Cultivating Leadership for Learning Organizations

Paul F. Levy By Lois Slavin
February 20, 2013

The February 25th virtual presentation in the MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar Series, entitled "Leadership for Learning Organizations", will feature author Paul F. Levy, former president and CEO of Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIMDC), former executive director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), and soccer coach for over 20 years. In this webinar, Levy will draw on commonalities from these seemingly disparate environments, discuss challenges in each, show how they were addressed, and share thoughts on how to apply the concepts and tools in a wide variety of venues, from the workplace to the playing field.

Levy’s signature achievement as president and CEO of Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center was helping to integrate two newly-merged and well-respected hospitals with vastly different cultures and infrastructures, which needed to learn to work together while under the threat of bankruptcy. He accomplished this through creating a culture based on eliminating preventable harm, transparency of clinical outcomes, and front-line driven process improvement.

Earlier in his career during his tenure as the MWRA’s executive director, Levy oversaw the cleanup of Boston Harbor, then known as the "dirtiest harbor in America." He oversaw the $3.8 billion invested in the treatment facilities at Deer Island and worked with governmental and community stakeholders to achieve what is widely recognized as one of the nation’s greatest environmental achievements.

Levy’s recently-published book, "Goal Play! Leadership Lessons from the Soccer Field," explains how his 20+ years experience in coaching a local girl’s soccer team taught him tools and techniques for leading in business and public service.

During his webinar, Levy will cover several areas, including:

  1. Definitions of leadership and learning organizations
  2. How to assess complex issues, no matter what the venue,
  3. using qualitative and quantitative information

  4. Developing frameworks to manage individual team players’ learning process
  5. How to help an organization learn to behave more consciously
  6. Examples of cultivating company-wide vigilance to continually unveil and address systemic risks
  7. Next steps that webinar attendees can take in their own organizations.


Paul F. Levy