We all know whatís wrong in healthcare. Lower investment earnings. Tight capital. Reduced philanthropy. Increased bad debt. And thatís only the beginning. Times we once considered bad, like the passing of the Balanced Budget Act, we now view as the good old days.
Whatís right in healthcare? Iíd say itís our ability to get through this crisis. We have what it will take to survive:†the intelligence, the commitment, the passion. And the title of this column, a quote from Thomas Edison, sheds light on the how.
Execution. Joined with its twin concept, accountability, strong execution will lead us out of the maze. Organizations must improve both in order to survive.
We must first make sure all our leaders are on the same page. We at Studer Group find that while many C-suite leaders know just how bad the external environment has gotten and what it means for their organizations, middle managers may not grasp the implications as fully.
Thatís a major disconnect. When middle managers donít have a solid grasp of the larger context in which theyíre working, how can we expect them to function as true partners with C-suite leaders?
In order to align resources and move with the urgency needed, the entire organization needs to have the same view of the external environment. We must strive for complete transparency in our decision making.
We canít assume that just because the issues that affect our external environment are in the paper, all leaders see and understand them. We must help them connect the dots.
Itís not enough to send a newsletter or have a meeting to list the challenges we face. Thatís only step one. We must follow up with step two: actively engaging the staff and other key stakeholders.
When rounding, we must ask managers: Did you see the information? What is your understanding of it? What questions do you have? What ideas do you have? Then, we must listen to their responses, harvest the best ideas, and put them into practice.
Step one creates anxiety. Step two transforms the anxiety into disciplined thinking and action: execution.
None of this means we wonít have to reduce workforce or make other difficult decisions. It does mean that our organizations will be led by informed leaders, armed with input from staff and key stakeholders, who move with the urgency needed for better operating performance.
No crisis is ever welcome, but a wasted crisis is even worse. Well-led organizations will take this crisis and lead their organizations to better results. They will maximize their most valuable resource: their people.
Our industry is brimming with innovative, creative, and passionate people. They have gotten us through tough times in the past and they will do so again in the future.
Thatís whatís right in healthcare.
For a sample of an external environment assessment tool, visit www.studergroup.com
About Quint Studer: Quint Studer, founder and CEO of Studer Group (www.studergroup.com
), is a healthcare leadership expert and a nationally recognized speaker. He is also the author of three books: Wall Street Journal Bestseller Results That Last
, Hardwiring Excellence
, and 101 Answers to Questions Leaders Ask
. He was named one of the ď100 Most Powerful People in HealthcareĒ by Modern Healthcare
magazine for his work on institutional healthcare improvement.