Set In Your Ways?
by Jack Fish – Healthcare Veteran and S4 Practice Leader
Are you set in your ways? Stubborn? Are your policies rigid? Have you become lazy or complacent?
When asked directly, most people would say no.
"Absolutely not! How dare you!"
It’s understandable. Our egos are delicate. Few want to be told they could be doing a better job. That there’s an easier, more profitable way forward. That they are missing the boat altogether.
Yet those are the insights top producers and world-class organizations thrive on. It’s what sets them apart from their competition. They embrace critical feedback because they know without it, they lose perspective. They become too focused working in their business, instead of on their business (or industry).
We Are Creatures of Habit
There are a number of reasons that people don’t like to – or see the need to – change, both in business and in life. It’s a shame too, because as the world shifts around us, new opportunities present themselves if we know when and where to look.
Many times, the hesitation to change stems from a strong point of view (i.e. – “That’s the way we’ve always done it and the way we’ll continue to do it!”).
Other times habits set in, and it becomes difficult to change our routines. We go about our business utilizing the people and resources we already have access to because it’s less of a hassle than being innovative.
Most times, our attitude is to just get things done – not necessarily to do it better, more efficiently, or through an innovate approach – because it’s easiest. It’s the path of least resistance. Besides, “if it worked in the past, it will continue working in the future.”
In the healthcare sector, for example, this new environment often forces us to solve current problems with old solutions, rather than looking for new ways forward. This is in part because most people don’t have time in their jobs to be objective. We make decisions based on our previous track record, whether or not those experiences or teams are the best solutions for the challenges at hand.
So how can we change?
How do we know if we’re missing something?
And more importantly, how can we be confident acting on our new-found opportunities?
Better, Faster, Stronger
Audits are highly valuable tools that provide us with different perspectives than our own. They open our eyes to new possibilities. They collect unbiased information and encourage positive interactions from our customers (and at the very least, show we’re willing to listen to them).
Perhaps most importantly, third-party perspectives gained through audits are often:
- Quicker – We get more truths faster by using an objective third party than we would by just asking the questions internally.
- Less Filtered – People are more willing to deliver critical insights to a third-party. This can occur on a person-to-person or organizational level.
- More Actionable – Often times, third-parties can confirm suspicions that exist internally and as a result make recommendations that get teams and organizations moving in the right direction.
Progress Requires Action
By combining responses from the three steps outlined in the worksheet above, we get an in-depth look at our businesses from a multitude of new viewpoints. Audits allow us to gather information that says:
- these are the things that are actionable,
- here are the investment needed to make the change,
- here are the programs/offerings to customers that shows we are listening and willing to change,
- and these are the results it will get.
Are you ready to get moving? Or are you betting on business-as-usual to get you by?