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Episode Info

Episode Info:

Today, your host Ellen Gardner, Communications and Marketing at HIROC, speaks with Rob MacIsaac, President and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences.


Rob MacIsaac followed his father’s advice to become a professional, but after a couple of years as a lawyer, he realized he was drawn to public service. Without being a subject matter expert in any of the diverse roles he’s had – at Mohawk College, at Metrolinx, as mayor of the City of Burlington – Rob has developed a leadership philosophy built on humble inquiry and bringing people together around a vision. He is now CEO of one of Hamilton’s biggest employers, Hamilton Health Sciences, a city onto itself comprised of 7 hospitals, a cancer centre, an urgent care centre, and over 11,000 employees. For someone who loves change and rushes toward big projects, Hamilton Health Sciences is a perfect fit – the hospital is in the early stages of a massive 20-year transformation plan called Our Healthy Future.   


Key Takeaways:

[1:02] How Rob stays connected to staff across the organization

[1:28] How ‘Teach Rob Your Job’ became a successful technique for meeting frontline workers

[5:35] Rob has had to develop a contribution around leadership for every role he’s held

[6:30] A key influencer in Rob’s life has been Clay Christensen, author of How will you measure your life?

[7:10] The philosophy that has guided Rob’s career

[8:45] Why Rob moved from Mohawk College to Hamilton Health Sciences

[13:30] How Our Healthy Future is part of a larger strategy for the hospital, focussed on four directions

[14:55] How healthcare can benefit from ideas taken from other sectors

[16:32] How a series of public consultations helped shape Our Healthy Future

[20:29] Why Rob is attracted to big transformation projects

[20:41] His principle motivation - we all have a chance to leave our community a little better than the way we found it

[21:20] The three responsibilities a chief executive always has to keep in mind

[25:43] Why looking at the city of Hamilton today – prosperous and still gritty – makes Rob smile


Mentioned in this Episode:

Hamilton Health Sciences

Our Healthy Future

Mohawk College


The City of Burlington

The City of Hamilton

Clay Christensen

The World Business Forum

Daniel Kahneman – Thinking Fast and Slow



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