In a weekly column, alternately written by Lucien Engelen, Mary Fiers, Maarten Steinbuch, Carlo van de Weijer, and Tessie Hartjes, E52 tries to find out what the future will look like. All five contributors – sometimes accompanied by guest bloggers – are working on solving the problems of our time. Everything to make Tomorrow Good. This Sunday, it‘s Lucien Engelen’s turn. Here are all the previously published columns.
“There is a problem with leadership in healthcare!”
With those words, Simon Sinek (from, i.e. Let’s start with WHY) replied to me in our interview with him for the cover story for the first edition of the international edition of ICT & Health: “There isn’t a problem with medicine. There is a problem with leadership!”
Boom! Here we are, skyping with my opening speaker of my very first TEDx I’ve set the stage for, in 2011 TEDxMaastricht we as Radboudumc REshape Center had put together. Debunking the myth leadership should aim and focus on the patient:
“I fear hospitals are some of the worst examples of leadership. It may sound strange, but too many leaders think only of their patients. That’s wrong. They have to think of their employees, the doctors, and nurses. They have to think of it as a job. They have to manage. And then, in turn, the doctors and nurses have to think of their patients.”
Well, that’s an interesting perspective Simon launched. I continued the discussion: “The interesting thing is that in hospitals in the Netherlands, patients are increasingly treated like partners. We provide patients choices and significance. How do you feel about that?”
Simon: “You have to take the patients out of the equation. That is not the issue. The point is: do the staff members feel like their leaders care about them? It seems scary, but that is the right question to ask. This discussion is missing. This topic is never discussed in hospitals. I don’t care about the quality of this industry. It is standard in this industry. We have to take care of the people that work in this field first, and then they can take care of the patients.”
We covered several topics touching health(care) in this interview; I wanted to know how he thinks about millennials coming on board as workers in healthcare. “People in healthcare are also aging, and now a younger generation is coming on board.
“What about millennials?”
“A few things are happening to this generation that we tend to neglect. First, they are subject to a different type of parenting than we experienced. They were all little princes and princesses. When they failed at school, their parents merely complained. But as soon as they found a job, this changed. All of a sudden, they have to take care of themselves. And they are not used to that, so they get stressed out. Second of all, there is a huge amount of technology in their lives, like cell phones and social media. Every time they receive a notification or a ‘like’, a little hit of dopamine gets released in their brain. And as you know, dopamine is addictive. Remember, we are talking about kids here. There is no age restriction on using a phone.”
To recap the interview I wanted to pick his mind on his vision on technology and health(care) of course: “Technology is making us better. That is remarkable. But we need to remember that we are in interpersonal relationships.” So true!