Sam Khashman: Enriching Client’s Performance with Astonishing Software Solutions
The characteristics of being a successful leader exist in those individuals who admire and drive innovations to meet client requirements. A perfect balance between these two aspects with the integration of market intelligence could enable any leader to take an organization to its utmost heights. This art of leadership is professionally portrayed by CEO of ImagineSoftware, Sam Khashman. His ability to predict market changes in an uncertain healthcare industry have helped him deliver more compatible products to ImagineSoftware’s clients. This distinctive approach towards creating client-friendly products has made his organization more adaptive to technological disruption and market demands.
CIO Look has specifically crafted its ‘Transformational CEO’s’ edition to appreciate such leaders and their contributions in respective industries.
Below are the highlights of an interview conducted between Sam and CIO Look:
Kindly take us through your journey on becoming a leader. The word ‘becoming’, itself is a growth process.
Despite the phrase “born leader”, no one is born knowing how to lead. This is true for me as well. I knew I had ideas that I wanted to bring to life, and I was able to articulate those ideas with passion and energy, hoping to inspire those around me. It took me some time to realize my strengths and weaknesses for leading others. When you first start building a company, there are lot of hats to wear. Everyone is working towards creating a sustainable, viable product line and managing that becomes front of mind. Over time, with growth and success, priorities crystalize, and this is when leadership becomes paramount. I had to take the next step, lead by example and truly rely on my team, their abilities, and their willingness to grow. Complete transparency and empowering our team to collaborate and trust each other became a cornerstone of our operations. Instead of simply handing out work we had to rally around Vision, Mission, and Values with clear direction and accountability. Changing the mindset from a manager to leader can pose interesting challenges like self-awareness of strengths, weaknesses and surrounding myself and my team with like-minded people who would take the company in the right direction became the key to growth and sustainable success. In doing so, I am proud to say that we practice servant leadership and truly feel I have been able to assist others around me to develop the type of leadership that encourages a team mentality, a company culture second to none, and an undying focus on our clients. Imagine is a family, and we’ve all formed a cohesive sounding board to drive innovation within our organization, offering suggestions and opinions for improving projects and processes while learning and respecting each other.
How do you diversify your organization’s offerings to appeal to the target audience?
Imagine started out in a completely different market. Our product wasn’t originally designed for healthcare, but that’s the direction we took not long after the system was first developed. We had to revamp the software to accommodate the needs of our initial clients who got us started in radiology. Ever since the beginning, we’ve aimed to meeting, and exceeding, the needs of our clients and that’s really where our product offerings have taken us. Whenever we can develop a new product or utilize partnerships to bring a solution to the table that solves a problem for our clients, we will do so. Our clients help drive our success, and we take their needs, suggestions, and requests to heart. They are the foundation behind what we decide to include in the Imagine Suite. As a result, we’ve been able to appeal to the market by truly creating systems that are focused on making the revenue cycle management landscape easier to navigate and more profitable for all those involved, while enhancing our client’s reputation by providing an enhanced patient experience.
What are the crucial traits which every CEO must possess?
Every CEO should make certain that their words, their beliefs, and their actions match. Of course, CEOs should be decisive while employing critical thinking skills as we build our opinion. As the top executive, we should always remember that we must both care for our team members as much as we should care about other people. Practicing servant leadership and building strong relationships with clients, partners, and coworkers, while remaining grounded are crucial to the success of an organization. Communication skill is the key, as is continuous learning. To drive the growth of the company and to provide vision that allows the team to align thinking innovatively, and coaching your employees to do the same, is always an essential part of leading a team. Furthermore, I believe that it’s the job of any CEO to dream big as there is no magic in thinking small.
What are your intakes on roles of a CEO with regards to transformational leadership?
In business today, everything moves quickly. Organizations that stay stagnant don’t last. That is simply a fact of the world we live in. As a company, we cannot settle for small, intermittent improvements. We must take huge leaps and bounds to stay the leader in our space, and to allow our clients to remain. The future must inform the present. Constantly challenging the status quo, both internally and externally, and anticipating and evaluating various market trends all play an important role to fostering a culture of transformation. To do that, we encourage a constant learning and growth mindset in our team members, to ensure are communicating how and why change is a necessary, permanent component of our success must be part of the journey. Transformation takes place at every level of the organization, and so we ensure that transitions are meaningful, and that we measure successes and improvements. Only when our team members understand why positive change will propel our organization can our service levels and product offerings improve, allowing for our clients to reap the benefit and help drive their success. Because the position of the CEO is frequently most visible, it is important to lead by example, align our team, and inspire change when necessary. Most importantly, transformation must be inclusive as everyone plays a role in transforming the way we do business.
As per your opinion, what roadblocks or challenges are faced by CEOs in a corporate business?
And what is your advice to overcome them? There are several challenges, I believe, CEOs face when running a business. Both talent acquisition and talent retention are crucial, and naturally, every company competes for the best of the best resources. Beyond skills, it can be difficult to find the right talent to align with the company culture, values, and brand. We would like to think that we can hire the perfect fit, but I think it’s important to have realistic expectations from our team, and sometimes onboarding can be challenging in that respect. Further ensuring the company leadership is able to grow at the same rate as our company can pose an interesting challenge, in every aspect. As CEOs, we are driven to succeed for our teams, our stake holders, our clients and partners. Finding the right balance between driving the success of the organization and providing a relaxed environment to prevent burn out definitely makes the role of CEOs interesting. Being we want to stay constantly connected to our clients, partners, and employees at any given minute, it can be a struggle to find the time to unwind and “unplug” to keep yourself (and your organization) healthy and productive.
How do you upgrade yourself with ever-evolving technological trends to boost your personal growth?
The key to a growth-oriented mindset is continuous learning. Imagines’ business is technology. If we aren’t on the cutting-edge, we’re last in line. I’m always intrigued by technological advancements, both current, and early stage. Technology touches every part our daily lives and much like what we develop, it is typically designed to improve a process or enhance quality characteristics. I make it a priority to stay at the forefront of new technology to keep moving forward. With the rise of artificial intelligence (and not just in healthcare but many other industries), people are becoming more reliant on the role technology will play. While it is important, and some would say a valid concern, I don’t feel that technology will ever truly be able to replace the human component but instead, it will allow us to grow.
How do you strategize your game plans to tackle the competition in the market?
Our game plan is simple – we listen, and we continue to serve our clients. To stay the market leader, and to increase market share, we constantly keep our eyes and ears open to what is happening in the industry, following trends and taking note of major events that will impact business. Integrating both market intelligence and listening to our clients, using their feedback to improve will continue to let us set a high bar for our competition. Healthcare is currently experiencing a lot of uncertainty, so it’s more important than ever to be hyper-vigilant to changes that will impact our direction and vision for the future.
What will be your future endeavors and/or where do you see yourself in the near future?
I see taking this company to the next level by leveraging smarter technology and designing new tools that will continue to set us apart in the industry. There is more opportunity than ever to capitalize on our success while realizing huge goals. We plan to add a number of strong resources to our team while expanding our reach within the healthcare ecosystem. Additionally, we will leverage new and existing partnerships to give our clients the solutions they need to navigate healthcare billing and reimbursement effectively.
What would be your advice to budding CEOs in various organizations?
Practice a form of servant leadership and make sure that your words and actions match. Restate the vision statement as often as you can and ensure that the company values are in people’s hearts and minds, not just on the wall. Lead by example, be confident and trust your team. Course correct when necessary and always be open to feedback. Don’t become the bottleneck in making tough decisions, but admit to yourself when you need help, and then find it.