My training as an executive
I’m Benoit Morin, an expert in health and wellness & former head of PHSA, offering a unique perspective to help people improve their health and lead healthier lives during the COVID-19 epidemic. The following is an overview of how I became a successful health care executive.
After my father’s death, I enrolled in the Ph.D. in health ethics and law at the University of Toronto, which is a multidisciplinary program and a collaboration between the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Law and the Department of ethics / philosophy. Those were the years of the early development of the UofT’s University Health Network (UHN), which saw major teaching hospitals get together with the UofT to create a more integrated health system aimed at fostering better care, health research and systemic improvements. I got involved and was fascinated by the complexity of the many challenges the UHN faced to help multiple systems better integrate their ways to achieve the desired outcomes. The complexity of health systems was starting to take shape in my mind and I was growingly drawn to it as I saw the opportunity to get involved and make a difference. Harnessing and managing such complexity is the holy grail of health care management.
I earned my Ph.D. (2001) and went on to spend the next several years involved in health research and developing skills in public management. As I would not want to simply reproduce my LinkedIn profile that provides all details of my career steps, I will focus here on what I learned and experienced that shaped me as a health care executive.
In 2005, I also completed the Queen’s Executive MBA training program in order to better equip myself to face the evolving management challenges of my developing career. That program is geared to teach one paramount lesson in management: teamwork always outperforms individual efforts. At least, this is what I experienced. The program design aims at forming high performing teams and providing a workload that only teamwork can effectively and successfully tackle. That program design crushed the belief that solo work may outperform teamwork. I came out of that program with a new focus on collaboration, leveraging multiple stakeholders and mobilization. Small or large, teamwork has the same DNA: human dynamics.
Quebec ministry of health
In 2009, as I was getting increasingly complex executive mandates, I was offered the opportunity to enroll in the Quebec ministry of health’s training program for future CEOs. A year-long program that offered me opportunities to test my skills, learn from senior executives and former health politicians / ministers and develop a more intimate knowledge of the politics of health care. Steering a health organization comes with the politics of it, no matter where the system is in the world. The leadership program helped me whip in shape my executive skills and discover the nuts and bolts of managing a complex system: physicians, politicians, unions, budgets, groups of interests, cultural diversity, media and so on are all core forces at play to get to the ultimate goal: delivering high quality health care to the public.
As part of my first CEO mandate and my hands-on discovery of the paramount importance of the human factor in leadership, I enrolled in a year-long mindfulness training at the Laval University.
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Other pages of my biography
The genesis of who I am
Becoming a CEO