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Unread 2017-07-10, 09:35 AM   #1
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Default Cerner CEO Neal Patterson Dead at 67

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Unread 2017-07-10, 09:44 AM   #2
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Saw him in November at the last Cerner Health Conference and he looked pretty bad then. Soft tissue cancer treatment left his face pretty scarred and he was extremely thin compared to his prior weight. He spoke optimistically but the whole auditorium was choking back tears. Poor guy...he may not have been the kindest man, but he had a significant and permanent impact on our industry, and has forever impacted my life.
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Unread 2017-07-10, 10:28 AM   #3
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Saw him in November at the last Cerner Health Conference and he looked pretty bad then. Soft tissue cancer treatment left his face pretty scarred and he was extremely thin compared to his prior weight. He spoke optimistically but the whole auditorium was choking back tears. Poor guy...he may not have been the kindest man, but he had a significant and permanent impact on our industry, and has forever impacted my life.
He wasn't a kind man?
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Unread 2017-07-10, 10:29 AM   #4
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SCOOBY is a snowflake and probably took umbrage with his email from 2001.
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Unread 2017-07-10, 10:45 AM   #5
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SCOOBY is a snowflake and probably took umbrage with his email from 2001.
This was the last uncalled for troll I'm tolerating from you.

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He wasn't a kind man?
Early on in my career at Cerner we had town halls and a big point of contention for folks was the parking situation at WHQ where we were having to get shuttled in from the riverport campus which added 15-30 minutes onto our commute. Neal would throw footballs to people and if you caught one you had to ask a question and one person brought up this concern and asked about the plans for parking in the future. Neal's response was...not kind. In every town hall I recall, we all walked away from Neal's updates feeling like we were getting scolded by a parent for not doing enough.

Working initially in the resource center we had to deliver equipment to his floor in the 2800 building and my coworkers had lots of stories of conversations on the elevators where employees were grilled on their performance and contributions and the message was always what are you doing for the company which is not how people wanted to be treated.

These impressions were common among most people early on in their careers when Neal had a bigger role in the company. As time went on and Neal had lesser of a role aside from his public image, perceptions began to change since the only side folks saw of him is the side he wanted to show.
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Unread 2017-07-10, 10:55 AM   #6
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Early on in my career at Cerner we had town halls and a big point of contention for folks was the parking situation at WHQ where we were having to get shuttled in from the riverport campus which added 15-30 minutes onto our commute. Neal would throw footballs to people and if you caught one you had to ask a question and one person brought up this concern and asked about the plans for parking in the future. Neal's response was...not kind. In every town hall I recall, we all walked away from Neal's updates feeling like we were getting scolded by a parent for not doing enough.

Working initially in the resource center we had to deliver equipment to his floor in the 2800 building and my coworkers had lots of stories of conversations on the elevators where employees were grilled on their performance and contributions and the message was always what are you doing for the company which is not how people wanted to be treated.

These impressions were common among most people early on in their careers when Neal had a bigger role in the company. As time went on and Neal had lesser of a role aside from his public image, perceptions began to change since the only side folks saw of him is the side he wanted to show.
Always interesting to hear stories from the inside. While there is no arguing that he built an amazing company and has done a lot for Kansas City, it sounds like had he been a kinder person, he could have left an even brighter legacy behind.
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Unread 2017-07-10, 11:01 AM   #7
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This was the last uncalled for troll I'm tolerating from you.



Early on in my career at Cerner we had town halls and a big point of contention for folks was the parking situation at WHQ where we were having to get shuttled in from the riverport campus which added 15-30 minutes onto our commute. Neal would throw footballs to people and if you caught one you had to ask a question and one person brought up this concern and asked about the plans for parking in the future. Neal's response was...not kind. In every town hall I recall, we all walked away from Neal's updates feeling like we were getting scolded by a parent for not doing enough.

Working initially in the resource center we had to deliver equipment to his floor in the 2800 building and my coworkers had lots of stories of conversations on the elevators where employees were grilled on their performance and contributions and the message was always what are you doing for the company which is not how people wanted to be treated.

These impressions were common among most people early on in their careers when Neal had a bigger role in the company. As time went on and Neal had lesser of a role aside from his public image, perceptions began to change since the only side folks saw of him is the side he wanted to show.

I've been here for a few years now and you are correct. It was extremely rare for associates to run into him at any campus. Even the team that supports executives never saw him and they work 20 feet from his office. From what I understand he would work mostly remotely.
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Unread 2017-07-10, 12:43 PM   #8
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This was the last uncalled for troll I'm tolerating from you.



Early on in my career at Cerner we had town halls and a big point of contention for folks was the parking situation at WHQ where we were having to get shuttled in from the riverport campus which added 15-30 minutes onto our commute. Neal would throw footballs to people and if you caught one you had to ask a question and one person brought up this concern and asked about the plans for parking in the future. Neal's response was...not kind. In every town hall I recall, we all walked away from Neal's updates feeling like we were getting scolded by a parent for not doing enough.

Working initially in the resource center we had to deliver equipment to his floor in the 2800 building and my coworkers had lots of stories of conversations on the elevators where employees were grilled on their performance and contributions and the message was always what are you doing for the company which is not how people wanted to be treated.

These impressions were common among most people early on in their careers when Neal had a bigger role in the company. As time went on and Neal had lesser of a role aside from his public image, perceptions began to change since the only side folks saw of him is the side he wanted to show.
We (Perceptive) got a lot of people from Cerner with similar stories. They would really sell the modern software company angle for recruiting but really work people hard once they got you in, including a lot of pressure on deferring PTO and whatnot.
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Unread 2017-07-10, 03:47 PM   #9
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Like most people here, I haven't heard much good about upper management/culture there. The handful of people I know that went there after, or shortly after school, went there to get their feet wet, make some decent money for their inexperience at the time, and left to be treated better. I think I only know one that has been there since he graduated (roughly 10 years).
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Unread 2017-07-10, 04:11 PM   #10
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My wife's dad was badge number 660. They go in sequential order and he was at one of the first town halls back when the company was so small they could fit in the WHQ gym.

He simply asked about the associate survey since they never brought it up at the TH and it was the first one ever done. Neal said "apparently everyone doesn't like working here" and went on about it and how bad it was .

Her Dad was put on a probation plan the next week.
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Unread 2017-07-10, 04:12 PM   #11
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I will say though. The last about 5 years or so, I truly feel like Cerner was driven by personal reasons rather than financial. Sure they made money and have investors to think about. But I really feel like Neal was trying to make a change and was driving the company from his heart and not his wallet.
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Unread 2017-07-10, 04:15 PM   #12
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I don't know.



I mean there's no way I'd choose to stay employed somewhere if the culture was that sketch, but...


Is it smart if you know how the guy is, and then choose to ignore what I would assume are layer upon layer of management between you and the CEO to call him out on a touchy subject in a town hall setting?


Not too bright of a career move in that environment as you all describe it.
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Unread 2017-07-10, 04:16 PM   #13
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I will say though. The last about 5 years or so, I truly feel like Cerner was driven by personal reasons rather than financial. Sure they made money and have investors to think about. But I really feel like Neal was trying to make a change and was driving the company from his heart and not his wallet.
That was also the impression I had. Since Jeannie's fight with cancer, it was like he was really wanting to drive change for the patients' sake.
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Unread 2017-07-14, 07:18 PM   #14
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I've been here for a few years now and you are correct. It was extremely rare for associates to run into him at any campus. Even the team that supports executives never saw him and they work 20 feet from his office. From what I understand he would work mostly remotely.
He lived on a private island down off the coast of Florida. He used to bitch about how he got no Sprint signal leaving his house. He called Dan Hesse over at Sprint at the time to get that fixed. The issue was no one was allowed to build a cell phone tower on the island. Pretty cool.

Other than his lashing out he changed the industry.

Now on another note, if you work for Big C and make any kind of comment on this board it will be flagged and an HR sitdown will follow. Ask me how I know about that. lulz.
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Unread 2017-07-14, 08:11 PM   #15
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You're welcome for that! I surfed this site so often from there that it probably got flagged as a permanently monitored forum.
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