Régine Honoré Villain

Senior Vice President Supply Chain Network, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Ochsner Health

The Journal of Healthcare Contracting: What’s the most challenging or rewarding project that you’ve worked on in the last 12 to 18 months?

Régine Villain: Working to ensure the viability of the organization. When it comes to supply chain, everybody talks about PPE, but the supply chain really is at the center of a lot of the decisions that were happening, such as making sure ventilators were available, managing the vaccination sites and supporting them, etc.

At the same time, we were completely remote during a situation that never happened before. So, you have the most acute crisis that you could ever have lived through, yet you’re managing a team of individuals remotely. And at the time I was fairly new to the organization. When COVID started, I had been at Ochsner less than one year. You’re looking at all of those dynamics, and it was just massive challenge. But I knew that it was also time to show up and show out.

JHC: How do you foster successful engagement/communication among clinical staff and other parts of your organization with the supply chain?

Villain: For me, it’s about an attitude of servant leadership, coming from a place of openness. It’s really understanding that communication is the cornerstone of everything. I thrive on building strong networks and relationships with others. When it comes to engaging folks, I want to meet them where they are.

First, I want to understand. I want to seek to understand what it is that we’re trying to do. So, one of the things I’m very careful about when engaging with others is making sure that we’re building momentum to something bigger than just the two of us. What are some of the successes that you have? What are the challenges that you have? OK, here’s where I’m coming from, and here is what I see, what do you think about that?

It’s that spirit of openness, a spirit of listening, servant leadership, and that attitude of saying, “I want to be humble and I want to be completely vulnerable to hear what you have to say.”

At the same time, let’s use that as fodder to figure out how we can do something together. I want to find the people who respond well to that. I’m not coming to you because I know everything, and I’m not coming to you because I’m trying to change what you’re doing. I’m coming to you because I think that we can do something together. Or perhaps I have an idea and “Hear me out, here’s what I was thinking, what are your thoughts?” It’s about having that respect and boundaries.

Ultimately, you start from a place of assuming good intent, and you make it work. So, engagement is really important and something I practice, not only with colleagues, but also with team members and external partners. I find that when you have that kind of respect and servant leadership attitude, it resonates really well with others.

Just be authentic. If you don’t know something, you don’t know it. That’s fine. It’s OK to not have all the answers and seek to find ways to engage with each other in a way that is fulfilling for both parties.

JHC: How do you generate good ideas within your team?

Villain: I invite people to feel comfortable with putting down their guard. Let’s forget about titles for a second here. I’m coming to you. Yes, I’m a senior leader, but I know that you are the expert in your space. Let’s say you are a buyer. You are the expert right now in your space. I’m coming to you to better understand some things that may be going on in my space, and maybe you have ideas. Maybe there’s things that you’re doing that are repetitive, that you’re already thinking maybe that I should do this different way. Or maybe there are things that you’re probably already doing, thinking that you’re going to get yourself in trouble by revealing it because it’s outside of the norm of what’s being told to you. So let’s have some ideas about some things that you’re talking about.

This must be a safe space. Not only talk about creating the safe space, but also emulate it. Like I said, it’s important to be authentic. Once you demonstrate that it becomes a little bit easier to help with idea generation.

And then setting the expectation that failure is OK. That’s another thing. People want to generate ideas, but they get scared that maybe their idea is not going to work and that they’re going to be blamed for it. It’s OK to fail forward in the pursuit of wanting to do the right thing. What’s important is to understand the times that you have failed, learn from it and quickly pivot and try to figure out the next thing.

We’re going to generate this idea and guess what, after the first few weeks of trying it, we can come back together and have another idea. And then do it again, until we figure it out.

I think when people see that, and they believe it, it really helps across the spectrum, not just employees, but again, colleagues and people you deal with, because then people understand that, “I’ve got your back. I’ve got you. Let’s do this.” You may think it’s a stupid idea. But it really isn’t that stupid. Because at the core of it, there’s a lot of good stuff that we can do here.

It may not be conventional. There’s nothing wrong with that. We had a year where unconventional was the norm. And in many ways, I want to make sure that we don’t forget that. We don’t forget what it felt like when we broke those barriers. We don’t forget what it felt like when we broke those rules. And it felt really good to have that speed to execution and have something that seems to be insurmountable done in like 24 hours, 48 hours, because no more red tape, no more questioning. If my ideas were good last year, and you trusted me last year to make some amazing decisions, then let’s continue on that path.

safe online pharmacy for viagra cheap kamagra oral jelly online