Preparing the Next Generation of Lab Leaders

ACROSS THE LAB TESTING INDUSTRY, individual labs are caught in a serious conundrum. On one hand, the ongoing transformation of healthcare and the erosion of lab test revenues are putting the financial squeeze on a large number of clinical labs and pathology groups.

On the other hand, at the very moment this is happening, the baby boomers who lead a large proportion of the nation’s labs are preparing to retire. Just when capable leadership is most needed, the senior generation of lab leaders is on their way out and, due to a lack of effective succession planning, there is often no capable “up and comer” within the lab who has the sophisticated leadership skills necessary to guide the lab organization through these financially-challenging times.

This fact is confirmed from the many conversations we have with executives from billion-dollar in vitro diagnostic companies and lab informatics firms. In their dealings with their lab customers, they frequently observe both the absence of a succession plan and the lack of mature managers who are ready to step into key leadership roles.

If this rings true at your lab, I have good news. The team at THE DARK REPORT is preparing to put executive leadership development front and center at its 20th Anniversary edition of the Executive War College on Lab and Pathology Management. The conference will take place on May 5-6, 2015, in New Orleans.

One big highlight will be a session where the “U.S. Army War College meets the Executive War College.” Keynote speaker Colonel Jeffrey D. McCausland (retired) is a former Dean of Academics at the Army War College and has spent his career developing leaders in both the military and in business. His presentation will describe the top 10 leadership lessons essential to boost your lab to peak performance (while also helping your professional career).

Another event of interest to pathologists and lab managers motivated to develop their leadership skills will be a one-day executive leadership workshop conducted on May 7, by Col. McCausland and his team. Attendees will learn the four dimensions of leaders, how to change the organization and its culture, and how to lead in crisis or times of high stress. This is an exceptional learning oppor- tunity and lab administrators would do well to send their best and brightest managers to this year’s Executive War College to attend these sessions.


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