Healthcare needs to become more effective, more efficient, and less expensive. Such a shift requires transformation of culture, business processes, and strategy. To achieve transformation, a healthcare organization requires leadership with the proper balance of vision and pragmatic management skills to set the proper tone and achieve results. It can be a difficult equilibrium to strike, according to Healthcare Finance.
When practice leaders do not clearly set direction, define performance expectations, create a patient focus, and demonstrate clear and visible practice values and ethics, physicians and other employees are likely to invent their own ideas as to what needs to be done and how to accomplish it.
A discussion of visionary and yet pragmatic leadership is all well and good, but too theoretical. So, Healthcare Finance offered six practices and viewpoints that management at providers should consider adopting.
Be a leader, not a boss
To lead is not the same as ordering people. The latter assumes employees are automatons who deliver value by rote execution of commands. Smart leaders know that they have a more complicated responsibility to help everyone understand the overall goals, how the organization needs to attain them, and the individual’s role in the process. Leading is bringing forth the necessary talents and work from employees.
Depend on a leadership system, not charisma
Being a charismatic leader may sound helpful, but ultimately neither you nor the organization can rely on the approach. Success depends on having the right people in the right position, on listening to everyone when building strategy, and being sure that everyone knows the parts they must play. Charm has limited ability to make things happen. The entire system has to work.
Focus on innovation
Nothing will get better in healthcare if practices continue the way they have. The industry badly needs innovation, and that requires nurturing. Leaders have to keep an eye on the future and remain open to finding better ways of delivering services and working and then working the improvements into the business process.
Face the future
The future will bring additional change, whether as a result of innovation or through shifts in markets, regulators, business partners, and consumer demands. Without considering tomorrow, leaders may calcify their organizations into forms that won’t be competitive.
Manage by fact, not presumption
The worse decisions are sometimes made when people go completely on gut instincts, whether their own or those of others. Not to say that everything should be decided through a set of numbers, but facts are important. Look at statistics of outcomes to check the quality of care. Choose some basic metrics to monitor financial health, effectiveness of marketing, and other major aspects of running the institution.
To innovate and change for the future will mean some number of mistakes. The organization will need to experiment to ultimately find what will work. That means tolerating failure that experimentation by necessity brings. At the same time, leaders must intelligently manage risk so they don’t take unwarranted chances that could result in outsized damage.
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