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I couldn’t wait to get my career going—I got a job the day I was legally allowed to work. It wasn’t about the money. It was about the structure. I love being busy and being productive.
These days I’m kept very busy, as a senior vice president leading teams supporting the U.S. Military Health System. My teams and I are working on transforming military health care, work that supports servicemen and women and their beneficiaries in a real way.
Markets evolve and needs change, and our job is to be a steady hand in turbulent times.
Scott Barr is a leader in Booz Allen’s healthcare market, with more than 19 years of experience in management and strategy consulting for the Department of Defense, civil government agencies, and commercial and healthcare organizations. The Military Health System (MHS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs are primary focuses of his work.
Scott’s functional background is in organizational design and transformation, large scale process improvement, and organizational change management. For MHS, Scott and his teams help lead the implementation of patient safety and high reliability principles as part of a process and cultural transformation that aims to improve care for military service members and their beneficiaries.
As part of this effort, Scott’s teams designed a new operating model for the future state of MHS healthcare delivery, enabling the system to transform into a highly reliable and collaborative learning organization. He and his teams also lead major efforts around care transformation and quality for the Defense Health Agency Clinical Support Division. Additionally, Scott leads an effort around large scale public health programs to increase the health of the U.S. service population and support Navy fleet readiness
Prior to his current role, Scott was a vice president in Booz Allen’s Navy market, and led the firm’s Norfolk office serving defense, intelligence, and civil agencies. Scott developed the Mid-Atlantic strategy and organizational analysis practice for the firm and helped grow the Norfolk office from 350 to more than 700 employees. In this role, he led critical engagements, including reengineering business and financial auditing processes for the Navy Reserve, improving Navy readiness programs, and leading strategy and analytics programs for the Navy Marine Corp Public Health Center.
Scott led firmwide functional skill development programs including leadership of the firm’s functional communities. He also designed and implemented recruiting and retention programs that increased headcount and employee retention across the defense and intelligence business for the firm.
Scott provides functional leadership in strategic planning, organizational analysis and design, transformation and change management, process analysis and design, knowledge management, training and communications.
Prior to joining Booz Allen, Scott worked for American Management Systems as a business analyst implementing financial solutions for intelligence and military clients.
Scott is an adjunct professor in the Change Management Advanced Practitioner Program (CMAP) at Georgetown University, and serves on the board and executive committee for the United Service Organizations of Metropolitan Washington-Balitmore, providing support and assistance to military personnel and their families.
He has a B.S. in management from Susquehanna University, an M.B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, and a CMAP degree from Georgetown University.
What are you passionate about in your work at Booz Allen? The work we do for our clients impacts our nation. I lead a capability called high reliability organization in the military health market. This affects every service and health capability for our military. We are driving a leadership, process, and cultural transformation in the military health system. What we are doing now is improving health care for all men and women in the military and their beneficiaries. We are working with every facet of health using clinicians, healthcare system experts, organizational and process design experts, and more. I can absolutely translate the things we do to improving lives.
What does transformation mean for your team? Transformation for our clients is a change in how care is delivered. It’s a change in structure, culture, and leadership all all levels. We are looking at how we organize to provide health care, what leadership traits do leaders need to exhibit, and what processes need to standardized across the military health systems for different services. We are helping them become a learning organization.
Why is Booz Allen an ideal place for you? We are managing our business very well. We are growing at a high rate. It’s because we are taking on bigger work, the jobs that are truly driving change. Our folks are at the center of dynamic change in the military health system. I go out to dinner with different groups of our staff every two or three weeks. I explain to them how the work they do is having impacts on our clients. That’s so important. Our team needs to see that they are valuable. It’s worth the time to invest in people. At Booz Allen, my team cares about the work they do, and we care about their careers and their development.
What is your approach to your clients’ future needs? I want to be the integrator of government and commercial best practices for them. I want to be the firm they go to for access to industry experts and the latest insights. Just recently, we hosted an innovation event at our office. I invited our own experts as well as other firms. We brought in industry leaders and facilitated demos, discussions, and conversation with clients. I’m hosting another event soon and again we will bring in industry experts for that too. I want our group to include more people with process improvement and clinical experience. We want to be the centerpiece for where our clients get access to commercial best practices because we have experts from across fields. This is a community of learners and leaders.
What is a great piece of business advice you’ve been given in your career? I’ve been told to consider all perspectives and take the longer-term view. We should keep the goal in mind. We can get wrapped up in thinking the near-term milestone is the goal, but in reality the goal is much broader. It could be a business pursuit or a new role you want, so take the longer perspective. That helps me be the calm in the storm.