Putting Empathy at the Center of the Transformation Equation

A Conversation with Tamara Ward

Tamara Ward, SVP, Insurance Business Operations, Oscar Health
Twitter: @OscarHealth

Tamara Ward, SVP of Insurance Business Operations at Oscar Health, shares what happens when you put empathy at the center of the transformation equation. Sometimes starting and failing at transformation is still better than never trying it at all because of what you learn along the way. Learn how Tam has learned to align transformation with the core competencies of the business and not get distracted by the hot topics of the moment.

Listen to the Conversation

Episode Takeaways

  1. Tamara developed an ability to build diverse teams by looking to see what value a certain person brought to the team, and how to complement that value by bringing additional people to the team. Her team-building skills and open-minded approach to opposition allow her to build teams that bring operational effectiveness and innovative thinking into businesses.
  2. To create a successful transformation, discuss with leaders about individual responsibilities, collective goals, and ideas for improvement. Set out clear measures of accountability and success. Engage with those leaders on a regular basis about progress towards their goals.
  3. More people need a plan to accomplish what they want to do. Look at a previously successful plan, and ask if the business is breaking even where it wasn’t before, if the customers are satisfied, and if the employees are content, which will determine if the change stays in place.
  4. Many transformations fail because businesses are too distracted by the hot topic of the moment. People will jump on an initiative without thinking through the return of investment for their specific company, the reason to put that initiative into place, or whether that change aligns with the business’ core competencies.
  5. When things aren’t going as planned, look internally first. Take the responsibility onto yourself and lead from a place of understanding instead of a place of blame.


Jeff Gourdji, Partner, Prophet
Twitter: @JeffGourdji

With over 20 years of leading high-impact marketing and strategy projects, Jeff brings a breadth of experience that comes from working across many industries, as marketing practitioner, management consultant and political strategist. Jeff has worked in extensively in the healthcare industry, including payers, providers, pharmaceuticals and health care service provider organizations. Additionally, Jeff has worked in food, beverage, agriculture, pet care, for-profit education, energy and in several industrial settings.

Paul Schrimpf, Partner, Prophet
Twitter: @PaulSchrimpf

Paul is a partner in Prophet’s Chicago office, developing and implementing marketing, brand and customer experience strategies that are rooted in deep consumer insights and analytics. He is also a leader in Prophet’s healthcare practice, working with providers, payers and pharmaceutical companies. His healthcare expertise includes work for clients like Abbott, the American Medical Association, Anthem, Becton Dickinson and IBM Watson Health.

Priya Aneja, Associate Partner, Prophet

Priya is a co-leader of Prophet’s Healthcare Vertical and has over 10 years of professional services experience across investment banking and strategy consulting, with an exclusive focus on healthcare. Priya’s expertise spans healthcare sectors, including pharma, providers, and payers. Her work is multi-disciplinary, including brand-driven growth strategy, content & communications strategy, segmentation & opportunity assessment, business case development, culture transformation, and customer experience.

About the Show

This show is where healthcare leaders who are driving change in their organizations, as well as today’s healthcare experience, share their stories. On this podcast, you’ll hear from industry-leading healthcare professionals about their personal transformation journeys and what organizations can do to create the next wave of growth today and in the future.