Are You Ready for 2018?

2017 has been a turbulent year for the healthcare industry. Not only have we seen tremendous disruption in technology and innovation, but also more consolidation and strained resources. Natural disasters across the country and the unstable economy have added to the mounting pressures. Leaders have been challenged to do more with less, like never before. You may be using predictive analysis tools in strategizing for your organization, but have you looked at your personal toolkit to see if you are ready for what’s in store in 2018?

At Wiederhold & Associates, we consider three key ingredients for success – history, process, and relationships. Here are some techniques to proactively and methodically plan for a successful 2018.

History:

  • List of accomplishments - Do you have a list of professional achievements for the year? Grab a pen or type out a list, before you forget! It is important to keep track of any milestones, at work or outside, that have been proud moments for you. As time passes by and memories fade, you may lose track of things that may have significance in the future. Doing a quick year-in-review list of accomplishments will help you document and keep these fresh. Or even better, start a business journal and keep it updated throughout the year.
  • Resume - When was the last time you updated your resume? You do not have to be actively looking for a job to keep your resume updated. In times like these when change is inevitable and happens at lightning speed, it is always a good idea to periodically update your resume especially with new skills, accomplishments or credentials that you may obtain along the way. The same applies for your LinkedIn or any other social media profiles.
  • Self-assessment – Have you done a gap analysis for yourself lately? There are several assessment tools available but even a simple exercise of listing any new skills that you have learned or honed, assessing any areas that still need development, and identifying ways to work on these ensures that you are focusing on your professional growth. The core competencies for roles have steadily evolved, and what measures were used to assess your performance even five years ago may not be as relevant as what is needed in the future. Do you have a competency checklist for the types of roles you see yourself in and are you diligently working towards building/polishing those skills?

Process:

  • Personal Brand – Have you “Googled” yourself lately? Always be aware of what is floating in cyberspace about you. Reputation management is an active and lifelong task of maintaining your personal brand. At times you may find yourself caught amid a media blitz not of your own doing or liking. Being aware, and taking necessary and proactive steps to protect your online brand is critical to your professional success.
  • Goals – Do you have a SWOT analysis for yourself? Once you have identified strengths and areas of focus, set SMART goals for yourself. Ensure that your personal goals align with your organizational goals, if there is dissonance it is time to reflect! Where possible, have discussions with your boss to find synergies that will benefit all parties.
  • Action Plans – Do you have clear action plans to achieve your goals? What skills/experiences are you missing in your toolkit and which ones do you plan to focus on in the coming year? How will you measure success?

Relationships:

  • Networking - The holidays are a great time to reach out and reconnect with individuals in your network. It also offers a lot of social opportunities, holiday parties and gatherings to meet new people and expand your network. With work slowing down some, and the holiday cheer around, people tend to be more open to giving and receiving. A great time to nurture your relationships!

So, celebrate your accomplishments in 2017 and ring in the New Year with confidence and assertion. Cheers to your success in 2018!

Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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Give yourself the gift of networking – how to network during the holidays

The holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with old friends and colleagues that you may not have spoken to in a long time. The season is full of celebrations and parties where you are in the presence of a lot of untapped potential. Potential to make a connection. Spark or rekindle a new or old friendship. Networking is all about finding connection points.

Finding that common ground that endears you to the other person and during the holidays, those connections come even easier with the added ingredients of warm fuzzies (eggnog anyone?) and a healthy dose of good cheer. So, when you are headed to the next holiday party, don’t groan and moan and count the hours until you can be home in front of the fire, look at it as an opportunity to widen your net and build up your network.

How to work a room:

  1. Don’t stand by the front door. When people first arrive to a meeting or party they are nervous and looking for a place to put their things or visit a bathroom. Standing by the door is a sure way to get overlooked.
  2. Spend only five minutes with each person you meet. This is long enough to listen to what makes them unique and for you to establish a connection within exchanged pleasantries. Get their business card and offer yours if asked in return.
  3. Make notes on their business cards. Anything that will help you remember that person when you look them up later is invaluable. There is no way you can keep everyone you meet straight and that one detail about that person could be what gets you that future meeting. It adds the personal touch.
  4. Follow-up. Think of how many times you given out your business card. Now think about how many times someone used that business card to reach out to you after the fact? Part of working a room successfully lies in the follow-up. Connect with the person on LinkedIn, shoot them a quick note telling them how nice it was to meet them and add the fun fact about them you jotted down on their business card.

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Happy Holidays from Wiederhold & Associates

In lieu of mailing holiday cards, and in keeping with the spirit of giving during this time of year, Wiederhold & Associates has made a donation to a charity in honor of our clients, network members and friends for being a part of our lives this year. For 2017, due to the amount of natural disasters the U.S. faced this year, we have selected the Salvation Army as the recipient of our donation.

The Salvation Army helped with all the hurricanes that hit the U.S. this year and are currently assisting in California with the wildfires. More information on their efforts can be found at Salvation Army news.

We at Wiederhold & Associates hope and pray that you enjoy a happy and safe holiday season. As you enter the New Year, never forget what is most important: your faith, your family, and your friends.

Jim Wiederhold and

The Wiederhold & Associates Team

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Three Ways to Work With Recruiters

With over 15 years of executive search work and helping healthcare companies recruit, land and lead talent for their organizations, there are still things in the industry that surprise. One of those is the disconnect between the healthcare executive and the headhunter/search industry.

In this article I will share 3 Ways to Work with Recruiters.

  1. Get to know them before you need one
  2. Often, I get calls from healthcare leaders whom I have never had any prior contact with because they are now out of work due to a reduction in force, a merger or conflict with a board member and a myriad of other reasons.

    An old Chinese proverb states: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”

    I have talked with thousands of healthcare leaders and I am always surprised when someone tells me this is their first real conversation with a headhunter. In today's fast changing healthcare world your network is key to your future success should you need to do a job search.

    Unfortunately, when an organization decides to do a RIF there is no loyalty to you even if you have spent the last 10 years giving 60 hours a week to the organization. Even when we as leaders expect loyalty from our employees we are willing to cut their legs out from under them when we must save money or our own job. (But I digress). This is a topic for another day.

    The point here; get to know recruiter(s). Even if you just took a new job continue to build your network. I have worked with executives who have taken a new position only to find out it is not the right fit; a board member decides they don't like them or the family isn't happy once they arrive and the need to extract from the situation sooner rather than later.

  3. Take or return their calls
  4. As I stated above, I get calls from leaders who I have never had a conversation. What I didn’t say is that I had never called them. As a headhunter my job is to network, get to know leaders and help you, or an organization find the right fit for an opening.

    I know what you are thinking here. I get way too many calls from recruiters to take or return a call. I am way too busy to speak with every headhunter that calls my office.

    Believe me, I understand this point, but see point number one.

    I am not saying you must return every call every time, but build relationships with more than one recruiter. How many? The number is up to you, but I suggest you have a relationship with 5 to 10 recruiters in the industry. Not all recruiters are the same. Some are transactional and don't want a relationship, they just want the placement, some treat candidates like a head of cattle and just like to run you through the process and some are relational and want to work with you long-term and build a relationship that serves you both to find a job and help you build your team should you need help.

    You need to talk with more than one or two to find the right match for your own personal style. And also understand it is impossible to know about every possible job in the marketplace, nor can we place you in a job if a company is already engaged with another firm, or is unwilling to pay us a fee for the introduction. Therefore, it is important to get to know many recruiters, and the only way you can do this is to return calls, or messages when appropriate.

    I learned, probably like you did growing up to treat others the way I want to be treated. However, I do my best to treat others better than I want to be treated…this is the platinum rule. Most recruiters worth their salt and who have been in this business more than a couple of years are fairly thick-skinned and take rejection pretty well, or they wouldn’t still be doing this kind of work, but I recommend when you can -- return their calls. You will know within a few minutes of conversation whether you can connect with this person or not, and if you don’t just be honest and tell them you prefer they not bother you anymore.

  5. Update your resume every six months and send to your recruiter contacts.
  6. If you are like me and most others I talk with in this business, it gets harder and harder to remember everything we have done or accomplished from one month to the next.

    I suggest every month you sit down and reflect on what you have done to move your team, departments and organization forward. Keep a running document or journal that is secure and saved frequently that you can update each month.

    Schedule an appointment with yourself every month to do this so you don't forget things and they never get added to your resume. I also suggest you do this with your team. I am a coach, and this is a great way to coach your individual team members each month and encourages them to keep working hard and reminds you of how hard they are working. Then guess what? When it is performance evaluation time you have already had 11 sessions with them to help you create their evaluations and now there are no surprises at the end of a year.

    If it is not put on the calendar it will not happen. Put this appointment on your schedule and your teams schedule every single month...you will thank me later!

    Once you have the information on your own personal journal document, then schedule a six-month appointment with yourself to update your resume with the best and most quantifiable information you have from the last six months. Then spend 30 minutes writing a personalized email to your recruiter contacts and attaching your resume.

    This doesn't mean you are looking for a job, it means you are watering the tree after you have planted the seed. You are growing your network before you need it.

    Learn more about mike at www.harbourresources.com

Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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Inner Leadership Development

Recently, I became certified in the Leadership Circle Profile, the most comprehensive leadership assessment system available. This is the second assessment I added to my tool chest focusing on leadership. The first was the Hogan Assessments. Together, these are a powerful measurement of where a leader is now and how he/she can improve. That decision has to be made around internal change.

The Leadership Circle Profile is a true breakthrough among 360 profiles. It is the first to connect a well-researched battery of competencies with the underlying and motivating habits of thought. It reveals the relationship between patterns of action and internal assumptions that drive behavior. Ultimately, the Leadership Circle Profile goes to a source of behavior to get greater leverage on change.

Second, the profile creates much more than just a list of behavior competencies. The Leadership Circle Profile Results are organized into a very powerful system for understanding human behavior and development, as well as for making sense of the interrelationships between the many dimensions of yourself. Unlike most profiles that take hours to interpret, the Leadership Circle Profile integrates all this information in a way that brings the key issues to the surface instantly.

The data in the Leadership Circle Profile reveals itself in seconds.

At a glance, the whole gestalt is accessible-putting leaders in touch with what is working, what is not, and why!

In most organizations, this treasure trove of information remains buried. Leadership Circle Profile makes it easily accessible

The Leadership Circle Profile provides you with a leadership MRI, giving you the entire picture in one diagram. I am proud to offer this tool to my clients who are ready to evaluate their inner leader and discover how to bring him/her into their everyday life.

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Employee Engagement is easy to achieve if you think about it differently

The most important thing to remember about employee engagement is that it is an emotion that drives employees to want to achieve more for the organization where they work. Now a lot of business leaders don’t like dealing with employee emotions and that is what makes it difficult. Wall street and corporate America knows that they must capture the hearts of their customers to achieve repeat business. Do you remember the Coke commercial with a diverse group singing in harmony? Do you remember the various Nike commercials with sports success as an emotional theme? Yet such campaigns to capture the hearts and minds of our employees is viewed as being a frivolous business strategy.

Quint Studer was making a key statement about employee emotions when he refers to the concept of “connecting to purpose”. Without a connection to purpose it is just work and there is no emotion to drive employees to achieve excellence for the patient, the customer and the organization.

There are three key factors to improving employee engagement. Communication, leader accountability for results and creating a culture of employee participation in making the organization the best it can be.

Communication is one of the keys to getting improved employee engagement. Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves. The fans of great sports teams always “brag” about how “we” beat this team or that team. At work, does your team talk about how much better they are than the competition? Or do they talk about how bad things are where they work. Great teams have lots of pride about what they do, how they are the best and how they do so much better than the other guys. Just like great sports teams, employees need to feel like they work for a great organization and they contribute to the outcomes of greatness. In order for employees to feel they are part of this greatness, the organization must be communicated how great “we are” and how “the employees make this happen”.

Too many leaders talk about how bad things are, and how hard it is to make budget, how many mistakes we make, etc.. Generally, there is too little talk about the accomplishments, the high performance of our staff, their caring attitude and how we cannot survive without these great people. We must communicate to our staff how great they are and build their self-image. One thing I have learned through over 30 years of HR Experience: Employees who feel worthwhile will always outperform those who feel unworthy. If you don’t think your team is great, get rid of them and get a great team (I have never been an advocate of keeping low performers). But, keep in mind, great organizations need great leaders, and great leaders are able to grow and support great teams. Teams that have great leaders will bring great results.

Leader accountability: Leaders must be held accountable for their department, unit, division, result that they have oversight for… In other words, RESULTS for financials, quality, growth, customer service and EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT. They must be held accountable for result for their area of responsibility. If the various pieces of the house: walls, foundation, floors, doors, etc. are not well constructed how can we expect to have a great home? Every department must focus on engagement for their team.

Employee participation. Have you heard the statement “people support the decisions they helped to make”? I think most people would agree that organizations that empower staff to make improvements to their jobs get better organizational results. Many performance improvement programs such as Lean, are built on the concept that employee participation is key to achieving lower cost, higher quality and better outcomes, and yes greater employee engagement… Why? Because I am proud of my contributions that create better outcomes for myself, my team and the organization.

“Imagine the personal and organizational cost of failing to fully engage the passion, talent and intelligence of the workforce. It is far greater than all taxes, interest charges, and labor costs put together.” STEPHEN R. COVEY

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Happy Thanksgiving!

We are grateful for our clients, associates and friends.

Wishing you and your loved

ones a Happy Thanksgiving!

Jim

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Where to Next? The Fastest Route to Career Advancement

Are you looking to be promoted?

If getting a promotion is important to you, then it is time to sit down and ask yourself what you can be doing to actively advance your career. Here are some suggestions.

Regain Career Momentum

Define what success looks like to you. Once you have established the main target, break it down into smaller achievable steps and goals. Implement a workable system that will increase your technical and emotional skillsets needed to move from one step to the next.

Manage Up

Managing up means that you go above and beyond the tasks outlined in your job description. You continuously go the extra mile. Your job is to make your immediate manager’s life easier. Learning to effectively "manage up" can put you in a great position to align with your immediate supervisor, integrate effectively with the organizational culture, receive great recommendations, and ultimately help you on board effectively.

Help your stakeholders recognize your ability to build and lead a high-performing team that goes above and beyond the call of duty. Leading well on a small scale shows initiative and ability. Report team successes to your direct supervisor, giving credit to both the team and team members. As their leader, their success is your success. Consistent progress in leading a high-performing team will show that you are able to graduate to more responsibility.

Build Your Network

Networking/connecting is essential to your success both while gainfully employed and in transition. Networking with a purpose is a vital component of anybody's career success but is often terribly neglected.

Ask Questions / Survey Your Surroundings

•Have I asked my immediate superior what it takes to get to the next position?

•How has this organization historically handled promotions?

•Do they generally promote from within or seek externally?

•What is the general time-frame for people to get promoted within the organization?

•Is the person you report to going anywhere?

•Does the person you report to have a history of mentoring his/her direct reports?

By defining your goals, developing a strategy, and become intentional about executing your plan, you can increase your chances of advancement immeasurably.

Here's to your success!

Jim

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The Man in the Mirror

A courageous person takes an honest look at who they are. A powerful person acknowledges their weaknesses and strengths then understands how to use them both successfully.

Leadership involves building and maintaining a high-performing team. Anything that detracts from your ability to build a team also detracts from your performance as a leader. Behavior impacts performance.

Personality assessments are designed to measure traits/behaviors that are part of an individual’s make up. Organizations attempt to utilize these to assess both fit and performance in certain positions but the real value is that an individual can get real insight into their strengths, potential areas of opportunity, and motivators.

It is good to be able to understand, articulate and utilize your strengths. Think of these as the gas pedal in a car. When utilized properly, they will move your leadership forward. However, it is also important to understand when you’re putting your foot on the brake and negatively impacting your leadership journey. An effective assessment can help you understand what is propelling your journey and what is holding you back.

What Inhibits Your Success?

To help you understand your strengths and motivators as well as identify your risk factors, Wiederhold & Associates offers The Hogan Leadership Forecast Series. Through the series, you will receive a report designed to help you develop as a leader.

It will provide insights about your behavior and traits that showcase strengths as well as behaviors and traits that could potentially undermine or inhibit your performance. And if you’re committed to being the best leader you can be, we will help you determine the best way to enhance your awareness and make impactful change.

If you’re in transition, a seasoned executive looking to take your performance to the next level or a leader who is ready to get off the hamster wheel, the HOGAN LEADERSHIP FORECAST SERIES may be your next step to finding true success.

Learn more about Wiederhold & Associates

HOGAN LEADERSHIP FORECAST SERIES

Here's to your success,

Jim

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Performance Excellence-Physician Enterprise

Introductory Comments:

The healthcare industry is at a crossroads. Consumerism, regulatory requirements, payer requirements, employer demands and other factors are driving forces for change in service delivery. Now is the time to get it right. We need to reduce cost, control utilization, streamline delivery of care, deliver care in a manner that exceeds patient expectations at all times, manage the health status of the communities we serve and demonstrate continuous improvement in achieving best in class clinical outcomes.

The industry, as a whole, needs to focus on the “Triple Aim” (low cost, service oriented and high quality). In doing so, we cannot neglect that we can only navigate the course to achieving value based results with a high performing team of leadership representatives, management representatives, physicians, other clinical providers and staff, thus achieving the “Quadruple Aim.”

We must engage and empower our clinical and non-clinical workforce to maintain professional satisfaction and reduce the risk of burn-out from expecting more without addressing resource requirements. It is not easy, but it can be framed in a simplified philosophy of Performance Excellence. Performance Excellence (Operations, Service and Clinical) is the gold standard by which healthcare teams will be measured.

“Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with EXCELLENCE.”
- Jessica Guidobono

Is your physician enterprise designed to allow every member of your organization to autograph their work with excellence?

Workforce (physicians, advanced practice providers, clinical and non-clinical staff) engagement at all levels of your organization is essential to move forward in today’s ever-evolving healthcare market. A Performance Excellence Philosophy provides the systematic methodology to engage your workforce in achieving results.

The Baldrige Excellence Framework (Healthcare): As Systems Approach to Improving Your Organization’s Performance empowers your organization to reach its goals, improve results, and become more competitive. The framework consists of the criteria, the core values and concepts, and scoring guidelines to use as reference, to self-assess, or as a basis for external assessment. Whether or not your organization is “award and recognition oriented,” today’s ever-evolving healthcare environment creates to perfect opportunity to take a step back and assess your ability to achieve value based results.

Through active inquiry regarding your organization’s culture, you learn and develop your ability to accomplish what is important to your organization. A community/customer/patient centered philosophy, along with the critical aspects of: Leadership/Governance; Vision/Strategy; Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management (through data analytics); and Operational Work Processes and Process Management, allows you to evaluate how prepared you are to achieve VALUE BASED RESULTS.

Through internal ASSESSMENT you may find that your organization needs external resources to develop the necessary structure and infrastructure to achieve your VISION. Experienced leadership with a demonstrated track record of achieving results within physician enterprise organizations may be difficult to find. You may need Interim Leadership and Management Advisory Services with the Resilience to do the “initial heavy lifting” of positioning your enterprise for high performance.

Today we explore ways to assess your systematic approach for delivering value in your communities.

Assess Your Physician Enterprise through a Systematic Approach

Vision:

You need a systematic approach to assessing your physician enterprise ability to achieve results. You need a framework to deliver value. The challenge is to critically assess to learn how you are accomplishing your vision and strategic priorities. Today we pose several key questions to begin to assess your organization’s readiness to achieve value based results.

Has your organization set a strategic priority for achieving value based results in your physician enterprise?

How has your organization set a strategic priority for achieving value based results? “Value Based Care is Here to Stay”:

Vision and Strategy-Questions to consider:

Is it important to your organization?
Have you established a shared Vision of physician integration to achieve value based results?
Is your organization prepared to create greater value in the communities you serve?
Does your organization have the leadership with the demonstrated competency of RESLIENCE to navigate the path to value?
Do you need Interim Leadership or experienced external advisors to assess and develop your physician enterprise ability to deliver value based results

Please see Assessing Your Vision and Strategies, to begin your assessment: You may also request a copy from: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

It all begins with LEADERSHIP:

Leadership must promote a systems perspective. A systems perspective means managing all the components of your organization as a whole to achieve ongoing success. A healthcare system has many inter-related, but not always highly integrated, components. Each component must be led and managed to function as a high performing organization within the context of the entire system. Most importantly, your physician enterprise (whether an employed network or Clinically Integrated Network) must demonstrate a successful track record of achieving results.

Assess your leadership and management structure to achieve results:

“Achieve Results-Leadership and Management”

Question to Consider-Leadership:

Do senior leaders lead the organization, consistent with your systematic approach?

Please see Assessing Your Leadership/Management, to begin your assessment: You may also request a copy from: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Governance:

How does your governance structure oversee your physician enterprise and address your organizational ability to achieve value based results?

Assess your governance structure to achieve results: "Governance”

Governance - Questions to Consider:

How does your organization ensure responsible governance of the physician enterprise?

How does your governing achieve accountability for:

  • senior leaders’ actions
  • strategic plans
  • fiscal accountability
  • transparency in operations
  • selection of governance board members and disclosure policies for them, as appropriate
  • independence and effectiveness of internal and external audits
  • protection of stakeholder and stockholder interests, as appropriate
  • succession planning for organizational leadership

Please see Assessing Your Governance, to begin your assessment: You may also request a copy from: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Knowledge Management/Transfer through Data Analytics:

How do you measure, analyze, and then improve organizational performance?

Assess your Performance Measures to achieve results: "Knowledge Management/Transfer through Data Analytics”

Questions to Consider - Performance Measures:

How do you track data and information on daily operations and overall organizational performance?

How do you select, collect, align, and integrate data and information to use in tracking daily operations and overall organizational performance; and track progress on achieving strategic objectives and action plans?

Please see Assessing Your Knowledge Management/Transfer through Data Analytics, to begin your assessment: You may also request a copy from: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Operations Management/Process Management:

How do you design, manage and improve your key health care services and work processes?

Assess your Work Processes/Process Management Methodology to achieve results: “Process Management-Achieve Value Based Results”

Questions to Consider-Work Processes/Process Management:

How do you design, manage, and improve your key health care services and work processes?

How do you determine key health care service and work process requirements?

Please see Operations Management/Process Management, to begin your assessment: You may also request a copy from: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Results:

A Performance Excellence Philosophy provides the systematic methodology to achieve results. Your organization will achieve value based results with unrelenting commitment from key stakeholders at every level.

You need a simplified approach to creating a culture of Performance Excellence to achieve results:

Question to Consider-Results

What are your health care and process effectiveness results?

What are your health care results and your results for your patient and other customer service processes?

Is your entire workforce engaged in achieving value based results?

Please see Assessing Your Results, to begin your assessment:

Key Take Aways and Next Steps:

  • Assess and adopt a Vision of Value Based Care in your Physician Enterprise
  • Implement a Culture of Performance Excellence
  • Assess your Leadership/Management
  • Assess your Governance
  • Assess your Knowledge Management/Transfer (Data Analytics)
  • Assess your Operations/Process Management
  • Assess your Results
  • You may need external resources to assist in assessment and development
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Hire Employees with Longevity

Studies show that an average of 50% of newly hired executives not appropriately onboarded, either quit or were fired within their first three years.

A successful onboarding program accelerates the executive’s breakeven point on the investment the organization has made in talent acquisition and retention, as well as, aligns behavioral changes with organizational outcomes and goals. Results are just as important as the process.

Wiederhold & Associates Executive Onboarding Program

Wiederhold & Associates is perfectly positioned to be your partner in ensuring that your investment in new executives continues to reap long-term rewards, rather than ending up with the above-mentioned results. The Wiederhold & Associates team with 26 years of transition expertise in healthcare, focuses on tangible results in addition to ensuring a smooth transition.

Key Program Strategies Include:

  • Defining roles and responsibilities
  • Clarifying strategic results and creating new ones
  • Managing expectations
  • Building relationships and coalitions
  • Managing intellectual and emotional reactions
  • Maintaining balance
  • Aligning and strengthening the leadership team
  • Completing in-process assessments

Specific Areas of Focus Are:

  • Executive’s personality and behaviors
  • Alignment of goals/outcomes
  • Building stakeholder lists
  • Focusing on early wins
  • Navigating organizational politics
  • Learning organization’s culture
  • Maintaining visibility
  • Time management
  • Balancing relationships/results
  • Enhancing executive’s knowledge of the organization’s market
  • Understanding organizational history
  • Assessing skills and behaviors
  • Building confidence
  • Developing executive’s team dynamics
  • Enhancing communication
  • Creating a business journal
  • Establishing a brand
  • Empowering the executive’s voice within the organization
  • Managing change
  • Maintaining balance

To learn more about Wiederhold & Associates Onboarding Program, download a tri-fold brochure here.

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United States Weather Conditions

Oregon's Eagle Creek fire along the Columbia River

Monday we reflected on the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States. It was a pivotal moment in the country’s history and Americans continue to recognize its importance in our lives on its anniversary each year.

Currently the United States is experiencing another significant chapter with wide ranging weather conditions that affect a large portion of the population. We have had two hurricanes since August 25, and Jose, a third storm following them could feasibly land in the Virginia area; there are dozens of forest fires in over ten western states; and as of Sunday night, 260 earthquakes have been registered in Idaho since September second.

The Wiederhold network extends nationwide, either as current or past clients or simply those we know as friends and colleagues. We continue to think of everyone in harm’s way and hope for the safety of them, their friends and families.

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Happy Labor Day

We wish you and your loved ones a safe and fun holiday weekend
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Hurricane Harvey

Wiederhold & Associates has a long history with the Houston and Corpus Christi areas and its people. In fact, Mitali Paul, our Vice President of Business Development and Career Transition Specialist lives in Pearland.

All of us in the Wiederhold family hope and pray for the safety and well-being of past and present clients and members of our network and their families who may be affected in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

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Performance Excellence Simplified: Achieve Value Based Results

High performing leaders in healthcare organizations of today are challenged with the uncertainty of healthcare delivery in the future. Many hospitals face a challenge among key stakeholders. That challenge is a brand/reputation shift toward value based care. Mission, Vision and Values typically reflect claims of high quality and customer service, but key stakeholders (physicians, patients, families, employers, payers and regulatory bodies) are not buying the slogans of the past. In today's world, healthcare providers must demonstrate that they are living up to the value based equation (low cost, seamless, patient-centric, high quality care). Stakeholder demand and regulatory requirements drive organizations to demonstrate measurable results in cost, service and quality.

Creating a performance excellence environment is a highly successful leadership approach to navigate the ever-evolving imperatives of service delivery. Value based results will be achieved through a leadership philosophy of performance excellence:


Engage your people: Develop Governance, Leadership and Management structures to engage your key players, especially physicians and other clinical thought leaders to lead the effort. Create a shared Vision of Achieving Value Based Results. Now it’s time to execute your shared Vision.


Evaluate your data; identify best practice: Engage all key players in identifying essential metrics to understand your current performance and identify opportunities for improvement in Operational/Financial, Service and Clinical performance.


Know your process and design your process (es): Utilize advanced process management methodologies to identify current processes that yield current results. Establish consistency in your process improvement methodology. Identify best practices. Design your processes to achieve results.

Hardwire/Standardize best practice, process design to ACHIEVE

Sustainable results will be achieved from your Action, if you are focused on Continuous Operating and Quality Improvement. Remember you may FAIL (“First Attempt In Learning”). Establish your culture of Performance Excellence. Start small, simplify, be resilient, be persistent and be unrelenting in your approach to achieving results. Be prepared to embrace “Polarity Thinking.” Every good conversation begins with good listening. Listen to your key stakeholders. Listen to understand, not to respond. Physician integration and value based strategies inherently present divergent opinions. Learn the power of leveraging Inquiry AND Advocacy: two critical leadership competencies. That’s how leaders achieve results.

Value Based Metrics:

The list of potential measures is endless. Identify what is important to your key players. Start with metrics that present and build a common understanding of current performance. Measure, monitor, report, analyse and improve your key metrics, focused on value: Operational/Financial Excellence, Service Excellence, and Clinical Excellence. A comprehensive list of potential metrics is available at: Mike Jones LinkedIn or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Key Takeaways:

  • You have highly engaged employees, physicians, patients, family members, community representatives, employers and payers.
  • You have defined a common and shared vision for your organization through gaining knowledge of your key stakeholders’ perspectives
  • You have defined what outcomes you and your organization are trying to achieve in terms of Operations, Finance, Service and Clinical indicators
  • You have measured your current performance
  • Now you want to improve performance:
  • Everything is a process

    Gain an understanding of your current processes

    Identify your best practices

    Design process to achieve best practice performance

    Re-evaluate your performance to see if you are consistently achieving improved performance

    Modify your processes when necessary to consistently achieve higher levels of performance

    Hard-wire your processes to ALWAYS achieve best practice performance

    Never stop monitoring to verify your preferred state performance/outcomes.

    Never stop monitoring to verify your preferred state performance/outcomes.

    Train for it (all Key Players)

    Build consistency of approach

  • Define your performance excellence culture
  • Focus your leadership on the relentless pursuit of performance excellence
  • Adopt your preferred methodology
  • Formalize and standardize your methodology
  • Listen to your key stakeholders
  • Engage all parties in understanding improvement initiatives
  • Gain understanding of performance through data analytics
  • Design processes to achieve desired results
  • Be prepared to Fail, but failing is your F (first), A (attempts), I (in), L (Learning).
  • Achieve success in all you do
  • Demonstrate that you are creating value based outcomes

Next Steps:

  • View Additional Reference Information:
    • In “Be an Inspirational Leader”, author Dan Nielsen portrays the incredible impact of inspirational leadership on your personal, professional, and organizational success. Read Dan Nielsen’s book: “Be An Inspirational Leader: Engage, Inspire, Empower”
    • Management of healthcare providers’ reputation and brand dramatically changes with consumer demand for value. An organization’s reputation is subject to more than marketing campaigns. Social media and ratings services have significant impact on consumer perception of healthcare organizations. If you do not have on-going audits of your on-line presences and ratings, it is wise to complete and assessment and take corrective action, as necessary. To learn more about Reputation and Brand Management view the work of Claire Faucett with engage5w.
    • Learn more about “Polarity Thinking” and the two essential leadership competencies of Inquiry and Advocacy. View the work of leadership coaches James McKenna and Cliff Kayser, sponsored by Wiederhold & Associates.
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Bad Bosses and Good Leaders

We are facing a critical era of transformation in healthcare. As organizations strategize to find stability through turbulent times, managers, directors, and executives will feel added pressure to achieve continuous, dynamic results.

The success of each department will depend on a single crucial factor: Is there a "boss" or a "leader" in place?

A "boss" refers to an individual who is in charge of the employee or an organization. He exercises control over employees, orders, assigns tasks and duties to them and is entitled to take decisions on some matters. Bad bosses will motivate through fear tactics, defer blame to others, take credit for other's successes and bully members into producing results.

The term "leader" is defined as an individual who possesses the ability to influence and inspire others towards the accomplishment of goals. Communication coupled with integrity compel people to follow. Great leaders think about what their body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice communicate to their staff. They often take the time to say things face-to-face rather than through email in order to build trust, develop relationships, manage conflict, and encourage employees. Leaders pull the best out of each member and inspire group success.

It is important to note that the teams which produce the most effective and long-lasting results are the ones that are directed by leaders, not bosses.

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." - John Quincy Adams

Transform Bosses into Leaders

Where bosses fail, leaders prevail. If you've noticed that you have more bosses than leaders in your organization- all is not lost. Aspiring and current managers, directors or executives can begin improving their ability to lead. Wiederhold and associates offer specialized assessments as well as a number of training programs designed to develop quality leaders that are custom fit to your organization. If you are interested in learning more, just let me know.

Here's to your success,

Jim

Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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Process Management: Achieve Value-Based Results

“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you are doing.” Such a profound quote by W. Edwards Deming, largely recognized as the Father of the Quality Movement. Dr. Deming's famous 14 Points, originally presented in Out of the Crisis, serve as management guidelines. The points cultivate a fertile soil in which a more efficient workplace, higher profits, and increased productivity may grow. These management principles have a direct correlation to navigating the path to achieving results in the uncertain healthcare industry of today.

Deming’s 14 Points for Leadership/Management

While traditionally applied to product manufacturing, Deming theory has direct application across multiple industries, especially when rising consumer and regulatory requirements demand greater value. View healthcare service delivery as a product in high demand from consumers (patients, families and others). Expectations of lower cost and superb quality, delivered in a highly patient-centric and service-oriented environment, create an imperative healthcare systems must meet to remain relevant.

    Healthcare leaders are served well when focusing on Deming’s 14 Points:
  1. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive, to stay in business and to provide jobs.
  2. Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.
  3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for massive inspection by building quality into the product in the first place.
  4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of a price tag. Instead, minimize total cost. Move towards a single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.
  5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.
  6. Institute training on the job.
  7. Institute leadership (see Point 12 and Ch. 8 of Out of the Crisis). The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers
  8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company. (See Ch. 3 of Out of the Crisis).
  9. Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team in order to foresee problems of production and usage that may be encountered with the product or service.
  10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.
    1. Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute with leadership.
    2. Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers and numerical goals. Instead substitute with leadership.
  11. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.
  12. Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by objectives (See Ch. 3 of Out of the Crisis).
  13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
  14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody's job.

The focus of this article is to bring home the reality that EVERYTHING IS A PROCESS. “If you cannot describe what you are doing as process, you do not know what you are doing.”

Physician alignment, integration and engagement in integrated delivery systems are essential elements in navigating the complexity of healthcare service delivery. Healthcare organizations need a simplified approach to realize organizational vision of comprehensive and successful alignment and integration strategies. Creating a common Vision is essential. Healthcare organizations that focus on a vision of “maximizing success in the ever-evolving healthcare industry through physician alignment and integration” will ultimately build capability to meet and exceed consumer expectations in navigating the path to value-based care. Today’s ever-evolving healthcare industry requires a comprehensive Vision of Integration. Execution of the Vision is best achieved through a Leadership Philosophy of Performance Excellence.

The first key element in fostering a culture of performance excellence is to define the “WHAT” that constitutes excellence, frequently referred to as “the Triple Aim” of healthcare:

  • Operating/Financial Excellence (low cost, highly efficient and cost effective service delivery),
  • Service Excellence (service delivery exceeding patient and family expectations), and
  • Clinical Excellence (best clinical outcomes for every patient and patient population).

The next essential element of a performance excellence culture is to define the “HOW” the organization will be led through:

  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Knowledge Management/Knowledge Transfer
  • Process Management

Organizations will not only achieve the “triple aim”, but will enhance performance through achieving the “quadruple aim” of healthcare. In addition to achieving traditional value-based results, a culture of performance excellence will yield higher levels of provider satisfaction and engagement while redefining service delivery. As highlighted in previous articles:

  • Value Based Care is here to stay and healthcare organizations must overcome multiple organizational gaps that may contribute to not fully realizing a vision of success in a high performing integrated delivery system. Here
  • Key Stakeholder Engagement is essential to execution of a common Vision:
    • Physician Stakeholders (as well as others) should be engaged in organizational Governance, especially among healthcare providers, is essential to success in a value based environment. Here.
    • Physician Stakeholders should also be engaged in Leadership and Management to achieve sustainable results. Here.
    • Knowledge Management/Knowledge Transfer
      • A common understanding of performance is best achieved through measuring, monitoring, reporting and analysis of key outcomes: Operational, Service and Clinical Metrics (Data Analytics) Here.
      • Opportunities for performance improvement are quickly identifiable when using data analytics in evaluating current outcomes.Here.

This article expands on development of a Philosophy of Performance Excellence to achieve a vision of success through Performance Management. Measuring, monitoring, reporting, analyzing and improving performance begins with defining key metrics to create a common understanding. Internal and external benchmark measures are available through a variety of sources to build an improved understanding of: Operational/Financial, Service, and Clinical Performance. Now you need a methodology to achieve your desired outcomes.

Physicians and other care providers work within a defined process everyday of their lives when addressing and resolving patient needs for care. What is done when presented with multiple patients with complex healthcare needs? SOAP is a traditional approach to addressing patient needs:

The SOAP note (an acronym for subjective, objective, assessment, and plan) is a method of documentation employed by health care providers to write out notes in a patient's chart, along with other common formats, such as the admission note. Documenting patient encounters in the medical record is an integral part of practice workflow starting with patient appointment scheduling, to writing out notes, to medical billing. The SOAP note originated from the Problem Oriented Medical Record (POMR), developed by Lawrence Weed, MD.[1] It was initially developed for physicians, who at the time, were the only health care providers allowed to write in a medical record. Today, it is widely adopted as a communication tool between inter-disciplinary healthcare providers as a way to document a patient’s progress. SOAP notes are now commonly found in electronic medical records (EMR) and are used by providers of various backgrounds. Prehospital care providers such as EMTs may use the same format to communicate patient information to emergency department clinicians. Physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, podiatrists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, school psychologists, speech-language pathologists, certified athletic trainers (ATC), sports therapists, occupational therapists, among other providers use this format for the patient's initial visit and to monitor progress during follow-up care.

It is a well-defined thought process. Complete a SUBJECTIVE EVALUATION, an OBJECTIVE EVALUATION, an ASSESSMENT and a PLAN. Engage patients and family members when seeking to understand what is happening with a patient (Subjective). Gather facts/data regarding what is happening with a patient through diagnostic procedures (Objective). Review the information gathered and knowledge gained from the evaluations (Assessment) and take action to address what has been presented (Plan). Why not apply a similar process that is highly effective to leadership and management. That is a process management/performance management approach.

Performance Management

The days of simply making claims of high-quality, service-oriented and low cost care delivery are gone. Patients, families, communities, payers, regulatory agencies and other key stakeholders demand proof of performance. Measures of performance should focus on Operations/Financial, Service and Clinical Excellence. Internal and external benchmarking of performance is imperative. Once you understand current performance through data analytics, you need tools to achieve continuous improvement.

There are many theories of performance/process management. Theories and practices have evolved over time. Many are inter-related and draw on common practices. Process Management philosophies include, but are not limited to:

  • Total Quality Management (TQM):
    • Focus on the Consumer
    • Continuous Improvement
    • Quality Improvement
    • Accurate Evaluation
  • Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI):
    • Analyse
    • Refine
    • Improve
  • Plan Do Study Act (PDSA): Model for Improvement: What are we trying to accomplish? How will we know that a change in an improvement? What change can we make that will result in improvement?
    • Plan: Objective, Questions and Predictions, Plan to carry out the cycle (who, what, where, when)
    • Do: Carry out the plan. Document problems and unexpected observations. Begin data analysis.
    • Study: Complete the data analytics. Compare data to predictions. Summarize what you have learned.
    • Act: What changes are to be made? Begin the next cycle.
  • Lean Management:
    • Leadership Commitment to Project (s)
    • Project Charter (Standardized for ease of understanding).
    • Project Tracking (verify milestones)
    • Assign Project Manager
    • Engage Key Stakeholders
    • Communicate Frequently
    • Achieve Results
  • Lean:
    • Waste Reduction
    • Continuous Improvement
    • Respect for People
  • Six Sigma-DMAIC:
    • Define: Define project purpose and scope. Identify high level processes for improvement. Determine customer needs and benefits.
    • Measure: Baseline data on current processes. Pinpoint problem locations and occurrences. Identify potential areas for improvement.
    • Analyse: Identify root causes and validate root causes against captured data. Determine improvements that need to be made.
    • Improve: Implement the improvements that have been determined to address the root causes.
    • Control: Perform before and after analysis. Monitor processes/systems. Document results. Determine next steps/recommendations.
  • Lean/Six Sigma:
    • Lean: focuses on waste reduction by streamlining process
    • Six Sigma: focuses on preventing defects through problem solving
    • Lean/Six Sigma: Lean strengthens Six Sigma-Problem solving plus improving process delivers greater value-based results

The common thread in all methodologies is an unrelenting focus on seeking improved outcomes in everything we do:

  • Cycles of improvement
    • Engaging in a customer focus
    • Understanding key stakeholder perspective
    • Measuring current performance through data analytics
    • Engaging those closest to the work:
      • to define current processes (value stream mapping, flowcharting)
      • to define desired outcomes of current processes
      • to define undesirable outcomes (failures) of current process
      • identify and define best practices
      • identify and define outcomes
      • identify and define preferred processes to achieve best practice performance and outcomes
      • transfer best practices, best practice outcomes and preferred processes to:
        • gain consistency across all players
        • reduce variation in outcomes and results across all players
        • meet and exceed customer expectations at all times
        • reduce cost of service delivery
        • increase throughput in service delivery
        • provide consistent, high-quality outcomes

Performance Management Simplified

High performing leaders in healthcare organizations of today are challenged with the uncertainty of healthcare delivery in the future. Creating a performance excellence environment is the best to navigate the ever-evolving imperatives of service delivery. Value based results will be achieved through a leadership philosophy of performance excellence:


Engage your People


Evaluate your data; identify best practice


Know your process and design your process

Hardwire/Standardize best practice, process design to ACHIEVE

Key Take Aways:

  • You have highly engaged employees, physicians, patients, family members, community representatives and payers.
  • You have defined a common and shared vision for your organization through gaining knowledge of your key stakeholders’ perspectives
  • You have defined what outcomes you and your organization are trying to achieve in terms of Operations, Finance, Service and Clinical indicators
  • You have measured your current performance
  • Now you want to improve performance:
    • Everything is a process
    • Gain an understanding of your current processes
    • Identify your best practices
    • Design process to achieve best practice performance
    • Re-evaluate your performance to see if you are consistently achieving improved performance
    • Modify your processes when necessary to consistently achieve higher levels of performance
    • Hard-wire your processes to ALWAYS achieve best practice performance
    • Never stop monitoring to verify your preferred state performance/outcomes.
    • Pick a methodology for process management (they all work)
    • Train for it
    • Build consistency of approach

Next Steps:

  • Define your performance excellence culture
  • Relentless leadership focus on performance excellence
  • Adopt your preferred methodology
  • Formalize and standardize your methodology
  • Listen to your key stakeholders
  • Engage all parties in understanding improvement initiatives
  • Gain understanding of performance through data analytics
  • Design processes to achieve desired results
  • Achieve success in all you do
  • Demonstrate that you are creating value based outcomes
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Enhanced Regional Referral

The Problem – Across the nation, health systems are reporting a sustained decline in Emergency Department utilization, resulting in decreased admission rates and reduced patient days. Regardless of the cause (Healthcare Reform, economic challenges, rising unemployment, etc.), the impact is clear – an average 3-5% drop in census and a significant loss of revenue.

The Emergency Department Imperative – On average, 12-15% of Emergency Department visits result in patients being admitted, which accounts for approximately 40-50% of a facility’s total admissions, and a contribution margin between $1k - $15k per admit. The direct connection between Emergency Department utilization, subsequent admissions and the resulting revenue indicates that the success of any facility in this changing healthcare landscape depends on increasing the number of times that new patients pass through the Emergency Department doors. Health systems operating Trauma Centers will have contribution margins exceeding the national average.

The Million Dollar Question – Understanding the concept of countering a declining census by increasing Emergency Department utilization is easy, but successfully operationalizing that strategy may not be. Simply put, how does one hospital or health system get more patients into their Emergency Departments than another? Although there are many potential answers to that question, experience shows that the most effective solution is for a facility or health system to develop a highly functional Regional Referral Program.

The Regional Referral Solution – Health systems should be able to successfully capitalize on its current Trauma status and market itself as regional destination, which will significantly increase patient admissions. A key to success will be aligning referring facilities, physicians, and transport providers through an efficient Transfer Center operation. Your organization will be able to benefit from those opportunities. Additionally, current successes show that facilities and health systems that have implemented Regional Referral Programs have grown their influence significantly garnering patient care and admission opportunities from facilities far outside of traditional referral patterns. This has proven beneficial because the payor mix of patients being referred from out-of-area tend to be equal to or better than the receiving facility’s current Emergency Department mix, resulting in a 15 to 1 return on investment.

Regional Referral Program Priorities – Numerous successful hospitals and health systems have developed very effective Regional Referral Programs by prioritizing the following:

Identification and Development of Key Service Lines – Determining which specialties (Trauma, Cardiology, Neurology, Pediatrics, etc.) the facility wishes to specifically solicit patients for. The goal is to develop a solid reputation as the “go to” receiving facility for the targeted service lines.

Aligning Physician Partners – The success of any Regional Referral Program depends on the participation and support of the facility’s physician partners, whether by promoting the program with regular visits to the region’s referring facilities, or by being consistently available and accepting patients. To achieve this, successful Regional Referral Programs have implemented effective Hospitalist Programs to receive the patients and specialist compensation programs that reward participation.

Transfer Center Utilization and Marketing – Effective Regional Referral Programs require three primary components; necessary specialties, physician participation, and a simple, consistent way for facilities to refer their patients. Structured Transfer Centers tie the entire referral program together with “one call does it all” ease, coordinating patient transfers from the initial request through completion of the transport. Mature Transfer Centers will also provide extensive operational reporting and key patient flow analytics for hospital administration. Focused marketing strategies can also convert the Transfer Center from a passive patient flow processing service into an aggressive volume builder for the facility or health system. Proven techniques can be employed to grow desired business through sound relationships with the referring parties.

Note: There are generally two methods of implementing a Transfer Center service; a facility can develop the service in-house or they can seek out a professional third-party Transfer Center service provider. An internal Transfer Center allows the facility or health system to maintain strict control of the staffing, customer interactions and processes, but a professional external Transfer Center will generally provide outstanding service delivery at a fraction of the cost.

Regional Referral programs are showing exceptional returns in the form of increased Contribution Margins per referral. The chart below – based on actual Regional Referral Programs – highlights the benefits:

Transfer Center Costs – Studies of current successful internal Transfer Center services show that the average cost per transfer request is approximately $230 for new centers and $190 for established centers (assuming a daily request volume of ~12). For facilities or health systems that prefer to forego the expense and coordination of operating their own Transfer Centers in favor of utilizing the expertise of a professional external service, the cost is obviously significantly lower – with no associated reduction in the contribution margin per transferred patient.

Conclusion – For hospitals or health systems seeking to counter the downward trend in Emergency Department utilization and subsequent census declines, it is essential that they develop a Regional Referral Program. By establishing themselves as “centers of excellence” in key service lines, partnering with their physician specialists, and easily facilitating patient flow through efficient Transfer Centers, facilities can continue to thrive even in today’s constantly shifting healthcare environment.

Solution - We can provide a comprehensive assessment of the opportunity for your organization to expand your market as a Regional Referral Center with a state of the art Transfer Center.

✔ Current situation
✔ Market potential for referrals
✔ Business plan for the recommended approach with a Return on Investment analysis
✔ Sensitive issues
✔ Hospital capacity readiness
✔ Medical Staff readiness
✔ Hospitalist Program effectiveness
✔ Case management strategies
✔ Nursing coordination
✔ Administrative and Medical Leadership buy-in

Please let us know if you would like to explore the assessment of the potential for your health system. We look forward to possibly assisting you with this important project.

Thank you,

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Leadership Key: Impact Conversations

By Joy W. Goldman | Leadership Coaching

In the March, 2017 newsletter, I introduced the topic of trust and highlighted five ways leaders increase trust in their organizations. Today, I wanted to provide an overview of two very practical tools that can be used to engender trust in ALL relationships, regardless of how challenging you may find some to be:

Conversational Intelligence and Polarity Thinking

You can deepen your learning on Polarities during an upcoming Wiederhold & Associates webinar on Aug 1.

Wiederhold & Associates Webinar
August 1, 2017 - "Polarity Thinking"

Register ASAP to obtain needed pre-work for this interactive webinar

Click to pay Registration Fee

No Fee For Premium Active Network Members and current clients.

For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Judith Glaser in her book, Conversational Intelligence, asserts that ALL work is conducted through conversations. Think about it! Is there anything you do that does not involve a conversation? From a pure productivity perspective, think about the time you could save if most of your conversations were impactful.

During July’s webinar, Cliff Kayser and James McKenna, two phenomenal executive coaches, illustrated in their usual humorous way, one element of effective conversations: The power of leveraging Inquiry AND Advocacy: two critical leadership competencies. The May/June 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review included an article that talked about four key attributes that distinguished high performing CEOs: the ability to be decisive was one of them. As a leader, “telling,” and “advocacy” is essential in certain circumstances.

The most powerful leaders know how to leverage advocacy AND inquiry, and they know when they’re being effective, and when they risk derailment. Signs of an overuse of advocacy may include noticing that they are doing most of the talking and others aren’t offering their opinions; leaders may notice that their audience seems less engaged. In the extreme, they may also notice that not too many people are following them!

Glaser’s levels I and II conversations consist of “telling,” or using questions that are geared toward eliciting what the leader already knows to be true. They are using inquiry but only with a goal to validate their own thinking. Glaser discusses the more powerful level III conversation that is focused on “Sharing And Discovery.” Level III conversations ask questions for which the leader doesn’t know the answer to the question.

    Sample discovery questions include:
  1. Sample discovery questions include:
  2. What matters most to you right now?
  3. To resolve this conflict successfully, what would need to occur for you?
  4. Tell me what I might not be seeing or understanding right now?
  5. If we couldn’t fail, what would we be doing right now?
  6. If we could better leverage Safety AND Risk, how might we better serve our customers/ community?

When leaders ask questions that come from a place of curiosity, we tap into our audience’s prefrontal cortex and quiet their amygdala, the primitive part of our brain, which kicks into high gear when we feel threatened. Creativity and trust come from our prefrontal cortex: through sharing and discovery conversations.

In healthcare, our habit is to look for problems. Simple problems often have a right or wrong answer. Complex problems/ situations rarely do and are better served by leveraging interdependent tensions or pairs: polarities. Come to the webinar in August to learn more about leveraging Inquiry AND Advocacy.

    In future newsletters, we’ll also explore other healthcare tensions like:
  • Mission AND Margin
  • Confidence AND Humility
  • Centralization AND Decentralization
  • Standardization AND Customization

I look forward to our next conversation!

Joy W. Goldman RN, MS, PCC, PDC
Executive Director, Leadership Coaching
Wiederhold & Associates

Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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Happy 4th of July!

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy
and safe Fourth of July

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