Q & A with Chris Miladinovich, Co-Founder, Principal and Chief Strategy Officer

Chris Miladinovich

Co-Founder, Principal and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO)

Let’s have a conversation


Welcome to our Q&A session with Chris Miladinovich, the Co-Founder, Principal and Chief Strategy Officer of ProspHire. With extensive experience in strategy development, business operations and healthcare consulting, Chris has been instrumental in driving ProspHire’s growth and success. ProspHire is renowned for its innovative solutions in healthcare consulting, providing invaluable support to organizations navigating the complexities of the healthcare industry. We have the privilege of diving into Chris’s insights, experiences and perspectives on the challenges and opportunities within healthcare consulting and beyond.

Can you share the inspiration behind founding ProspHire and the journey that led you to where you are today?

Lauren and I founded ProspHire out of a shared vision and belief that there was a better way to build a consulting firm. We both had extensive experience working for other firms, where we witnessed firsthand the challenges of maintaining a strong culture while prioritizing the bottom line.

Driven by a desire to build something different, something more impactful, we set out to create a consultancy where culture wasn't just a buzzword but the beating heart of everything we did. We wanted to foster an environment where our team could thrive, knowing that happy consultants deliver the best results for our clients.

Our frustration with the status quo fueled our determination to do things differently. We wanted to build a Firm where we could prioritize both the well-being of our team and the quality of our services. And thus, ProspHire was born, with a mission to deliver best-in-class services fueled by a culture of excellence, collaboration and care.

After about two years in business, we took a critical look at our trajectory and realized that to truly excel, we needed to focus our expertise and do something very well. Leveraging our deep experience in healthcare and robust networks within the industry, we made the strategic decision to specialize in serving the healthcare sector. This laser focus allowed us to hone our expertise, deepen client relationships and deliver even greater value to our partners in the healthcare industry.

What are some of the unique challenges you’ve encountered in the healthcare consulting industry and how does ProspHire address these challenges?

At ProspHire, we're no strangers to the unique challenges that permeate the healthcare consulting industry. Every day we're fortunate to work alongside our clients, tackling their typical challenges head-on. However, what sets us apart is our recognition that there's no 'one size fits all' solution, even for the most common issues.

Our approach at ProspHire is highly customized to each client's specific situation. We've structured our Firm around this principle, ensuring that every engagement begins with a deep dive into understanding the heart of the problem. Our team is trained to be attentive listeners, adept at unraveling complex challenges and skilled at crafting tailored solutions.

While we encounter similar hurdles across clients, the most unique challenges often arise from external factors like the COVID-19 pandemic, rapid regulatory changes and the diverse economic needs of individual clients. Despite these variables, our approach remains steadfast. We listen intently, seek to understand and leverage our collective experience – which includes the successful delivery of billions of dollars in value across our national client portfolio – to drive impactful solutions.

Whether it's navigating the complexities of a post-pandemic healthcare landscape or adapting to swiftly changing regulations, ProspHire stands ready to partner with our clients, providing not just consultancy but a commitment to implementing and standing behind the solutions we deliver.

As the Chief Strategy Officer, what key strategies has ProspHire implemented to stay ahead in the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape?

My primary responsibility is to ensure that we not only set ambitious goals but also effectively communicate and achieve them. While we have our typical corporate objectives, we are also committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and community involvement. These goals aren't just checkboxes; they're ingrained in our culture and I'm immensely proud of how our entire team rallies behind them. Not only do they foster a sense of belonging and purpose, but they also cultivate a warm culture of professional excellence.

In addition to our DEI and community involvement goals, another key strategy we've implemented, to stay ahead in the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, is our commitment to developing and commercializing a new solution every year. This strategic initiative keeps us at the forefront of innovation by ensuring that we remain in lockstep with our clients' evolving strategies, anticipate upcoming regulatory changes and embrace innovation across the marketplace.

By setting and achieving these goals, ProspHire not only stays ahead of the curve but also reinforces our position as a trusted partner in driving positive change within the healthcare industry.

How does ProspHire approach innovation within its consulting services, particularly in an industry as dynamic and regulated as healthcare?

At ProspHire, our approach to innovation within our consulting services, particularly in the dynamic and regulated healthcare industry, is threefold.

Firstly, we prioritize a client-centric approach to innovation. Recognizing that our clients are at the forefront of the industry, experiencing its challenges firsthand, we cultivate deep partnerships with them. By immersing ourselves in our clients' world, we gain invaluable insights that allow us to collaborate closely in problem-solving and innovation. This hands-on approach enables us to develop tailored solutions that address real-world needs.

Secondly, we foster innovation internally through our own incubation system. Within our Firm, we promote and reward innovation, empowering our team members to submit ideas and concepts. These ideas undergo a rigorous evaluation process through our innovation funnel, where we embrace a culture of 'fail fast.' By swiftly iterating and learning from failures, we responsibly deploy our resources towards the most promising innovations.

Thirdly, we stay abreast of regulatory changes and upcoming industry shifts, actively contributing to industry dialogue through white papers and thought leadership. By providing insights and thought-provoking perspectives, we stimulate conversation and promote an innovative approach to problem-solving industry wide.

Through this multifaceted approach, ProspHire remains at the forefront of innovation, continuously striving to deliver cutting-edge solutions that address the evolving needs of the healthcare landscape.

Can you highlight a particularly memorable success story or project that ProspHire has been involved in and what lessons were learned from it?

At ProspHire, our journey has been a continuous learning experience, filled with both peaks and valleys. One of our guiding mantras is 'We either win, or we learn, we never fail,' a sentiment prominently displayed on our office wall. This mindset shapes our approach to every endeavor as we strive to build the best healthcare consulting firm in the U.S.

Reflecting on memorable successes, some of the most impactful projects are those from the early stages of our Firm's evolution. These projects were pivotal in shaping our character, testing our resilience and teaching us invaluable lessons in perseverance. They were not without their challenges – they pushed us to our limits mentally and sometimes physically. Yet, through these experiences, we learned what it truly takes to provide our clients with a white-glove experience while effectively managing the complexities behind the scenes.

These projects taught us the importance of adaptability, innovation and unwavering dedication to our clients' success. They challenged us to think creatively, pivot swiftly and maintain unwavering professionalism in the face of adversity. While they may have been tough, they yielded immeasurable growth both professionally and personally.

Looking back, these early projects serve as reminders of our journey, reinforcing our commitment to continuous improvement and excellence. They are a testament to our Firm's resilience and unwavering determination to overcome any obstacle in pursuit of our mission.

In my opinion, one of the most pressing issues in healthcare consulting is the proliferation of fly-by-night solution and product companies that are infiltrating the entire ecosystem. Let me be clear: I'm not advocating for stifling innovation. Innovation is crucial and it's vital for companies to push boundaries and for clients to explore new products and services. However, the influx of ill-conceived solutions poses a significant threat to the ecosystem. The repercussions of misguided investments can be extensive, leading to costly consequences for patients and members down the line.

At ProspHire, we recognize the gravity of this issue. What sets us apart is our expertise in the domain and our extensive experience in evaluating new solutions and products for their true viability in solving underlying problems. We approach innovation with a discerning eye, carefully assessing whether a solution is sustainable and capable of delivering tangible benefits. This expertise allows us to partner with our clients in navigating the complexities of the evolving landscape, taking calculated steps towards adopting cutting-edge solutions.

As a nimble partner, ProspHire excels in making swift adjustments, anticipating challenges and reacting promptly when things deviate from the expected trajectory. Our ability to pivot quickly and decisively ensures that we remain ahead of the curve, adapting seamlessly to changes in the industry while safeguarding the interests of our clients and the broader healthcare ecosystem.

Given your background in business operations, how do you balance the need for efficiency and effectiveness in delivering consulting services while maintaining high-quality standards?

As someone with a background in business operations, balancing efficiency and effectiveness in delivering consulting services while upholding high-quality standards is at the core of what I do. Throughout the evolution of ProspHire, we've focused on building, refining and enhancing systems that facilitate this delicate balance.

Our approach centers around three key pillars: performance management, quality and risk management and our methods and tools. These systems serve as the backbone of our operations, enabling us to consistently deliver exceptional results while optimizing efficiency.

Investing in and maintaining these systems is paramount to our organization's success. They provide our team with clear guidelines and standards, ensuring that everyone is aligned with the high-quality service we strive to deliver to our clients. Moreover, these systems empower our team members to excel in their professional development, fostering a culture of growth and excellence.

By leveraging these systems, we not only achieve operational efficiency but also uphold our commitment to delivering consulting services of the highest caliber. It's this dedication to excellence that sets ProspHire apart and enables us to exceed client expectations time and time again.

What advice would you offer to aspiring entrepreneurs or professionals looking to make an impact in the healthcare consulting field?

Firstly, I've learned personally the importance of committing fully to your endeavors. Success rarely comes from dipping just one toe in the water; rather, it requires diving in with both feet. I've experienced failures when I attempted to pursue ventures on the side of my primary responsibilities. To truly succeed, you must pour your energy, focus and dedication into your goals until you've achieved a level of automation and even then, vigilance is key.

Secondly, effective delegation and automation are essential for sustainable growth. As tempting as it may be to have a thumb on everything, it ultimately hinders scalability. Building systems that enable delegation and streamline processes is vital for scalability and efficiency. While challenging, it's crucial for any venture's long-term success.

Lastly, I believe that true success lies in leveraging your resources to make a positive impact on others. Resources come in various forms – capital, networks, experience, time – and using them to help others achieve their goals is an integral aspect of any accomplished entrepreneur or professional's growth journey. Seek opportunities to uplift others and contribute meaningfully to the industry's advancement.

How does ProspHire build a culture of collaboration, innovation and continuous learning within its team?

At ProspHire, we prioritize building a culture of collaboration, innovation and continuous learning by empowering our team members to take ownership of these aspects. One of our most important strategies has been to decentralize the approach, pushing culture, innovation and learning into the hands of the people rather than enforcing a top-down approach. This approach, which I'm immensely proud of, has proven highly successful over the years.

Unlike many companies that dictate programming and specifics from the top, at ProspHire, we believe in setting the tone from the leadership and then allowing the organization to shape the programming according to its evolving needs. Our culture of collaboration, innovation, education and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is all committee-led, with internal team members rotating at frequencies that best serve those committees.

The Firm provides the necessary resources for each committee to fulfill its plans, resulting in some of the best events, programs, and outcomes for our organization. This collaborative approach not only fosters a sense of ownership and engagement among team members but also drives innovation and continuous improvement.

As a result, ProspHire has been consistently recognized as a best workplace and one of the fastest-growing companies in our industry for many years in a row. By empowering our team members to drive our culture forward, we've created an environment where collaboration, innovation and continuous learning thrive, propelling our organization to new heights of success.

Looking ahead, what are your visions or goals for ProspHire in the coming years and how do you plan to achieve them?

As we look ahead, ProspHire has set ambitious goals for the coming years, encompassing typical growth components along with a strong focus on creating exceptional professional opportunities for all our team members. While our growth targets are important, we are equally committed to fostering an environment where every individual can thrive and excel.

Our vision includes not only expanding our footprint and client base but also cultivating a diverse and talented team. We aim to create new avenues for professional development and advancement, providing opportunities for individuals to grow into new roles, become partners, and assume executive leadership positions within the Firm.

To achieve these goals, we will continue to invest in our people, ensuring they have the resources, support and mentorship needed to succeed. As the Firm expands, we will prioritize the growth of our management team, enabling us to provide the leadership and guidance necessary to navigate our growth trajectory effectively.

Furthermore, we are committed to offering many projects that cater to the diverse talents and expertise of our team members. By aligning projects with individual strengths and interests, we can maximize engagement, satisfaction and ultimately, the quality of our deliverables. In summary, our vision for ProspHire in the coming years revolves around both quantitative growth and qualitative development. By creating exceptional opportunities for our team members and fostering a culture of continuous learning and advancement, we are poised to achieve our goals while delivering exceptional value to our clients.