Dr. John Kenagy - Surgeon, Patient, Manager, Innovator
As with so many good stories, this one begins with a fall. In the summer of 1992, while climbing a tree with his young son, Dr. Kenagy fell out of the tree and into a new perspective on healthcare. Suffering from a broken neck, he spent three months in a halo brace and another three disabled and in therapy. This experience showed him the view from the other side of the privacy curtain: as the patient.
The New View
What he saw was inspiring and troubling. He watched as dedicated individuals at all levels of the organization were working diligently to help him, but struggling against a system that often got in their way. He recovered fully, but his view of the system would never be the same.
While continuing to work as a surgeon, he joined the management team of a progressive health system in the Pacific Northwest as Vice President of Business Development. However, the resources and flexibility he needed as a clinician were a nightmare to him as an executive trying to keep the system afloat. In turn, as a clinician, he found his hard-won efforts as a manager were barely making a dent in problems he faced daily at the front line.
Inspiration and Revelation
Puzzled by this experience, he sought new solutions at Harvard University’s Kennedy School and as a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Business School. Studying those few companies able to consistently adapt, such as Intel, Toyota, IBM, and Southwest Airlines, he found common characteristics that could apply to the complex, unpredictable world of the patient. Translating those characteristics to healthcare has led to the revelation of Adaptive Design. Adaptive Design clears the way for those in management and at the front line of patient care to share a common purpose: getting patients exactly what they need at continually lower cost.
Dr. Kenagy has made Adaptive Design his life’s work. His book, Designed to Adapt: Leading Healthcare in Challenging Times, is a guide to working adaptively. He dedicates his time to teaching managers and frontline caregivers how, working together, they will make a difference. It’s an inspiration and a revelation to see that patients can get exactly what they need at continually lower cost. It’s the way to fix healthcare.
Unique Experience and Knowledge
Dr. John Kenagy has unique experience as a physician, healthcare executive, scholar, advisor, and patient. After receiving his MD with distinction from the University of Nebraska Medical School, he trained in General and Vascular Surgery at the University of Washington and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons with board certification in General and Vascular Surgery.
In addition to 20 years’ experience as a vascular surgeon, Dr. Kenagy has been Chief of Surgery, Chief of Staff, and Regional Vice President for Business Development with PeaceHealth, a multistate healthcare delivery system.
In searching for solutions to what he saw as systemic problems in healthcare, Dr. Kenagy earned a management degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School. He was then appointed a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Business School from 1998 to 2002.
His Harvard research and teaching focused on innovative companies who excelled when others failed to adapt and change. He founded Kenagy & Associates, LLC (K&A), in 2002 to bring these capabilities to healthcare’s front line. The consulting arm of K&A became a separate group, Rule 4 Consulting, in 2008, and Dr. Kenagy now focuses on how management can sustainably lead and grow Adaptive Design from the inside.
A Suite of Services Designed to Address Real Needs of Organizations
Engaging presentations inspire your organization or group to create new value
Interactive Presentations and Workshops
Customized discussions and/or workshops focus on the transformational potential of Adaptive Design in your organization; can be combined with Keynote Speaking or provided as a stand‐alone service
New Story Readiness Assessment
Uncovers new value opportunities; benchmarks your organization against world class innovators through a highly interactive process of discovery; provides next steps to accelerate innovation
Adaptive Design Consultation
Uses the science of Adaptive Design to sculpt unique solutions for your organization
M2S2 – The Leadership Program
Guides the development of 21st Century mindsets, methods, strategies and structures through lively, interactive programs for senior and mid‐management leadership.
Experience Adaptive Design (EAD)
Combines online and experiential learning to create an adaptive, responsive front‐line workforce who continually generate low cost, scalable solutions and new value from current resources
Adaptive Design for Healthcare Organizations
Engage a customized set of proven strategies and methods to enable your current resources to continually move closer to Ideal Patient Care and simultaneously lower costs
Watch John Kenagy's Speaking Video