By Kim Bassett
Over the past decade the healthcare industry has been hit with a lot of changes — from the type of care needed to how healthcare systems are structured. There are many reasons for the changes, but that’s not the focus of this article. I want to take an introspective look at one particular quality among healthcare leaders and teams that separate the survivors from the casualties.
Historically, healthcare is not known for its agility. When it comes to new fads and market trends, healthcare is one of the last industries to jump on board. Because of this, some of us are behind the curve and need to maneuver deftly and advance double-time in order to catch up to the needs of the world around us.
Agility is the ability to move quickly and easily. This includes quick thinking decision-making, course changes, and multiple plans of action always at-the-ready. Those who survive and flourish in this ever-changing environment must be agile. Here are some things you can do to stay agile.
- Keep your ideas fresh. Staying agile starts with your mindset. Not only must you maintain a positive mindset, but you need to be receptive to growth ideas and change. No longer is the “tried and true” method okay. It’s time to push the envelope and dig deep to identify areas of change and potential growth within your organization. This could be operational streamlining, complete change of services offered or advancing in areas considered outside of the norm.
- Keep your team up-to-date. You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. Pass the positive, growth mindset along to them by giving them opportunities to keep their skills fresh. Create an environment where they feel inspired to come up with new and improved concepts and ways of doing things. When you are hiring new team members, look for these traits so that you create a super-powered, agile, growth-oriented team.
- Look to 3rd party vendors/consultants. Bring innovation inside your organization to train and inspire your team, triggering organizational advancement. Introduce these vendors as partners rather than competitors. Be clear with your team why they are there and what will be done after they leave. This will open the door to the new ideas the vendor brings to the table and ownership among team members who will be implementing these new ideas and processes after the consultant leaves.
- Encourage research among existing team members. Give them the go-ahead to explore new areas. Provide them with a budget if you can swing it. Keep them structured with regular updates to you and an end goal. This is a win-win scenario. It keeps your growth-minded employee completely engaged in their role in the organization, while furthering growth for your organization.
Being agile and creating agility within the workplace is one of the main ingredients to keeping your organization advancing in this everchanging healthcare environment. These simple steps can help you lead the charge versus just surviving and possibly becoming a healthcare causalty.