Strategies for Active Career Advancement

Are you looking to be promoted?

If getting a promotion is important to you, then it is time to sit down and look at the external and internal factors that will influence your strategy of advancement.

Define Your Target

The very first and most important step in your career advancement strategy is to define what success is to you. From my observations, too many individuals choose a path that is somebody else's dream rather than their own. It's how you define moving up that really counts. It's also hard to be passionate about a direction that isn't your dream.

Do Your Part

The internal factors are all about you. This is where you exert the highest level of control. Are you being intentional about putting yourself in a position to be promoted? [Click to read more]

Survey Your Surroundings

If you are seeking to move to the next level within your organization, there are a few items that need to be explored:

  • How has this organization historically handled promotions?
  • Do they generally promote from within or seek externally?
  • What is the general timeframe 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?

I call these external factors because you can only influence them not control them. Your answers to these questions may suggest that the only way you're going to move up is to move out. If these external factors align with an internal promotion, then you have additional steps.

  • Have I asked my immediate superior what it takes to get to the next position?
  • Did their answer have enough specificity to suggest that they had thought about this possibility?
  • Can I continue to gain clarity around the possibility of promotion? (If you cannot gain clarity, then more than likely that's not a real possibility.)

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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Achieve Results through Physician Alignment, Integration and Engagement: Leadership and Management

Culture of Performance Excellence: A simplified Approach

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. Thomas Edison is quoted as saying “Vision without execution is hallucination.” My expertise in leading physician alignment and integration strategies leads me to believe: “Vision without execution is worse than having no vision at all.”

A vision of developing highly integrated, well-coordinated and person-centric care is essential to success in today’s healthcare market. Best practice in integration and alignment will begin with key stakeholder engagement in executing organizational vision. Physicians, as key stakeholders in care delivery, respond well to a establishing a common vision. 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.

Vision

As previously highlighted in Achieve Results through Physician Alignment, Integration and Engagement: Governance and Value-based Care is Here to Stay, multiple organizational gaps may contribute to not fully realizing a vision of success in a high performing integrated delivery system. This article expands on development of a philosophy of performance excellence to achieve a vision of success. The schematic shown above provides a roadmap for navigating the performance excellence journey toward becoming a fully integrated and well-coordinated care delivery system, focused on the value-based equation of healthcare.

Vision and Execution

Today’s ever-evolving healthcare industry requires a comprehensive vision of performance excellence:

  • 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).

More importantly execution of that vision is imperative. Most healthcare organizations have developed a vision of service delivery that meets the value-based equation of operating/financial, service and quality excellence. Direct employment of physicians and other providers is one model of integration. Other models, including developing a Clinically Integrated Network, create other opportunities for integration and alignment. Either way, it is essential to build a culture of inclusion

Execution of an organization’s vision for the future is best achieved through fostering and developing a culture of comprehensive performance excellence. Measurable results are achieved when time and energy are devoted to:

  • Key Stakeholder Engagement,
  • Knowledge Management/Knowledge Transfer through data analytics, and
  • Formal Process Management.

Physicians, as irreplaceable key stakeholders in care delivery, should be engaged in decision making and in charting the course for success. Physicians and other key stakeholders can quickly become disenfranchised when the vision of integration is not well executed. Having physicians actively engaged at the table to participate in decision making is essential. Whether healthcare organizations are focused on growing and developing an employed physician network, or seeking to align and integrate through other means, physicians should be formally and informally engaged in:

  • Governance,
  • Leadership, and
  • Management.

Previous articles addressed physician engagement in Governance of the Physician Enterprise Organization. This article focuses on physician engagement in Leadership and Management.

Leadership and Management:

In addition to active engagement in governance, physician leadership and management is recommended. A dyad leadership model fosters a culture of engagement among physicians and support staff. The model includes physician leaders and operational leaders working in partnership at all levels:

  • Executive Leadership (Physician Executive Leader and Administrative Executive Leader),
  • Operational Leadership (Medical Directors and Operations Directors), and
  • Operational Management (Site Lead Physicians and Operations Managers).

Physician leaders and managers in the dyad leadership model typically maintain an allocated time in clinical activities, in addition to allocated time in leadership/management activities. The prorated allocation of leadership/management time should be tailored to scope of responsibility and accountability.

An Operating Team, comprised of dyad partners at the executive and operational leadership level, should meet on a routine basis (weekly or bi-weekly) as a team to share ideas and build consistency within the physician enterprise. The Operating Team maintains accountability and responsibility for translating organization-wide goals and objectives to action. The team ensures that strategy is translated into operations. Action plans and tactics are developed to achieve strategic and operational results.

The Operating Team should meet with Site Lead Physicians and Site Supervisor/Managers on a routine basis to hard-wire operating norms. Regularly scheduled meetings of all Site Lead Physicians and Site Supervisors/Managers provide an opportunity to share best practices, build consistency and to give the practices a sense of being part of a group practice, as opposed to being isolated in individual practices.

Executive and operational leadership team members should develop a routine of rounding at all practice locations. Building relationships with practicing physicians, other providers and support staff is essential. Day to day problem solving is best achieved through active engagement of leadership, management and staff. Those who are closest to the delivery of care typically have the most innovative ideas for how best meet the needs of patients/communities services. Routine rounding also provides the opportunity for leadership to engage with patients and families to gain a better understanding of the patient experience.

An example organizational chart is provided below to give direction to leadership and management structure (see below). It should be noted that functional structure and infrastructure in the organization is most effective with limited layers of leadership and management, maintaining active relationships between leadership and staff. The organizational model is designed to expand horizontally, as opposed to vertically through creation of additional layers. Operational leadership should be tailored to the scope and diversity of specialty types within the group.

Support functions are essential to success of the physician enterprise. Finance/Accounting, Revenue Cycle, Marketing/Public Relations, Information Technology, Human Resources, Facilities/Maintenance, Purchasing and other support functions may be centralized on an enterprise-wide basis or may be structured in direct support of the physician enterprise. It should be noted that functions are highly specialized in support of a physician enterprise. Whether centralized or in direct support of the physician enterprise, it is essential for operational and executive leadership to engage directly with leadership and management of the support functions to develop a common understanding of organizational needs and performance expectations. It is recommended for support functions to be actively engaged with governance sub-committees.

Key Take Aways:

  • Active engagement of key stakeholders is essential to fostering a culture of performance excellence
  • Physicians can quickly become disenfranchised when not engaged in developing organizational vision
  • Physician engagement and satisfaction in improved when organizational vision is well executed
  • Execution is best achieved when the organization is focused on performance excellence in operations, service and clinical activities
  • Developing and Fostering a culture of performance excellence requires governance, leadership and management

Next Steps:

  • Knowledge management and transfer through data analytics:
    • Determine the most important operational, service and clinical data analytics needed
  • Process Management through formal methodologies:
    • Determine the process management for the organization
    • Develop leadership, management and staff to focus on processes to:
      • achieve results,
      • standardize operating norms,
      • reduce variation, and
      • hardwire best practices.

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Executive job seekers- why your Master’s degree and years of experience aren’t good enough

If you think your Master’s degree and experience alone will translate into landing that great executive job, you will likely find disappointment. Why? Simple - everyone else in the candidate pool has a Master’s degree and experience. You need to stand out from the crowd. How does one do this? By communicating your value proposition. What are you known for? What is your brand? What is your calling card? What measurable results are you known to achieve? These are the questions you must answer and clearly communicate in order to make yourself stand out in a sea of executives.

Don’t make recruiters and hiring managers figure things out on their own - it is up to you to communicate your brand, value, and worth. Don’t assume people read every word of your resume - they likely do not. You must stand out by communicating why you are valuable to an employer

How do you identify your value proposition? Ask others. Read your prior evaluations. Look at results in the following areas: service, quality, people, community, growth, finance. Identify themes in your resume.

Remember- organizations have problems and executives have solutions. Communicate your brand by communicating the types of solutions you’ve solved for your employers.

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Regain Momentum in Your Career

Though desiring to advance, many healthcare professionals have plateaued in their career and are unsure how to regain momentum. Obviously, they had an idea of where they were going when they started, but never took the time to actively and consistently plan and manage their careers which have resulted in advancement delays.

It is also not uncommon for well-meaning professionals to overlook particular skills that create the opportunity for advancement. Healthcare professionals can progress in their careers, but only if they position themselves for success.

I describe career planning like building a straight fence. You define where you want to go and then identify the points and steps it takes to get there. Each step moves you closer to the next one not farther away.

Here are some "fence post identifiers" that you will need to define as you are planning your career advancement:

  • Why do I want to be successful?
  • What is my definition of success?
  • What are my career goals?
  • What leadership or technical experience do I need to achieve those goals?
  • What leadership or technical skills do I need to move to the next fencepost?

It is logical to think that improving your abilities will automatically advance you to the next fence post. Unfortunately, most executives often focus on mastering hard/technical skills and overlook developing soft/leadership skills. This critical misstep can delay career success considerably. Mastering soft/leadership skills like communications, conflict management, effective messaging, emotional intelligence, relationship building, etc., can be a highly effective way to move your career forward.

Career advancement requires a plan that includes the development of both hard/technical and soft/leadership skills to be successful. If you would like help honing in on these skills, give me a call. Together, we can map out a plan to that will help you regain your momentum and put you in a position to achieve your goals.

Heres to your success!

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Interview Advice; It's Not About You

I remember conducting an interview for a key leadership role and the candidate kept talking about results and accomplishments from their former job that did not correlate with our environment. We were turned off almost immediately. Remember - organizations have needs, people have skills. Your job is to clearly communicate that your skills are a match with the employer’s needs. You must fully understand why the organization is hiring for the position. What are the key skills and competencies needed? What are the measurable goals that define success?

When looking at a position, the first step is to obtain a copy of the position description and read it multiple times - highlighting pertinent sections that clearly demonstrate the reasons why the position exists (goals, skills, competencies). Organizations want to win- you help them win by clearly communicating how your skills are a good match to meet their needs. When speaking with the employer or recruiter, make sure to communicate your specific (numerical) career accomplishments that clearly demonstrate past success that match with the employer’s needs. Jobs exist to solve problems and meet needs- show them you can do both.

Matching your skills with an employer’s needs is nothing more than good listening. Make sure you understand the needs by reviewing the position description, taking notes when speaking with recruiters or hiring managers, and highlight your specific accomplishments that match their needs.

Check out this site for more help with sharpening your skills to match an employer’s needs.

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Tell Me About Yourself

Tell me about yourself… (hint - you only have two minutes!)

The famous question, “Tell me about yourself.” This is not an open invitation to incessantly talk for minutes on end about your life from start to finish in exquisite detail. I used to think everyone else thought my life was as interesting as I thought it was - wrong! The fact is, no one really cares (that much). You have two minutes to answer this question. And, it needs to be a structured answer that includes the following:

  • Humanizer - make a connection and be likeable/personable
  • Career progression - make sense of your career moves
  • Value proposition - what are you known for?
  • Personalize - what do you like to do? Make a connection and humanize.

If you only remember two things, simply be brief (around two minutes) and clearly communicate your value proposition. What are you known for? What is your calling card? Remember, organizations have needs and people have skills. Be clear about your skills and match them with the organization’s needs.

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Your Career is a Journey

Plan Ahead and Manage Effectively

From my experience working with executives over the past 27 years I have learned a great deal about how executives tend to do a poor job in managing and planning for advancing their own career.

Before I share my observations with you on advancing your career, let's define manage and plan:

Manage: Be in charge of, administer, run
Plan: Decide on and arrange in advance

Though desiring to advance, many healthcare professionals have plateaued in their career and are unsure how to regain momentum. Obviously, they had an idea of where they were going when they started, but never took the time to actively and consistently plan and manage their careers which have resulted in advancement delays.

Gaining the Right Focus

It is also not uncommon for well-meaning professionals to overlook particular skills that create the opportunity for advancement. Even if they were lucky enough to have a mentor, most of that effort and time was focused on expertise rather than the soft skills necessary to become an excellent leader. Aiming at the right target will yield the best results.

How much more successful would you be if you knew
how to plan effectively and manage your career?

Please join us for our upcoming webinar on May 25, at 2:00PM ET, where I will be sharing key ideas that will help you put momentum back into your career journey.

Learn More

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

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Present Yourself Powerfully

To execute well in a network meeting or an interview, you must present yourself in a powerful way. As most of you are aware, the elevator speech has long been utilized as a tool in this area. This presentation focuses on who you are, what you've accomplished and where you're going. At Wiederhold & Associates, we have refined the elevator speech and taken it to a different level.

We call ours the "2-Minute Presentation", and when done correctly, will connect you to your audience as well as align you with the opportunity or the situation.

The 2-Minute Presentation should be as close to 2 minutes as possible, be modified to fit different audiences and contain three distinct components:

  • Humanization
  • Elevator
  • Differentiation

Basically, it's your elevator speech on steroids. Here's how it works.

Humanization

The goal is to make a connection. It's amazing what happens when you find a mutual connecting point to your audience. Remember, relationships are built on personal information, not business. Lastly, the power of the concept of "I, therefore, you." If I share something with you of a personal nature, you will feel compelled to share something with me. Connecting to people on a personal level is an essential part of both networking and interviewing.

Elevator

There are two key messages here:

  • My career moves are logical.
  • I'm clearly on the left side of the career bell curve and the best is yet to come.

The Differentiation Statement

The differentiation statement answers these two questions in a powerful way:

  • Why should I hire you?
  • What distinguishes you from other network connections or candidates?

Bring Your A-Game

Both networking and interviewing have become highly competitive. On top of that, people have limited time to give you. Bring your A-game with one of the most powerful tools you can put in your toolbox - a well developed 2-Minute Presentation.

Jim

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

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Emerging “Talent Gaps” in Hospital Management

In a report released last month by the American Hospital Association, a survey of 1,100 healthcare executives revealed emerging “talent gaps” in hospital management. In the report, titled, “Building a Leadership Team for the Healthcare Organization of the Future,” the executives cited key gaps in their organization’s capabilities. Pinpointing the areas where more skills are needed:

54% said their management teams needed more experience leading nontraditional health partnerships, including strategic partnerships with payers and retailers

48% cited a need for greater talent in the areas of community and population health management

41% indicated a lack of experience in change management and transformational change

37% noted a deficit in advanced financial expertise

34% said their management staff lacked key skills in innovation and creativity

29% pointed to a shortfall in data analytics experience

In the AHA report (link below), healthcare organizations indicated they were actively working to close these talent gaps in a variety of ways. Many organizations said they planned to address these deficits “through the addition of new executive team positions to lead and galvanize support for initiatives in top strategic areas.” Evidence of this trend was noted in the report, which stated that “60 percent of survey respondents said the senior management team of their organization is larger today than it was three years ago.”

Other topics addressed in this informative report include:

Challenges to Achieving Strategic Priorities
New Leadership Roles, New Capabilities: The Emerging Health Care Organization
Traditional Roles Evolving
Broad Leadership Skills Needed
Overcoming Organizational Barriers
Building the Leadership Team for the Future Health Care Organization
Evaluating Board Composition

To learn more, the report can be accessed via the AHA website at: http://www.hpoe.org/Reports-HPOE/leadership-team-future-2014.pdf
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Chief Information Officer - Opportunity

Chief Information Officer - Opportunity

GCI has been retained for a CIO search for a Mid West based Healthcare System. The healthcare system includes ten hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, an employed primary care physician network, assisted living facilities, commercial and Medicaid HMOs, home health care and hospice, durable medical equipment, retail pharmacy services, and a wholly-owned medical malpractice insurance company. The System has 17,400 employees and more than 20,000 network physicians.

The CIO will be a member of its President's cabinet, and reporting into the President & CEO.

Interested candidates please contact Kelly Goerlich, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please note: we are NOT recruiters, but are assisting a recruiting firm in finding a viable candidate.

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