Kara Trott and Quantum Health juggle high growth with a strategic approach

“We’ve worked really hard as a team to kind of build that trust,” she says. “And, trust is multidimensional, so there isn’t blanket trust. You trust for specific reasons and for specific competency.”

By building a strong support team with strategic and execution functions, Trott doesn’t need to be involved with everything. She knows what she really has to dedicate time to, which frees her up to focus on the big picture.

In fact, her board has asked her to set aside 30 percent of her time for unassigned strategic thinking.

“I use a lot of that time to talk to a lot of people, get ideas, explore things, meet with key leaders outside of the company — that kind of thing where you’re mentally thinking about strategy and direction,” she says.

While still dealing with day-to-day issues and helping secure strategic sales, Trott says it’s critical to keep space free for forward thinking — what will be the next version of Quantum Health in the marketplace and what will be the next iteration of its organizational structure, and product and service model.

“It’s quite a juggling act,” she says, “and it requires a lot of transitions during the course of a day and, you know, it requires a lot of self-mastery in terms of how you go about doing that.”

 

Takeaways:

  • Weed out new hires before they deal with customers.
  • The right-sized teams will break down barriers, apathy.
  • Build trust so you can delegate day-to-day decisions.

 

The Trott File:

Name: Kara Trott
Title: Founder and CEO
Company: Quantum Health

Born: Columbus
Education: Bachelor’s degree in politics and philosophy from Ohio Wesleyan; law degree from The Ohio State University

What was your first job and what did you learn from it? My father was an architect. Richard Trott and Partners Architects was his firm and I worked for my dad doing office work and running the blueprint machine that was twice my size.

I was like my dad’s oldest son. He had me shadow him. I learned how to conduct myself in a professional manner.

My dad was very successful — much loved and had a great style about him that was low-key. He was creative and extremely professional. He just sort of drilled that into me. He had me sit through a lot of meetings that he had with clients and internally. I was able to observe how he did things.

With degrees in politics, philosophy and law, how did you end up as a CEO for a health care company? I originally started at Retail Planning Associates. I did consumer research strategy for large retail clients like Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart and Kmart.

Then, after law school, I practiced in corporate law at Bricker & Eckler. The health care landscape was changing rapidly and Bricker has a very significant health care practice. They decided to form a consulting subsidiary that did strategic consulting with their health system clients. Because I’d had experience doing that in the past, the partner charged with creating that practice asked me to help.

I had not actually worked with health care providers before, but I was tasked with going out and helping provider organizations develop their ‘managed care strategy.’ I observed the challenges that the delivery system and consumers have, and I saw some interesting parallels between solutions we had provided in the consumer goods services and retail space.

What do you like to do outside of the office? Do you have hobbies? I don’t have a whole lot of time. I have a really great circle of friends and we have a lot of fun together. And I do like to travel.

For many years, my son was my priority. He’s almost 23 now.