Assignment 1: IN-BOX Exercise Case Study (Attached to this order) (6 pages, 10 References)

The in-box exercise tests your ability to prioritize work, delegate work and involve appropriate expertise from other organizational components in day-to-day problem solving. The point of this “in box” exercise is to get your intellectual “juices” flowing quickly so we can get into the more central part of the course.  The instructions for completing this exercise appear in the chapter in the Rakich text that contains the exercise. Please provide answers to all the in box situations individually in terms of what you see the options to be, your preferred approach, and why.  Then address the three questions at the end of the chapter. You need to respond to both the 22 individual items and the summary questions at the end of the text.

Assignment 2: Student Life Long Learning Plan (7 pages, 10 References)

HCAD 670 – The Capstone Course
Lifelong Learning Plan


Lifelong learning is a concept or really a process that has generated much enthusiasm in the business management world.  In the twenty-first century, I believe we will see more remarkable leaders and managers who develop their skills through lifelong learning, because a rapidly changing environment is increasingly rewarding that pattern of growth.  In an ever-changing world, we can never learn it all, even if we keep growing into our nineties.  As the rate of change increases, the willingness and ability to keep developing become central to career success for individuals and economic success for organizations.  Many successful leaders and manager I have known did not begin their careers with the most money or the most intelligence. They were successful nevertheless because they we able to out grow their rivals. They developed the capacity to handle a complex and changing health care environment.  They grow to become unusually competent in advancing organizational transformation.  The best of them learned to become leaders.

Just as health care organizations are going to be forced to learn, change, and constantly reinvent themselves in the twenty-first century, so will increasing numbers of individuals. So what are the habits of life long learners?  There is no single formula, and individuals accomplish it through varying paths, often with more than one major career change.   However, if I had to identify the five most important characteristics of life long learners, it would be the following:

  • Risk taking: Willingness to push oneself out of comfort zones
    · Humble self-reflection: Honest assessment of successes and failures, especially the latter.
    · Solicitation of opinions: Aggressive collection of information and ideas from others
    · Careful listening: Propensity to listen to others
    · Openness to new ideas: Willingness to view life with an open mind.

The beauty is that that listening with an open mind, trying new things, or reflecting honestly on successes and failures do not require a high IQ, a Ph.D., or a privileged background.  But beware of the simplicity of these habits.  There is a major reason why so few individuals develop them — in the short term, its painful.  Risk taking brings failure as well as success.  Honest reflection, listening solicitation of opinions, and openness bring bad news and negative feedback as well as interesting ideas. In the short term, life is generally more pleasant without failure and negative feedback.

Effective lifelong learners overcome a natural human tendency to shy away from or abandon habits that produce short-term pain. By surviving difficult experiences, they build up certain immunity to hardship. With clarity of thought, they come to realize the importance of both these habits and lifelong learning. But most of all, their goals and aspirations facilitate the development of humility, openness, willingness to take risks, and the capacity to listen.

The very best lifelong learners and leaders I’ve known seem to have high standards, ambitious goals, and a real sense of mission in their lives. Such goals and aspirations spur them on, put their accomplishments in a humbling perspective, and help them endure the short-term pain associated with growth.  Their aspirations help keep them from sliding into a comfortable, safe routine characterized by little sensible risk taking, a relatively closed mind, a minimum of reaching out, and little listening.

Why are we dwelling on this?  Most of the successful white-collar workers in the past hundred years found reputable companies to work for early in life and then moved up narrow functional hierarchies while learning the art of management. This traditional career path did help people learn, but only in narrow functional spheres of influence. One had to grasp more and more knowledge about accounting or engineering, but little else. Most people believe successful 21st century careers will be more dynamic.  People won’t be moving linearly through hierarchies as frequently and fewer and fewer people will be doing the same job the same way over long periods of time. To put this in practical terms, in 1980, the average individual spent 21 years working for the same company. By the year 2000, that statistic was reduced to a maximum of 7 years in any one company. Thus, we will need to be more flexible, adaptable, and master more volatile career paths to reach success. The lifelong learning plan is a mechanism for you to define your pathway to such success in the 21st century health care industry.


Please use the outline below to develop and present your plan.  The limit is seven pages (plus any attachments).


Why are you doing this?

Develop a plan and specific steps to execute the plan in order to stay current with
developments and issues in both general management and health care administration.


The time horizon for this exercise is the next ten years (through 2021).


What is (or will be) the guiding management book that provides the basis for your understanding/approaches/actions as a manager?

What is (or will be) the guiding health care book that provides the basis for your understanding/approaches/actions in the health care arena?

GOALS:  (Limit to 4-6 major goals)

In terms of your learning over the next 10 years, what specific things do you want to be different in this period that will help you stay current and on top of your field?


The specific things you will work on to help you achieve each goal.


The specific steps that you will take to achieve each strategy (relatively short- term actions)


How will you know if you are succeeding and achieving expected outcomes?  How will you spot impending failure or the need to adjust either strategies or tactics?


Identify the general environment (e.g., information technology), professional and personal factors that will help/hinder your success with the plan?


Assignment 3: HCAD 670 – THE CAPSTONE COURSE

Case Study: THE CASE OF THE UNHEALTHY HOSPITAL  ( Attached to this order)

Total pages: 12 pages, 24 References


By now you are all familiar with case problem solving in the UMUC program.  What I have prepared below is an annotated outline of the steps I want everyone to take in order to complete their assigned case analyses.  Hopefully, with your experience in this area, these items should be self-evident.  If you have any questions, please contact me so everyone can see your question(s) and my responses.


  • Read case through quickly to get some idea of content
    · Read it through a second time thinking about the problem solving framework
    · Only then begin writing up your analysis of the case


Step I – Executive Summary of the Case

Provide a brief  (100 word maximum) summary of the case.  What is the case about? (Here emphasize facts and leave lengthy judgments regarding cause and responsibility out of the summary.  Include your recommendation(s). (I strongly suggest you write this part last)

Step II – Essential Elements of the Information/ Background Facts

In this step you respond to three basic questions: Who?  Where?  When?

The answers to these three questions should provide the necessary context in which to view the problem, the alternatives, and your recommendation.

Step III – Identify the Problem(s) or major issue(s) in the case

The problems and issues are essentially the gap between what you expect based on some ideal or better yet what someone else in a similar situation is experiencing, and what you find in the case.  This should include primary and main secondary problem(s), if any.

Step IV – For each  problem, identify its magnitude and significance

This is a critical step in the process.  In real life situations, there are always more problems than time or resources permit to resolve.  In fact, most problems are dumped and not addressed.  Why should you pay attention to the problem?  Moreover, why should you pay attention to it right now?  If you don?t need to pay attention to the problem now, when do you need to pay attention to it?

Magnitude is best expressed in terms of specific quantitative terms that clearly express how big/important the problem is.

Step V – Arrange Problems/Issues in Priority Order

The magnitude assessment should help you with this step, especially if quantification of the problem is easy.

Step VI – Select the first Two Problems and for each:

  1. Identify the important causal factors: Here emphasize the causal factors you can do something about!
    B. Search, develop, and define alternative courses of action.

For the purposes of this class,

  • look at alternatives to prevent the problem or issue, and
    · look at alternatives to resolve the problem or issue
    · Remember, doing nothing (that is, leaving the problem alone) may in some circumstances be an acceptable solution.

Step VII – Identify the Positive and Negative Consequences of Implementing Each Proposed Alternative

You should be able to tie this to step IV (what effect will the alternative have on the magnitude of the problem)?

Step VIII – Recommend a Course of Action and Provide a Brief Justification for Your Recommendation

What do you consider the best solution for resolving the problem?  Why?  What other main option(s) did you seriously consider?

Step IX – Identify the Major Difficulties you would Anticipate if  Your Recommendation is Implemented

Here you are anticipating the signals or early warnings of mistakes where implementing the recommendation may actually create new problems?

Step X – Indicate the Major Criteria/Standards you would propose to monitor the Performance of Your Recommended
Course of Action.

Here you want to be sensitive to your ability to spot whether or not the recommendation is working.  This step should be tied to the specific quantitative criteria and standards developed back in Step IV.

Remember, try to limit your case analysis to no more than 12 pages.


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