Kate Munnings - COO - Ramsay Health Care
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Many aspire to reach the upper echelon of the healthcare industry, but few are able to successfully navigate the corporate ladder. As Asia becomes the world epicenter of the healthcare industry, C-Suite Partners sits down with international healthcare executives asking the tough questions and unpacking the personalities of the top industry leaders.
Welcome to the boardroom.
Michael Murray 0:34
Hi, Kate, welcome to the C suite partners in the boardroom. Thank you for joining us.
Kate Munnings 0:38
Thank you for having me.
Michael Murray 0:39
First question, what excites you about healthcare in the next 10 years?
Kate Munnings 0:44
I think the change that is likely to occur in healthcare, I think healthcare has been a sector that has been potentially less impacted by disruption. But I don’t see that being the future of healthcare. So I think that there will be a period of change. I think that that will be good for the consumer. And I think all the stakeholders will gain a lot from it as well. But I think ultimately, we’re all in healthcare for the benefit of our patients and their families. And disruption, I think will will inevitably enhance the service we provide
Michael Murray 1:19
10 years previous, what advice would you give yourself?
Kate Munnings 1:22
Well, 10 years ago was the GFC was 2008. So in my career, that year sort of started a year of turbulence in the business I was working in. So I would have given myself the advice to embrace that and learn from it. I realize now looking back, that those experiences are the experiences from which I’ve grown as an executive developed the most, you don’t learn through the good times, you’ve learned through the tough times.
Michael Murray 1:50
What do you think would be the top three challenges for new executives coming into a healthcare role?
Kate Munnings 1:58
Well, my experience I started my career in healthcare as a registered nurse and spent about nine years working as a registered nurse. And then I left healthcare and have been out of it for 25 years and have only just returned two years ago. So the one thing that I’ve observed in returning is that very little has changed. And I think that executives in healthcare need to now be resilient. They need to be have a lot more foresight into what’s possible, rather than what has always been, and I think they need to have courage, I think that’s really going to be important. The healthcare executive that has the courage to really do things differently and be a leader in the sector, I think will be rewarded.
Michael Murray 2:44
So obviously, you’re very positive about this trend that’s happening in healthcare at the moment where businesses are starting to look outside of healthcare to bring in a new lens, so to speak.
Kate Munnings 2:53
Yes. Yep, the digital innovation, different models of care, I’m really positive about it, I think it can only be a good thing to reflect on what you do and do it differently.
Michael Murray 3:06
They’ve given you’ve come from different industries, who was the most influential executive that you’ve worked with?
Kate Munnings 3:12
I had the benefit of working with Christine Lagarde or I was a partner at Baker and McKenzie, which is an international law firm and she was the chair of that firm at the time. And she used to have lunch with the with the female partners of which there were very few at the time. And she was just inspiring. She was very firm on what we brought as women was as valuable as what men bought in that we didn’t have to assume she didn’t encourage us to assume male stereotypical qualities. She was just an inspirational, inspirational leader at a time when there were few women to look up to, for people like me.
Michael Murray 3:56
And how would you viewan MBA versus industry experience? You find a lot of clients are looking for someone specifically with MBA qualifications compared to someone who might have 20 years experience but they don’t have an MBA. How do you see that?
Kate Munnings 4:11
Well, I come from a particular perspective I’ve got an eight-hour equivalent when I left high school of 57. Okay, so I now speak at schools about your qualifications don’t guarantee your success or happiness, okay. It’s a combination. So some people benefit from having an MBA, but I look at you need to be a theoretical leader as well as an intuitive leader. And sometimes the textbook response is not the response that necessarily results in the right outcomes. But I believe you can actually lead without having that theoretical
Michael Murray 4:53
You’re proof of that, aren’t you?
Kate Munnings 4:54
Well, I hope so.
Michael Murray 4:54
Yeah, definitely, definitely. If you look back at your career across both healthcare and industries, what decision do you regret the most?
Kate Munnings 5:04
I have to be honest, there is nothing that I regret. There is no decision. I know that that sounds crazy, like I’ve made decisions that are wrong, but not decisions that I regret.
Michael Murray 5:17
So what would be your crowning achievement in your career today?
Kate Munnings 5:20
The crowning achievement was when I was a technical person. So when I went to Transport Services, they wanted to appoint a CIO. And I applied for that job, not knowing that I did not have all the experience all the direct experience, but I wrote a submission about the relevant experience that I had. And I compared my, you know, I was a contract, construction lawyer. So I knew contracts, and we were contractors. So I was able to demonstrate that difference was what they needed, not the same. And I did it really to demonstrate to some of the younger women in our company that you do need to take a risk in your career. And the managing director sort of called me in and said, be careful what you wish for. Yeah. Because you’ve got it and it was very nerve-wracking. And I thought, holy hell, what am I done? Yeah. But then having a lead and learn at the same time is, is challenging and rewarding.
Michael Murray 6:21
Okay, and final question, you had 30 seconds to describe what your career legacy will be?
Kate Munnings 6:26
What would have been my career legacy, I’d like to leave a legacy of leadership that allows young people to reach their potential. I want to have wherever I’ve been a leader created that environment. I’m a mother of children and I look at them and think, you know, I hope that they have worked for someone who has the potential to do that for them. So I the legacy I’d like to leave is to have created environments where other young men and women can succeed.
Michael Murray 7:01
Kate, thank you very much for joining C-Suite Partners in the boardroom.
Kate Munnings 7:04
Thank you for having us.