RSNA2023 Leading Through Change
Daily Bulletin

Embracing Change for a Bright Future

Monday, Nov. 27, 2023

By Lynn Antonopoulos

"Radiology has always been a force for change in medicine, revolutionizing diagnostic imaging studies, innovating minimally invasive procedures, and pioneering radiation therapies for cancer," said RSNA President Matthew A. Mauro, MD. "With innovation as the cornerstone of radiology, we are well positioned to accept the necessity of change to continue to advance our profession."


Delivering his President's Address, "Leading Through Change," during Sunday's Opening Session, Dr. Mauro drew from real-world business strategies and changes in interventional radiology as he reflected on the necessity and uncertainty of change and the importance of leadership in ensuring the successful navigation of change.

"As leaders—and everyone in this room leads in some capacity—success in managing change requires us to be cognizant, intentional and proactive in leading our teams, departments and organizations through significant changes to our specialty or work environment," he said.

Acknowledging that medicine is not only a personal calling but also a business, Dr. Mauro noted that, as physicians, radiologists are in the business of helping people. "Our business is impacted by the same rules and forces that affect other businesses," he said. "When facing change, it's important to assess our environment and to identify what forces are affecting our business."

Looking to Business Models for Successful Transformation

Dr. Mauro offered a look at change management frameworks to help evaluate and navigate change successfully. He referred to the Six Forces model developed by Michael Porter, a world-renowned business strategist from Harvard. "The six forces he describes are: the power, vigor and competency of existing competitors, of customers—or in our case, patients—of potential competitors, of suppliers and finally, the possibility that the service we provide can be delivered in a different way," Dr. Mauro said.

Porter's model also references a 10x force—powerful enough to transition a business from one state to another until a new equilibrium is reached. According to Dr. Mauro, AI is an example of a 10x force for radiology. "To remain relevant and provide value to our patients, radiologists need to lead through this transformative moment to master the practical and ethical integration of AI into the radiology workflow and practice," he said.

But what happens when the balance of forces shifts from the old ways of competing and succeeding to new ways? Dr. Mauro referred to this as a strategic inflection point, a concept described by former Intel CEO Andrew Grove.

"Leading through a strategic inflection point will cause confusion and uncertainty for a period of time," he said. "But if we are committed and have a clear vision, we will come out on the other side better for having taken the journey—with new inspirations and a refreshed outlook toward our specialty and practice."

Noting that transformation is a process that requires an effective roadmap, Dr. Mauro shared a framework from John Kotter, an emeritus professor of leadership at Harvard, who recommends establishing a sense of urgency, creating a clear vision, communicating the vision, empowering others to act, planning and creating short term wins, and institutionalizing the new approaches.

"If we constantly embrace change, rapidly adapt to innovations in technology and practice, react and respond to our inflection points, and remain vigilant and maybe even a little bit paranoid, radiology will most certainly enjoy a robust, exciting and bright future," Dr. Mauro concluded.

Access the presentation, "Leading Through Change," (S6-PL01A) on demand at