The Exercise Every Leader Needs

By | October 24, 2018

Sarah Richardson, CIO, DaVita Healthcare Partners

By definition, boot camp is, “a short, intensive, and rigorous course of training.” While historically known as a military training camp for new recruits with strict discipline, it has become a common term for exercise and education, among many other contexts.

Admittedly, I am a bit of boot camp junkie. The thrill of packing as much content into a finite amount of time is exhilarating. If you have ever attended a workout filled with weighted lunges, burpees, and sprinting drills, you know what I mean. It’s daunting, physically taxing, and you walk away feeling wiped out yet empowered.

Pivot this feeling to education and you begin to get a sense of why being a part of CHIME’s CIO Boot Camp — first as a student and now Faculty in Training (FIT) — is a rewarding and exciting endeavor. When I first attended as a CIO who had been in my role for over 4 years, the decision to go was driven by two factors:

  1. I was transitioning to a new organization and wanted additional learning to prepare for the change I was going to experience.
  2. The CHCIO certification is a coveted designation and attending boot camp is an excellent supplement to preparing for the exam.

The course is designed and taught by industry leaders and focuses on the most critical success factors a CIO must prepared for in order to deliver results. Vision and Strategy, Change Management, IT’s Value to the Business, Customer Service, Building a High Performing Organization, Networks and Community, and Contemporary Best Practices are all covered via a mix of delivery mechanisms.

At the commencement of the 3.5 days, I came away with a cornucopia of knowledge, tools to share as parting gift to my existing team, strategies to apply to my upcoming role, and several new connections and friends. I knew at that moment this was a beginning, rather than an end. I was so impressed with the experience that I vowed to become a Boot Camp instructor within 5 years.

Fast forward to 2018, and I reached my goal within 4 years via a journey of deep involvement with CHIME including participation and chairing of the annual Fall Forum, mentoring junior members, and participating in advocacy, blogs, webinars, conferences, and track sessions. The continuous engagement has created a deep learning and connection to HIT shared with colleagues across the country and in myriad provider settings. It is more crucial than ever to have these relationships as we all face the growing challenges associated with telemedicine, cybersecurity, the opioid epidemic, interoperability, reimbursement cuts, and talent shortages, all with the expectation of innovation and the delivery of cutting edge technologies.

Attending boot camp is not only a cornerstone in your knowledge foundation, it may also become a springboard for opportunities you had never previously considered. In any context, it will be initially daunting, physically and mentally exhausting, and ultimately, empowering for your soul. Learn on!

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