Posts Tagged ‘Public policy’

“Being an example” published by Jon Harvey

July 29, 2012

Recently, Jon Harvey published my Being an example short article in his Inspirational Leadership series.  Writing this article provided me an opportunity to try to summarize lessons learned from working with Katherine E. Boyd.

It was an privilege and a pleasure to know and work with Katie Boyd.  Here are some principles I believe Katie exemplified.

a) Do whatever you can.

b) Ask for whatever you should.

c) Provide appreciation.

d) Support those who support your causes.

e) Try new outreach.

f) It may not be necessary to tout your role.

g) Lead by being an example.

I would like to thank Jon Harvey for giving me an opportunity to reflect on the past and to try to offer people these principles and some examples of results from my trying to follow such concepts.


Attended CED program regarding healthcare reform

November 14, 2009

On November 10, 2009, I attended a program, co-sponsored by the Committee for Economic Development (CED) and the Bay Area Council, regarding healthcare reform in the United States.

A highlight was a description of Safeway‘s programs to promote employee wellness and (in so doing) foster employee and Safeway financial health.  This talk presented key concepts – from overall principles … to steps people can take to improve their health … to details as to how the company is capping the charges associated with one type of insurance-covered procedure.

The principles include …

  • Insure everyone – no one should be left out.
  • Create more personal responsibility.
  • Encourage prevention and wellness by linking healthy behaviors to financial incentives.
  • Provide cost and quality transparency.
  • Pay more for results and less for service rendered.

Some observations include …

  • 70% of healthcare costs are driven by behavior.
  • Four chronic conditions comprise 74% of healthcare costs.
  • Obesity is a driving factor in all four chronic conditions.
  • Transparency is critical to controlling costs.

The talk included suggestions for how people can decrease weight via reduced food consumption and more physical activity.

One cost-capping measure is based on the notion that previously, in one geographic area, the billed cost of a colonoscopy might be as low as under $900 and as high as more than $8,000 – with the most significant difference being the cost of, in effect, renting the facility in which the procedure is performed.  Safeway insurance plans now pay up to an amount for which any employee in the region should be able to get a colonoscopy without travelling more than 30 miles.

Evidently, Safeway is finding enough success and promise in the overall program that it is now providing how-to advice for other employers.

Also, this CED / Bay Area Council program discussed aspects of possible forthcoming legislation, including a bill proposed by Senators Wyden (Democrat – Oregon) and Bennett (Republican – Utah).  CED provided copies of its report “Quality, Affordable Health Care for All: Moving Beyond the Employer-Based Health-Insurance System.”

I appreciate perspective provided by key speakers, including ..

  • Charles Kolb, President, CED.
  • Robert Chess, Chairman, Nektar Therapeutics.
  • Ken Shachmut, Executive Vice President, Safeway Health LLC.
  • Alain Enthoven, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University.

And, I appreciate CED’s inviting me to this event.  (Previously, I served on its Board of Trustees).  It was good to reconnect with Charlie, Rob, and Michael Petro (each associated with CED) as well as to talk briefly with Ken, Alain, panel participant Lenny Mednonca (Chairman, McKinsey Global Institute), and panel moderator Lynn Jimenez (KGO).

Click for information about Thomas J. Buckholtz

Attended TiE event featuring Aneesh Chopra

September 20, 2009

On September, 19, 2009, I attended a  TiE Silicon Valley event featuring remarks by Aneesh Chopra (federal Chief Technology Officer and Associate Director for Technology, Office of Science & Technology Policy, U.S. federal Executive Branch), Dow Wilson (Corporate Executive Vice President and President, Oncology Systems, Varian Medical Systems), Dave Anderson (President and CEO, Headsprout), Scott Lang (Chairman, president and CEO, Silver Spring Networks, Zia Yusuf (Global Ecosystem and Partner Group, SAP), and Steve Wozniak (co-founder, Apple).

Mr. Chopra’s remarks focused on three areas of initiatives – building blocks of innovation (including secure infrastructure, research-and-development collaboration, and 21st-century workforce), innovation for national priorities (including healthcare information-technology, smart grid, and education technology), and open-government culture (including initiatives and platforms).  I was also intrigued by education-oriented remarks from Mr. Anderson and Mr. Wozniak.

After the formal program, I was pleased to have opportunities to …

  • Talk briefly with Mr. Chopra.  During the formal program, I had submitted a written question regarding initiatives to foster the development of information systems that help people understand the appropriateness and risks of making decisions based on the information the people are using.
  • Talk briefly with each of Mr. Anderson and Mr. Wozniak and offer to send each some thoughts about making better matches between learners and sources of learning. (See “Guide Your Learning Initiatives,” via this link.)
  • Talk briefly with Mr. Lang about ‘smart metering’ and related services from energy utilities, based in part on my being cognizant of such an effort (regarding agricultural refrigeration facilities) when I led a company-wide innovation program for Pacific Gas and Electric Company during the 1980s.
  • Be introduced to Kiran Kini Malhotra, Executive Director, TiE Silicon Valley .

Click for information about Thomas J. Buckholtz

Co-produced video “From Outrage to Outcomes – Let’s produce pivotal progress!”

August 28, 2009

On August 27, 2009, LectureMaker posted a video featuring my presenting From Outrage to Outcomes: “Let’s produce pivotal progress!”.

There is much that society, businesses, and individuals need and want to achieve.

I hope many people will learn from, use, benefit from, and teach the presentation’s recipe for producing pivotal progress.  The presentation indicates needs for new progress (in education, healthcare, transportation, and politics and governance; throughout society; and specific to individuals), discusses why progress seems so hard to achieve now, provides the recipe, illustrates uses of the recipe, encourages people to act, and notes means for obtaining help.

From Outrage to Outcomes - "Let's produce pivotal progress!"

From Outrage to Outcomes - "Let's produce pivotal progress!"

I will be happy to help foster communities that form to take positive action.

Also, perhaps people will consider sponsoring follow-on videos regarding specific challenges, opportunities, and means to improve how society and individuals try to achieve results.

Ron Fredericks (of LectureMaker) added considerable value by making suggestions about the presentation’s content and my delivery of that content, by adding effects to the video, by tuning the technical quality of the images and sounds, and providing a web-presence home for the video and related comments.  I recommend people contact him to explore producing high-quality videos.

Click for information about Thomas J. Buckholtz.

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