Creating social impact delivering best practice services to children with a developmental disability is an appreciable step in health-care industry. At Rethink Austism Inc., Daniel A. Etra the Co-founder & CEO, believes in inspiring and empowering those individuals who are caring for loved ones with a developmental disability. Through dedicating his business and managerial acumen for such a social cause, he has not only contributed to the health-care industry but also lifted his company to the highest success.
Featuring Daniel in a Transformational Leadership edition is an honor for the CIO Look, as the issue admires the leaders with inventive ideologies and remarkable contributions in business.
Below are some the highlights of an interview between CIO Look and Daniel:
Kindly take us through your journey on becoming a leader.
The desire to not just build a successful business but also one that has an impact in the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities, as well as the vision to leverage technology to create a scalable solution that delivers a global solution. With a significant dearth of trained professionals (there are only approximately 30,000 Board Certified Behavioral Therapists) available to meet the needs of a growing population with a developmental disability (approximately 450 million individuals birth to 21 globally), Rethink set out to create a scalable solution that would make clinical best practice treatment tools and supports available to the individual and their caregiver(s) no matter where they are located.
Beginning with a focus on families caring for dependents with a developmental disability, Rethink, under Mr. Etra’s leadership, has expanded its product range to serve all entities revolving around the care of this population. Today, Rethink’s three divisions – Education, Employer & Behavioral Health – provide treatment tools and support for caregivers in the public school system, employees of Fortune 500 companies in over 120 countries, and to the healthcare system through public and private behavioral health agencies.
How do you diversify your organization’s offerings to appeal the target audience?
We are unique in the marketplace offering for online best practice tools and clinical supports to manage the treatment of individuals with developmental disabilities such as autism. Providing research-based teaching strategies grounded in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), the award-winning Rethink program includes a comprehensive online individualized treatment program with over 1,500 video-based demonstrations. This program is developed by internationally-recognized experts in the field to train caregivers, parents, professional and paraprofessional staff on how to manage problem behaviors as well as to teach an individual with a developmental disability critical skills. Automated data-based reports track progress in real time, facilitate coordination across care team members, and allow for robust data analytics.
In addition, Program Specialists can also utilize Rethink as a form of job-embedded professional development and to augment coaching caregivers and other support staff. Rethink also offers a range of technology-enabled remote service options, ranging from short-term web-based consultations with Rethink’s Board-certified behavioral therapists to ongoing program development initiatives supported by an in-house team of clinicians. In addition, Rethink’s practice management offering allows with the tracking of service authorizations and cost of treatment as it relates to clinical outcomes. Rethink serves individuals at all levels of development and ages ranging from point of diagnosis through early adulthood. We currently serve all entities that revolve around the care of this population in the school system, in the home and in the healthcare system.
Accordingly, we have three different versions of the platform, each distinct to meet the needs of the target market. For example, school districts need scalable solutions to manage the intervention of this growing population, train staff in a variety of locations and provide real-time visibility on outcomes to district administrators. Parents need a simplified version of our tools for use in the home by each caregiver interacting with the child. Lastly, behavioral health providers need additional clinical functionality to comply with the unique requirements of managed care organizations. Our platform must address these myriad needs of our respective clients.
What are the crucial traits which every CEO must possess?
A leader must possess the ability to clearly articulate a vision and align all members of the organization around that vision as well as motivate them to execute against it. The CEO must be tenacious and must have the grit to overcome many obstacles that will arise throughout the life of a business. Lastly, one must be able to perform at the highest level in any endeavor, whether for fun or in a professional context. The CEO needs to hold himself/herself to the highest standards and seek to drive the same in their colleagues.
What are your takes on roles of CEO transformational leadership and organizational factors on product innovation performance?
Despite what many may think, building a successful company does not happen overnight. There is the expression “the 10-year overnight success.” This is particularly true for entrepreneurs and successful ones need to be willing to pivot their business strategy to respond to changing market conditions as well as to have the patience to play the long game and be willing and able to move the ball down the field a little bit each and every day.
How do you strategize your game plans to tackle the competition in the market?
Of paramount importance is to respond to the needs of the customer and to continue innovate in order to create a wide competitive moat. One can never be complacent when it comes to continuous improvement of the product and service of the customer.
As a global health technology company, what is your most vital contribution in health-care sector?
Creating a platform that addresses the significant dearth of trained professionals in the market and makes clinical best practice intervention available to any individual with a developmental disability wherever they are located anywhere worldwide.
What are your future endeavors/objectives and where do you see yourself in the near future?
Expanding our product to support adults with developmental disabilities, both in the home and in the workplace and helping organizations align their culture around supporting this population and helping them be productive members of society.