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VP, INNOVATION: It's A Discovery Process

About this video 

Vidya shares her story about working in the health care industry and bringing innovation to that field. She talks about her varied career path and shares what she would have liked to have known about her career when she first started.

Degree: Business Management and Strategy
Job Title: Vice President of Innovation
Employer: United Health

Job Summary: Top Executives

Job Description

Top executives devise strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals. They plan, direct, and coordinate operational activities of companies and public or private-sector organizations.

The responsibilities of top executives largely depend on an organization’s size. For example, an owner or manager of a small organization, such as an independent retail store, often is responsible for purchasing, hiring, training, quality control, and day-to-day supervisory duties. In large organizations, on the other hand, top executives typically focus more on formulating policies and strategic planning, while general and operations managers direct day-to-day operations.

Companies may also have chief officers who lead various departments or focus on specific areas of work. Here are some examples:

Chief financial officers are accountable for the accuracy of a company’s or organization’s financial reporting, especially among publicly traded companies. They direct the organization’s financial goals, objectives, and budgets. For example, they may oversee the investment of funds and manage associated risks.

Chief information officers are responsible for the overall technological direction of an organization, which includes managing the information technology and computer systems. They organize and supervise information-technology-related workers, projects, and policies.

Chief operating officers oversee other executives who direct the activities of various departments, such as human resources and sales. They also carry out the organization’s guidelines on a day-to-day basis.

Chief sustainability officers address sustainability issues by enacting or overseeing a corporate sustainability strategy. For instance, they may manage programs and policies relating to environmental issues and ensure that the organization complies with environmental or other government regulations.

On-the-Job Training


Additional Info

Top executives may complete a certification program through the Institute of Certified Professional Managers to earn the Certified Manager (CM) credential. To become a CM, candidates must meet education and experience requirements and pass three exams. Although not mandatory, certification can show management competency and potential leadership skills. Certification also can help those seeking advancement or can give jobseekers a competitive edge.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
$95,000 - $200,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
5 to 10 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time, Long hours
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Indoor, Office
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Leadership ability, Organizational skills, Problem solving skills, Verbal communication skills, Written communication skills, Analytical skills, People skills, Teamwork, Detail oriented, Mathematical skills, Networking, Public speaking ability

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='300'>So</span> <span m='600'>I</span> <span m='910'>head</span> <span m='1230'>up</span> <span m='2020'>innovation</span> <span m='3040'>for</span> <span m='3210'>United</span> <span m='3560'>Healthcare.</span> <span m='4200'>And</span> <span m='4840'>United</span> <span m='5180'>Healthcare</span> <span m='5540'>is</span> <span m='5660'>organized</span> <span m='6090'>into</span> <span m='6220'>different</span> <span m='6580'>businesses.</span> <span m='7550'>The</span> <span m='7640'>largest</span> <span m='8010'>business</span> <span m='8490'>that</span> <span m='8790'>faces</span> <span m='9170'>off to</span> <span m='9630'>employers</span> <span m='10220'>and then</span> <span m='10490'>the</span> <span m='10760'>individuals,</span> <span m='11510'>that's</span> <span m='13040'>the</span> <span m='13220'>space I'm</span> <span m='13535'>in.</span> <span m='14140'>And I head up the</span> <span m='14610'>innovation</span> <span m='15090'>lab.</span> <span m='15470'>I</span> <span m='15550'>also</span> <span m='15840'>have a</span> <span m='16059'>different</span> <span m='16219'>role</span> <span m='16700'>that</span> <span m='16880'>sits</span> <span m='17300'>more as a</span> <span m='17690'>part of</span> <span m='17830'>the</span> <span m='17960'>corporate</span> <span m='18350'>United</span> <span m='18680'>Health</span> <span m='18940'>Group</span> <span m='19220'>innovation,</span> <span m='20250'>which</span> <span m='20770'>is</span> <span m='20920'>all</span> <span m='21020'>about</span> <span m='21440'>cross</span> <span m='21750'>pollinating</span> <span m='22160'>and</span> <span m='23000'>expanding</span> <span m='23580'>innovations</span> <span m='24050'>and taking</span> <span m='24435'>them to the</span> <span m='24820'>next level.</span> </p><p><span m='25340'>No</span> <span m='25550'>two</span> <span m='25815'>days</span> <span m='26080'>are</span> <span m='26250'>similar.</span> <span m='26950'>Every</span> <span m='27170'>day is</span> <span m='27340'>different.</span> <span m='27920'>I</span> <span m='28000'>don't</span> <span m='28190'>know</span> <span m='28290'>what</span> <span m='28660'>each day is</span> <span m='28870'>going</span> <span m='28980'>to</span> <span m='29040'>bring.</span> <span m='29400'>But I</span> <span m='29520'>will</span> <span m='29820'>say</span> <span m='29950'>that</span> <span m='30120'>one</span> <span m='30300'>commonality</span> <span m='30635'>is</span> <span m='30970'>probably</span> <span m='31410'>every</span> <span m='31580'>day is</span> <span m='32200'>a</span> <span m='32250'>lot</span> <span m='32430'>of</span> <span m='32490'>fun.</span> <span m='35700'>It's a</span> <span m='35780'>discovery</span> <span m='36260'>process.</span> <span m='36760'>Because</span> <span m='37520'>innovation</span> <span m='37930'>is</span> <span m='38030'>about</span> <span m='38290'>taking</span> <span m='38600'>an</span> <span m='38680'>idea,</span> <span m='39470'>developing</span> <span m='39960'>it into a</span> <span m='40250'>concept,</span> <span m='40730'>and</span> <span m='40860'>then</span> <span m='40950'>making</span> <span m='41220'>it</span> <span m='41490'>much bigger.</span> <span m='41900'>So you</span> <span m='42090'>never</span> <span m='42420'>know</span> <span m='42580'>what</span> <span m='42760'>you're</span> <span m='42890'>going</span> <span m='43090'>to</span> <span m='43180'>find on</span> <span m='43580'>the</span> <span m='43680'>journey.</span> <span m='44500'>So</span> <span m='44820'>every</span> <span m='45110'>single</span> <span m='45460'>day is</span> <span m='45710'>different.</span> <span m='46060'>It's</span> <span m='46220'>not</span> <span m='46550'>your</span> <span m='46760'>traditional</span> <span m='47370'>operational</span> <span m='47710'>role.</span> </p><p><span m='48850'>So</span> <span m='49060'>let's</span> <span m='49370'>start</span> <span m='49690'>from</span> <span m='49910'>the</span> <span m='50180'>very</span> <span m='50450'>beginning.</span> <span m='51890'>I</span> <span m='52280'>was</span> <span m='52500'>a</span> <span m='52580'>physician.</span> <span m='53660'>I'm a</span> <span m='54090'>trained</span> <span m='54520'>physician.</span> <span m='55000'>And I</span> <span m='55100'>went</span> <span m='55700'>into</span> <span m='57010'>health</span> <span m='57260'>care</span> <span m='57510'>management,</span> <span m='57765'>and then</span> <span m='58020'>I got</span> <span m='58300'>a</span> <span m='58350'>degree</span> <span m='58630'>from</span> <span m='58850'>Cornell.</span> <span m='59360'>And</span> <span m='59480'>then I</span> <span m='59710'>was</span> <span m='59930'>this</span> <span m='60100'>classic</span> <span m='60440'>example</span> <span m='60865'>of a</span> <span m='61290'>clueless</span> <span m='61670'>person</span> <span m='61840'>who</span> <span m='61970'>didn't</span> <span m='62130'>know</span> <span m='62230'>how</span> <span m='62350'>to</span> <span m='62430'>put</span> <span m='62610'>the</span> <span m='62710'>two</span> <span m='62870'>together,</span> <span m='63620'>clinical</span> <span m='63940'>experience</span> <span m='64229'>and then</span> <span m='64519'>a</span> <span m='65193'>new management</span> <span m='65686'>degree.</span> <span m='67040'>Went</span> <span m='67330'>into</span> <span m='67490'>consulting,</span> <span m='67765'>health</span> <span m='68040'>care</span> <span m='68540'>consulting, for some</span> <span m='69040'>time.</span> <span m='69540'>That</span> <span m='70390'>opened</span> <span m='70820'>up</span> <span m='71070'>my</span> <span m='71320'>eyes</span> <span m='71850'>to</span> <span m='72300'>innovation.</span> </p><p><span m='72605'>So</span> <span m='72910'>I</span> <span m='73180'>got</span> <span m='73420'>into</span> <span m='73780'>this</span> <span m='74090'>white</span> <span m='74360'>space</span> <span m='74630'>innovation</span> <span m='75330'>about</span> <span m='76070'>12</span> <span m='76310'>to</span> <span m='76410'>13</span> <span m='76790'>years</span> <span m='77040'>ago.</span> <span m='77230'>And I</span> <span m='77500'>haven't looked</span> <span m='77770'>back since.</span> <span m='78268'>I just</span> <span m='78766'>love it.</span> <span m='79264'>I</span> <span m='79762'>thrive in</span> <span m='80260'>it.</span> <span m='81330'>I</span> <span m='81410'>mean,</span> <span m='81680'>it's</span> <span m='82170'>a</span> <span m='82260'>career</span> <span m='82650'>path</span> <span m='82890'>that</span> <span m='82990'>I</span> <span m='83190'>couldn't</span> <span m='83550'>have</span> <span m='83950'>quite</span> <span m='84390'>charted</span> <span m='84630'>out</span> <span m='84870'>myself</span> <span m='85325'>in</span> <span m='85780'>school.</span> <span m='86490'>But</span> <span m='86760'>it's</span> <span m='86970'>something</span> <span m='87350'>that</span> <span m='88340'>one</span> <span m='88610'>event</span> <span m='88920'>after</span> <span m='89200'>another</span> <span m='90340'>led</span> <span m='90630'>to.</span> </p><p><span m='91120'>If</span> <span m='91310'>only</span> <span m='91620'>I</span> <span m='91740'>knew</span> <span m='92010'>that</span> <span m='92200'>there</span> <span m='92300'>was</span> <span m='92440'>so</span> <span m='92600'>much</span> <span m='92820'>creativity</span> <span m='93820'>in</span> <span m='94170'>a</span> <span m='94230'>job,</span> <span m='94600'>and</span> <span m='94680'>there was</span> <span m='94840'>so</span> <span m='95000'>much</span> <span m='95190'>opportunity</span> <span m='95760'>to</span> <span m='95880'>create</span> <span m='96290'>your</span> <span m='96560'>own</span> <span m='96990'>role,</span> <span m='97560'>going</span> <span m='98150'>back</span> <span m='98550'>into</span> <span m='98660'>my</span> <span m='98780'>school</span> <span m='99100'>days,</span> <span m='99541'>I probably</span> <span m='99982'>would have been</span> <span m='100423'>a lot more</span> <span m='100864'>open</span> <span m='101305'>with</span> <span m='101746'>respect to</span> <span m='102187'>what's out</span> <span m='102630'>there.</span> <span m='103010'>But that</span> <span m='103250'>said,</span> <span m='103590'>in</span> <span m='103720'>the</span> <span m='103810'>last</span> <span m='104100'>10 to</span> <span m='104460'>12</span> <span m='104800'>years,</span> <span m='105080'>if</span> <span m='105230'>you</span> <span m='105350'>look</span> <span m='105560'>at</span> <span m='105650'>health</span> <span m='105870'>care and</span> <span m='106270'>health</span> <span m='106490'>care</span> <span m='106640'>innovation,</span> <span m='106950'>it</span> <span m='107260'>itself</span> <span m='107620'>has</span> <span m='107810'>evolved</span> <span m='108120'>so</span> <span m='108300'>much.</span> <span m='108860'>So</span> <span m='109010'>I</span> <span m='109070'>think</span> <span m='109330'>that</span> <span m='109440'>the</span> <span m='109560'>opportunities</span> <span m='110040'>are</span> <span m='110170'>bigger</span> <span m='110480'>now</span> <span m='111010'>than</span> <span m='111170'>they were</span> <span m='111470'>10</span> <span m='111770'>years</span> <span m='112070'>ago.</span> </p>","file":{"id":276866,"video_id":"2708329762001","name":"72927217","duration":112490,"thumbnail_url":null}});