Julia Middleton's thoughts on leadership

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Leaders set a challenge with heart

October 22nd, 2010 · No Comments

Yesterday we had the first Advisory Group meeting of Dishaa: a new initiative for future leaders in the UK and India.

The Advisory Group for this initiative includes senior leaders from both countries who, throughout the careers and outside their areas of work, have achieved extraordinary things. They set the challenge which will be met by a group of 40 – as Michael Duck of UBM described – hungry, intelligent people from the UK and India, all from very different sectors of work. These future leaders will meet in Pune in India early next year.

After much debate over various tough issues facing both the UK and India today, the challenge the Advisory Group settled on was:

‘If major heart surgery at $1,000 USD can be done, what has to change in how society innovates – including models and mindsets – for this to happen?’

Can it be done at this cost?

A member of our group is one of the few people in the world who would not only know, but could deliver it: Dr Devi Shetty. He has done 70,000 major heart surgeries in his life and opened a hospital with 5,000 beds. He said it could be done.

It was the rest of the Advisory Goup’s response to his statement that was intriguing. It seemed ridiculous, unthinkable…until you clicked that it was him making it.

We pushed him to tell us how much it currently cost. He thought probably $3,000 USD to $5,000 USD in India, so his proposition would probably reduce the cost by 75 per cent in India. He said it costs around $100,000 USD in the States, and he could not hazard a guess in the UK because of how the NHS does its accounting.

We had set some criteria for deciding the challenge for Dishaa. It had to be compelling, common to both countries, big (so it was worth spending time on) and small (so that the group could grasp it – and propse meaningful and potentially achievable solutions).

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