tcb-mag-c-suiteWhat do a nursing strike, fraudulent bank accounts, for-profit university stigma, and difficult M&As have in common? They were all challenges faced by the panelists at last Thursday’s C-Suite Strategies event hosted by Twin Cities Business Magazine. Though the challenges seemed different, one theme remained the same: all of the CEOs were most concerned about their people, culture, and planning for the future.

Changing Business Models

One common discussion among the panelists was how to adapt their businesses to the future. Whether it’s through mergers & acquisitions, outcome-based compensation, or customer-centric practices, the way that businesses are run is changing.

Lynn Casey, CEO of PadillaCRT, discussed the importance of matching cultures with regard to M&As (we discussed how real estate plays a factor in M&As in this WorkSmart report). “There are so many things to consider when approaching an M&A – you need to make sure you’re asking all the hard questions, planning for worst-case scenarios, and even grieving during the process,” Casey added.

David Kvamme from Wells Fargo addressed the changes that Wells Fargo is making to their compensation structure. “In the 4th quarter of this year, compensation and bonuses will be based solely on customer satisfaction, and not on products sold.” It’s a step in the right direction, Kvamme adds, but it’s going to take a while to rebuild trust, both between customers and the bank, and bank employees themselves.

Penny Wheeler, CEO of Allina Health, is in the midst of dealing with one of the challenges that comes with changing a business model. Wheeler explained that Allina needs to create a sustainable business model for the future, and they’re trying to transition to a more outcome-based model. The nurses strike has become a very public result of this transition, and it isn’t going to be the last challenge they face.

“Technology is changing the way we practice medicine, too,” adds Wheeler. “You can get an otoscope app on your phone – that alone will reduce the number of pediatric visits in the wintertime exponentially.” Wheeler also discussed home becoming the hub-of-care for patients – which will affect the amount of medical clinic space needed.

Brian Bruggeman with the Colliers International Healthcare Services Group adds, “With increases in technology and the high costs associated with keeping patients in the hospital, it make sense that healthcare leaders will continue to push more services into the ambulatory setting, which could even include the patients home.” The Knowledge Leader, a quarterly publication by Colliers International, discusses the ins and outs of subleasing medical space, which may become a more prominent trend in the future.

Whether it’s the changing environment of healthcare, or the importance of maintaining a company’s culture, CEOs are faced with a variety of challenges every day. Thanks to Twin Cities Business, we now have a glimpse into what keeps some of them up at night, and how, regardless of their industry, their focus is the same: making people feel valued.