine if a global retail company that had grown through acquisitions was able to create a positive and seamless in-store experience with their customers that would be experienced in a similar way across divisions and geographies and would build the employee engagement, customer engagement, brand and value.

Our client, who had a history of operating relatively autonomously, brought together 50 executives from across the divisions and geographies into a DesignShop® to start a visioning process to align everyone around:

  • What does the in-store experience look like in 2020?
  • How do we get there from where we are today?
  • How do we move with speed and confidence?
  • How do we do it in a way that fully engages our employees as well as our customers
DESIGNSHOP RETAILImagine if a large Healthcare Company was anticipating doubling its employee base from 250 thousand to 500 thousand in five years or less and needed a Human Capital function that could support this employee growth across vastly different business without exponentially increasing costs. A key priority for the CEO and Chief Human Capital Officer was ensuring the Human Capital team had a solid model that could scale but also be customized for each business in a tightening hiring market and to optimize the next generation workforce.

In a recent DesignShop®, leaders said Imaginal Labs said we helped them:

  • Establish a creative environment where they could study relevant information quickly
  • Ignite the group’s creative power through visualizing with powerful modeling techniques
  • Create a model based on each business unit’s “stage of enterprise”
  • Craft a model that was configurable in the workplace

Imagine bringing 85 religious leaders and activists together in a DesignShop® to explore ways to advance the multifaith movement for justice. The leaders came from every faith tradition, different generations, different races and sexual orientation, and from across the political spectrum. And they left as a community committed to collective impact and collaboration.

We accomplished the following objectives:

  • Enhanced awareness and alignment for the current landscape for social justice
  • Explored how we think change happens and how our different approaches might connect and reinforce each other
  • Discovered specific ways to leverage and magnify our assets in order to get to scope and scale
  • Created an actionable common vision of a better world with enough specificity that we can accelerate our collective impact, and measure our progress along the way
  • Better equipped everyone for the journey by sharing tools, methodologies, behaviors, and relationships

Imagine if a professional services firm was able to bring together 65 partners from all over the world and have a real time DesignShop® held simultaneously in London in NY to design the best solutions to help its Life Sciences clients transform their companies to meet the opportunities of a changing healthcare landscape globally?

Our client was able to get 12 months of work done in 3 days by assembling all the people you needed from around the world in 2-3 locations and design the work so that you could use all 24 hours in the day by passing the work baton from US, to Europe to Asia so that two locations were always working together. And have your clients participate as well.

Our DesignShop® allowed the partners of a global professional services firm to design leading solutions for the Life Sciences industry

Carolyn Buck Luce


Carolyn Buck Luce

Carolyn has served in a variety of capacities in advancing women’s leadership including past Board Chair of the New York Women’s Foundation, member of the Global Advisory board of the Healthcare Women’s Business Association.


Carolyn is a gifted strategist and teacher who has spent her career building highly effective businesses and teams.  She has been a leader concurrently in both the private and public/non-profit sectors for the last four decades.

Carolyn spent the last two decades as a Principal at E&Y, most recently as Global Life Sciences Leader responsible for serving global life sciences companies with management consulting, risk, tax and M&A solutions. She is widely regarded as a provocative and insightful thought leader with her perspectives on the future of Pharma 3.0 as the “third place” in the transforming health care system. She is a frequent speaker at industry events.

Prior to joining Ernst & Young, Carolyn spent seventeen years in lending, investment banking, consulting and government service. She started her career working for the US State Department in the Soviet Union, stationed in Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moscow.

Carolyn has served in a variety of capacities in advancing women’s leadership including past Board Chair of the New York Women’s Foundation, member of the Global Advisory board of the Healthcare Women’s Business Association, and, in 2007, she was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg as a Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Women’s Issues. She is also the co-Founder of a multi-company task force on talent innovation exploring “The Hidden Brain Drain – Women & Minorities as Unrealized Assets” and is the co-author, along with Dr. Sylvia Hewlett, of multiple articles published in the Harvard Business Review, including a groundbreaking 2005 article entitled ” On Ramps and Off Ramps – Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success” and a 2008 article entitled “The Athena Factor – Reversing the Brain Drain in Science, Engineering and Technology.

Today, concurrent with her responsibilities at Imaginal Labs, Carolyn is the Executive-in-Residence at the Center for Talent Innovation where she is leading a global research project, “The Power of the Purse: The Implications of the SHEconomy on the Transformation of the Healthcare Industry”, scheduled for publication Fall, 2014.  Carolyn is also an adjunct Professor at Columbia University teaching “Women and Power”.

Her passion for the transformation of the HC industry and the advancement of women came together as she was named the HBA 2012 Woman of the Year.

Carolyn and Rob are committed to their families, their children and to living a life of meaning, purpose and adventure.  Whether facilitating in the Boardroom, climbing to the summit of Mt, Kilimanjaro, or working with indigenous leaders in the jungles of the Amazon, Carolyn and Rob are life-long learners and bring their experiences to their work with courageous leaders.