#IAmGalen: Matt Woodside, Vice President, Professional Services

#IAmGalen: Matt Woodside, Vice President, Professional Services

[Galen]_Matt_W-B&W300dpiWhat was your background prior to joining Galen, and what made you join us?

My background is in engineering, at least that’s what I went to college for.  My first real job was with an engineering consulting outfit where I was exposed to technology in manufacturing and operations’ management.  The coolest project I had there was helping a snowboard company improve their process to build snowboards.  From there I continued in technology, working at a telecommunication company, which served as a good primer for healthcare considering their move toward electronic based communication (no more paper), and the end-user’s involvement with technology.

I got into healthcare technology working at Allscripts.  I started out working on their development and software testing teams. It was at the onset of EHR adoption, so there were many puzzles to solve.  I worked with a lot of great people there, many of whom I’m still friends with.  Working in Product Development was exciting, seeing new features go from raw ideas to beta software, you learn a lot!

After Allscripts I spent time with a company focused on clinical decision support software – very cool technology.  I liken their product to a medical support hologram from Star Trek.  Pretty neat.

Joining Galen was an opportunity to get back in front of end-users.  We can ponder how the software should be used all day long, but ultimately it’s the folks using it daily that have the best ideas.  I learned that from writing software requirements and test cases.  Never underestimate the creativity of the user!

Tell me a little about what your role as Vice President of Professional Services entails. What is one of your favorite things about your position?

Leading the Professional Services team is pretty much the best job ever.  The team is so dedicated to the work and to building their knowledge about what’s going on in the industry.  It’s a privilege to hold this position.  The best part is seeing people grow into more challenging, more demanding roles.  As with any endeavor, individual success is largely based on people’s desire to grow and learn, but this is especially critical as a consultant.  Giving people the space and opportunity to thrive is part of what makes Galen distinct as a consulting firm.

As part of Galen’s Leadership team, what do you think makes it unique? How does our company culture aid in this?

Collaboration.  Our spirit of collaboration across the entire organization is what makes Galen special.  It’s this approach that gives our team the leg up on the competition.  Sure, there are a lot of people that know a lot of things, but no one person will know everything about a subject, nor will they have all the best ideas.  When someone hires us, they get the entire team.  This means when someone is working with a client and they run into a problem or a unique scenario, they get the collective team’s knowledge and experience.  This is a powerful body of work and resources.  I honestly feel we can tackle any problem, no matter how obscure or complex.

The state of healthcare IT is constantly changing. How do you uniquely position your team for the future? 

Keeping your ear to the ground and making smart choices about how to prepare the team for what’s to come is one of the toughest parts of the job.  The speed and variety of change within our industry is what makes it particularly difficult to analyze.  Being considered an expert requires discipline, staying close to trends and reading between the lines with respect to how ideas are adopted.  Personally, I spend time daily, even if it’s just for a few minutes, reading about our industry.  Being able to have a grasp on future trends is not something you can cram into an all-nighter.  I also spend a lot of time listening to our Sales team and speaking with clients.  The problems they share with me are priceless and correspond to the of work tomorrow.  As a leadership team, we talk a lot about where the industry is heading.  My goal is to share as much of that knowledge with my team and then give them the tools and the autonomy to leverage that knowledge.

What’s one thing that not a lot of people know about Galen that they should?

It can sound a bit cliche, but we’re a family.  We support each other, we learn and win together.  We face challenges together.  I don’t know if all consulting groups work this way, but we do.  I think anyone who’s worked with us in the past knows this well.  I might not call it a philosophy, but there’s an overarching approach the Leadership team takes when considering decisions both big and small: do the right thing.  I can talk about making people’s lives better and being more productive all day long, but it’s the decisions we make that speak the loudest.  Having a “team first” approach shows through our work and has been a fundamental component to our success over the years.  Through the ups and downs, doing the right thing makes us better, smarter and brings our team closer.

Caught the Galen culture bug? Meet some other awesome Galeneers here.

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