“Our people know that what they do every day really matters, and they are all about making a difference.”
In the following excerpt from CareerBuilder’s recent interview with Glen Tullman, Chief Executive Officer of Allscripts, Tullman discusses the qualities that make for great employees – including adaptability, curiosity and empathy – and what it means to “be big and act small.”
WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY AS IT RELATES TO PEOPLE AND THEIR IMPACT ON YOUR BUSINESS?
I’ve been fortunate to run three publicly traded companies during my career, and while each sold software, it was pretty clear that the real business was about change management — getting people to use our software to do things differently. The process of change management is a people-oriented process that required each of my companies to have smart, committed people who can empathize with the client. We believe that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Simply put, people are the business. They develop our innovative software, sell it, install it and support it. The way they do that is what makes us special. We talk with them about making a difference in everything they do, and that’s what our clients notice.
HOW DO YOU ENGAGE WITH AND RELATE TO YOUR EMPLOYEES?
When you are small, you have the advantage of being able to develop a relationship with every one of your people. As you grow, culture takes the place of those individual interactions. We have 5,500 people, and I simply can’t spend time with all of them, so we use our vision, strategy and goals to earn their commitment and help guide their decisions. For example, our vision is to create a Connected Community of Health™. People understand what being connected means, what being a part of a community is, and they buy into the need to create better health in our communities — to keep people healthy rather than just treating them after they are sick.
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT LEADERSHIP LESSONS YOU’VE LEARNED?
The first lesson is about having a vision and values and following each one. Empowering that is key. I like to say, “If it is to be… it is up to me.” The second lesson is to find people who are committed and trustworthy. We look for people who know what it takes to be the best. We want people with energy, curiosity and a commitment to giving back. The third lesson is gaining comfort with the fact that change is the norm. It’s better to have people who are lifelong learners, comfortable with change, because the rate of change will continue to increase, and flexibility and adaptability will become even more critical with each passing year.
HOW DO YOUR EMPLOYEES AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS, PARTICULARLY AS IT RELATES TO PATIENT CARE?
Allscripts is unique. Not many companies are focused on transforming an industry, so it’s important that our people have both energy and persistence. Health care isn’t just any industry; it touches every family in America, and getting it right can be a life or death situation. Our team recognizes the significance of that and the importance of their work in “getting it right.” The United States can’t continue to be a world leader unless we fix our health care system. Our people understand our mission and have enormous passion about it. This year, our software will touch more than 200 million Americans. Our people know that what they do every day really matters, and they are all about making a difference.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE THE CULTURE AT ALLSCRIPTS? WHAT ROLE DO YOU PLAY IN REINFORCING THE CULTURE?
We have a hands-on, entrepreneurial spirit, and the challenge I give our team is “be big and act small.” For us, that means caring deeply about our clients and our people, having fun and innovating in all that we do, and making a difference in our communities and in people’s lives. Culture begins at the top. As a leader, I know that people watch what I do, not what I say. So I get directly involved in the toughest problems, stay very close to our clients and try to have as much interaction with our frontline employees as possible. It’s very challenging to do and to do it right, but that’s the core of leadership.
ABOUT GLEN TULLMAN: Glen Tullman is chief executive officer of Allscripts. He joined the company in 1997 and led its transition into the health care information sector, driving Allscripts to become the leading provider of clinical software, connectivity and information solutions. Prior to joining Allscripts, Mr. Tullman was chief operating officer of Enterprise Systems, Inc., a leading health care information services company. He has also served in a number of management roles, including president and chief operating officer of CCC Information Services. Mr. Tullman graduated from Bucknell University Magna Cum Laude with a double major in economics and psychology. Mr. Tullman has been recognized as CEO of the Year by the Illinois Information Technology Association, Ernst & Young’s 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year in the technology category for the Midwest region. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame and was named one of Health Data Management’s 2010 “game changers.”
ABOUT ALLSCRIPTS: Allscripts (NASDAQ: MDRX) provides innovative solutions that empower all stakeholders across the health care continuum to deliver world-class outcomes. The company’s clinical, financial, connectivity and information solutions for hospitals, physicians and post-acute organizations are the essential technologies that enable a Connected Community of Health™. To learn more about Allscripts, please visit www.allscripts.com, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.Related
Forget what you think you know about HR... it's all about to change.
Sign up to start getting exclusive content designed to empower you with the insight necessary to go from HR professional to strategic business partner.