Being accountable, adaptable, and ambitious has helped advance my career. First, I focus on doing the job that I was hired to do, and fulfilling commitments to customers and business partners. Once I accomplish the fundamentals, I look for ways to continuously enhance the value that we deliver to our customers. For example, when we learned that hearing loss impacts 40 percent of adults over age 65, and that many of those people go untreated because of the high cost of hearing aids, we built hi HealthInnovations to make hearing aids more affordable and accessible for the 48 million Americans with hearing loss.
Once we demonstrated that we could build a start-up in a Fortune 14 company, we were given the opportunity to build Optum Clinics, a network of urgent care clinics that provide immediate, convenient access to affordable, quality health care services. Redirecting unnecessary emergency room traffic to urgent care clinics could save the American health care system hundreds of millions annually, while providing a better consumer experience.
Second, being adaptable is critical in highly evolving, fast-paced industries. This means being open to new ideas, managing when things don’t go as planned, and preparing backups. Remaining poised, and offering alternative solutions when faced with an unexpected challenge, shows adaptability. It is more effective to be passionate about “solving a problem,” than to be committed to a specific solution.
Third, being proactive in taking on new roles and responsibilities that expand your portfolio of experiences and skills is key to moving forward. For companies to advance, they need people who have great ambition, for themselves and their organizations.
On Finding Success and Staying Competitive
The health care system is rapidly evolving, and consumers want more value—higher quality and lower cost—for their health care dollars. To stay competitive, we need to continuously innovate, driving toward a more consumer-centric, efficient health system.
On the Importance of Role Models and Mentors
My mentors have encouraged me to “hit the wall hard.” By giving my best effort and stretching myself, I have achieved better results than if I had been less driven.
On Facing Challenges
One of the hardest challenges has been starting new businesses within a large organization. While this structure provides resources and opportunities, it also creates unique challenges. We have had to stay nimble and flexible to meet market demands, so we have had to push our organization to think more like a start-up company than a Fortune 14 enterprise.
Lisa’s Advice to Young Women Starting Careers
Earn the confidence and trust of team members, customers, and business partners. When you consistently fulfill your commitments, more opportunities will be available to you.