Perspectives on Leadership: Parallel Journeys in Medicine and Architecture
What can architects learn about leadership and collaboration from a professor of medicine?
Leadership challenges in design and medicine have surprising parallels. Design leaders and physicians both face formidable pressures to both become leaders themselves and to develop future leaders, all while constantly perfecting their craft, delivering premier client service, and managing financial demands.
In both medicine and design there is a striking paradox between academic training and actual professional practice. Architects and physicians both face a rigorous professional curriculum, yet rarely do their studies include the training necessary to prepare them to succeed as leaders. Admission to professional schools is largely based on individual achievement, and academic success most often glorifies individual accomplishment. And outside of the academy, both professions tend to idealize the heroic solo practitioner. Yet today, both medicine and architecture are increasingly team-based, collaborative undertakings, and superior outcomes are most often achieved through team-centered problem solving.
In addition to their technical competencies, leaders in medicine and design must encompasses integrity, honesty, tolerance, altruism, and the specific skills of emotional intelligence and appreciative, strength-based habits of inquiry. And to excel, leaders in these disciplines must be prepared to work cooperatively in complex, interdisciplinary organizations.
This roundtable discussion will be led by Dr. Jamie Stoller and Robert Lewis Bostwick. Stoller is a skilled pulmonologist, professor of medicine, and an assistant professor of organizational behavior. He teaches future physicians in the development of the personal attributes needed for advancing professional work through relationships, shared goals, shared knowledge, and mutual respect. Bostwick, a YSoA alumnus, is an accomplished architect and leads a multi-office firm of 50 professionals. His career has concentrated on improving project outcomes through leadership in highly integrated delivery teams.
James K. Stoller, M.D.,M.S. is Professor and Chairman of the Education Institute at Cleveland Clinic, where he also serves as a pulmonary physician. Dr. Stoller earned an MS in organizational development from the Weatherhead School of Management of CWRU. He has had longstanding experience in healthcare leadership development, directing the Cleveland Clinic’s ‘Leading in Healthcare’ course, co-directing its Samson Global Leadership Academy for Healthcare Executives, and directing the American Thoracic Society’s Emerging Leader program.
Robert Lewis Bostwick FAIA is Managing Partner and Director of Design at Bostwick Design Partnership, an architecture firm with offices in Cleveland, Miami, Erie and Pittsburgh. The firm specializes in healthcare, higher education and library projects, while emphasizing innovation in both design and project delivery. Robert promotes commitment-based team cultures and lean design processes to improve project outcomes and strengthen the architect’s leadership role. Robert is past Chair of the Advisory Group for the AIA Project Delivery Knowledge Community, and he shares his expertise at major conferences nationally and abroad.