Thought Leaders in Business Presents: Integrative Medicine: Separating Fact from Fiction

With Dr. Woodson Merrell, Chairman of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center and author of The Detox Prescription and Power Up

May 9th – 6 PM – Yale Club of New York City

Dr. Woodson Merrell has been on a mission to transform medicine and healthcare since he started his practice in integrative general internal medicine in 1986. A pioneer and national leader developing the field of Integrative Medicine, Dr, Merrell’s approach combines the best evidence-based therapeutic approaches from conventional and complementary medicine.

Have you ever wondered about the following questions?

  • What’s the best diet? Paleo, Mediterranean, vegetarian, etc.
  • Cholesterol: does it have to be treated? (Hint: probably not for half of you out there.)
  • Homeopathy: Beneficial or the devil’s brew?
  • Vitamins: How do we know if we need them or what ones we need?
  • What mindfulness practices increase our intelligence, focus health and longevity? Are there pills that can do the same thing?
  • How much exercise is enough?
  • How do I get more energy?
  • Is there some way for me to get to sleep better or keep me in sleep? Why am I always exhausted in AM?
  • How can I control my weight?
  • Are stem cells ready for prime time?

Dr. Merrell will be addressing these questions and many more at our next May 9th Thought Leaders in Business event.

More about Dr. Merrell:

  • Chairman of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center/
  • Research on integrative medicine effectively combines Western bio-scientific medical practices, tradition-based approaches to health such as acupuncture, and an innovative focus on nutrition and the body.
  • Author of The Detox Prescription and Power Up, an in-depth exploration of how to supercharge your health and eliminate the toxins within.

Join us at this exclusive Thought Leaders in Business event to hear Dr. Merrell tackle some of the biggest health myths we see in modern medicine today, and to learn more about how we can begin to heal ourselves.

Dr. Woodson Merrell

Dr. Woodson Merrell received his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and has been in practice for more than 30 years. He has been on a mission to transform medicine and healthcare since he started his practice in integrative general internal medicine in New York City in 1986. He has been a pioneer and national leader in developing the field of Integrative Medicine, which combines the best evidence-based therapeutic approaches from conventional and complementary medicine.

Dr. Merrell’s practice includes nutrition, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and mind-body stress reduction techniques along with conventional internal medicine and diagnostics. As the Founding Executive Director of the Center for Health and Healing in New York, Dr. Merrell established the largest and most comprehensive academic center for Integrative Medicine in the U.S. He is immediate past Chairman of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center and assistant clinical professor of medicine at Icahn Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

Dr. Merrell is the author of two books, Power Up and The Detox Prescription. As one of the world’s leading experts on Integrative Medicine, Dr. Merrelll has been frequently quoted in national publications including Time, The New Yorker, The New York Times and Town and Country, and has made numerous television appearances including on Good Morning America, CBS News and The Dr. Oz show.

Employers, Are You Ready for 2018?

News headlines in 2017 had employers sitting up and taking notice. From #MeToo, to changes in minimum wage, to restrictions on unpredictable workers’ schedules—a startling list of new regulations and legislation means there’s a lot to get your head around, whether you own a small business or are a manager in a large corporation.

At the most recent Though Leaders in Business, Kerrie R. Heslin walked the audience through some of the most recent changes from the employers’ perspective, pointing out potholes, pitfalls and oft-neglected areas.

Heslin, of employment law firm Nukk-Freeman & Cerra, P.C., which represents employers, noted that layers of statutes affect employers, with the federal government, state government and even municipalities getting in on the act of regulating employers.

The audiences’ hands flew in the air with questions for each topic. Heslin tackled some tough questions and gave the audience specific advice about their existing procedures.

Some highlights from Heslin’s talk:

  • The NYC Salary History Ban prohibits employers from asking prospective employees’ salary histories. The fines can be steep – with a civil penalty of up to $125,000 and $250,000 if the violation was willful. Hint: Some companies are making sure interviewers adhere to the policy by putting a reminder—”No salary history questions!”—right in the Outlook invitation.
  • The Ban-the-Box law in New York State means no more check box asking potential employees if they’ve been convicted of a crime.
  • The threshold salary at which employers must pay overtime has gone way up, sometimes ranging up to $48,000. This number also can also vary by location and even county.
  • The “affirmative defense”—in which an employer must simply prove adequate training to prevent sexual harassment—is no longer a sufficient defense in New York State when an employee alleges wrongdoing.
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act of New York applies even if you have one employee. And the time off does not have to be taken consecutively.
  • All the new legislation means updating forms and processes.
    – Employment applications
    – Employee handbooks
    – Training material
    – Interview scripts
    – Acceptance letters
    – Contracts

A good employer needs to have a solid action plan in place to meet complaints and allegations with clear and documented procedures. Waiting until you’re faced with an allegation or complaint is dropping the ball – and both you and your employees deserve better than that.

Rather than be overwhelmed, Heslin suggested some concrete steps to take:

  • Perform a self-audit with your legal firm. Because it’s privileged, companies don’t have to wring their hands over what might surface.
  • Sign up for Heslin’s alert email—to stay on top of the shifting regulatory environment.
  • Make sure you have procedures in place to capture and respond to employee complaints; turning a blind eye puts your company at risk.
  • Start training programs that catch your employees up on the new policies and procedures you’re enacting.

It was an honor to have Kerrie R. Heslin with us for this Thought Leaders in Business presentation. Her talk couldn’t have been more informative, and left the audience all better equipped to face employment challenges head on and become part of the solution to a better workplace environment.

Review of Thought Leader in Business Award Ceremony with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney

On July 20th, we were honored to present Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney with our annual Thought Leaders in Business Award.

Congresswoman Maloney was first elected to congress in 1992, and she has been the frontrunner who has pushed for a long list of progressive accomplishments. Among which is her current push for government to prioritize cybersecurity. The recent cybersecurity attacks being carried out by nation states such as North Korea and Russia have put cybersecurity at the forefront of many high level discussions – both in government and in business.

We’re thrilled that Congresswoman Maloney has been repeatedly emphasizing the importance of this discussion – and that she’s emphasized the need for it to be ongoing. After the presentation of the award, the congresswoman gave a brief talk. In her speech, she emphasized not only the government’s role in prioritizing cybersecurity, but our role as individuals, as well.

Specifically, Rep. Maloney stated that individuals in the private sector need to put more pressure on those working in the public sector to acknowledge cybersecurity as a matter of importance. When citizens show that they want to personally learn more about cybersecurity and that they hold their government accountable to use better technology, the end result will be improved ability to mitigate risk.

In her talk, Congresswoman Maloney said that cybersecurity needs to become a policy focus within all government bodies. She believes firmly that any situation where customer privacy is being compromised is one that we need to focus on and work toward improvement. Currently, the Congresswoman is working on a bill that would require all companies who deal with sensitive information to comply with data security standards that many banks already adhere to.

Because these standards are already being used in Banking, Rep. Maloney sees no reason that they couldn’t be applied to all companies that provide financial services. The standards are scalable for both small and large businesses, and they’re intended to protect customers (individuals, businesses, and governments) from hackers.

Congresswoman Maloney is absolutely correct when she says that we as a country can’t afford to be at the mercy of hackers. There must be more communication between the private and public sector so that we can move forward together as a unified front against cybersecurity threats.

It was our honor to award Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney with this year’s Thought Leader in Business Award. Watch her video here to see the full ceremony and her Q&A session.

Thought Leaders in Business Discussion: 3 Surprising Lessons in Service Design

When we think about the traditional rules of business, general platitudes come to mind like “Go above and beyond,” or “The customer is always right.” However, service design is changing the way we do business. With these changes creating leaner business models and more streamlined sales, we should accept that there are new lessons to learn and new ways of interacting with customers. This quarter’s Thought Leaders in Business featured Tom Steward and Patricia O’Connell, authors of Woo, Wow, and Win! Service Design, Strategy, and the Art of Customer Delight. Tom and Patricia explored some of these lessons in our most recent Thought Leaders in Business, and some of them may surprise you.

Forget What You Learned from Manufacturing

Almost every business “rule” that we’ve learned is tailored to fit a manufacturing business model, but many of these rules don’t fit anywhere in a service design business. Service design is much more flexible because when the product we sell is a service we’re incorporating the human element. Service design customers are incredibly hands-on throughout the selling process. This real-time customer engagement with the service you’re selling leaves room for instant feedback and can cause some hiccups as no interaction is identical. However, this unique flexibility also allows you to maintain a much closer connection with your customers and provide them with a better, more tailored service – for both you and them.

No Heroics

When a customer purchases a manufactured product, it’s finished. The expectation is that that product will be fine-tuned, excellent, and consistent. This heroic sense of excellence has been lauded as the necessary but difficult-to-achieve goal for many organizations. However, when you apply this lesson from manufacturing to service design, it doesn’t translate well. Service design professionals attempt to meet this goal of excellence by going “above and beyond.” The problem is that you cannot maintain any sense of consistency with your customers when you work to exceed their expectations. Service design focuses on lean production and lean consumption – any extra “above and beyond” heroics creates confusion, and adds additional steps to what should be a streamlined, and most importantly, consistent process.

Don’t Surprise Your Customer

Related to this idea of maintaining consistency in your service design business is the concept of surprising your customer. The idea that businesses need to “surprise and delight” their customers is completely wrong for the service design business model. Nobody likes to be surprised when they’re expecting a specific service. Surprises create inconsistency in the expectations of your customers. Have you ever heard of a hair stylist surprising their customer with a new color or style they didn’t ask for? If you have, I doubt the “surprise” story had a happy ending.

Additionally, a customer shouldn’t be surprised when you complete the services they expect from you. In general, surprises don’t go over well in service design. Instead of surprising your customers, focus on delighting them by meeting their expectations. Let the quality of your work speak for itself – no surprises necessary.

Final Thoughts

The rules of business that have been drilled into the minds of business owners through countless seminars, articles, and white papers the world over make sense…for traditional product-based manufacturing businesses. Service design is its own unique business model, and should be treated as such. Whether your service business is B2C or B2B, you deserve to follow “rules” that don’t limit you and your business’s growth potential. The different set of expectations for both service providers and customers in service design are necessary. Tom Stewart and Patricia O’Connell gave an amazing presentation at Thought Leaders in Business. Stay tuned for the video to follow.

Stay tuned for the video capturing this event, and check out the slide show presentation here.