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ATD Blog

Think Like a Scientist – Expand Your Healthcare Leadership Mindset

Friday, May 10, 2024

The world is rapidly changing—so our ideas and innovations need to also adapt to the change and the future. Thinking more like a scientist, with the curiosity of understanding why things happen the way they do in our organizations and exploring answers to help us uncover potentially new ways of doing things and leading in healthcare organizations, is exciting.

Here are some ways of thinking that help expand our leadership mindset:


There’s something about having the curiosity to explore the world around and ask questions that you don’t know the answers to. That’s what scientists do to make order of what’s around us—they ask the most fundamental questions to the most complex questions of “why?” They ask questions such as “What is the cure for cancer?” “What if we could live on Mars?” “What if we applied the same thinking to learning and development?”



Functioning as a team and leading any team, the goal has a better chance of success if you set aside ego, to put together the many perspectives of a problem and solution to achieve the best possible outcome. For example, in sending the astronauts to the moon, scientists, engineers, mathematicians, government officials, and many other collaborators must be involved, but few know that in order to make the suits that astronauts wear, expert seamstresses are needed.


Challenging the Status Quo

In our organizations, there are so many complexities to what we do and why. Many things “just are” because that’s how it’s always been. Especially as we are in a moment of a technology revolution with artificial intelligence (AI), learning to leverage the new tool to develop new ideas is not only fulfilling but also exciting in the ability to explore new areas that could be tapped into.

And I share this with you to provide ideas for better ways of working. With the mindset of a scientist, who is willing to be curious, seek collaboration in areas that build each other, and continuously look to challenge the status quo, there are unlimited ways to innovate and expand your capabilities as a leader. Now, I challenge you to experiment and prove it with your own examples of “Thinking like a Scientist”!

About the Author

Juliet Hart, founder and CEO of Hart & Chin, develops leadership capabilities of scientists & their organizations through workshops, coaching, & consulting. Previously a scientist at J&J, she's seen the impact of her work drive employee engagement, increase collaboration, & stimulate innovation across functions. As co-creator of the Community of DEI Champions, she has supported DEI initiatives across the country. Juliet has a BA, Psychology - City University of NY. She is an ATD NAC & CRC Chair.

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Love this! Thank you for sharing your insight as a scientist and challenging us to think like one!
Thanks Bessie! It's so much fun to think like a scientist - glad that I can share.
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