In a recent meeting, several people in the audience asked me what are the
basis things that they should know and remember that will assist them
in being successful in their leadership roles in the ever increasing complex
healthcare industry? Knowing that one should keep the solutions, even
to complex problems, as simple as possible if they are to be successful
and sustainable, I answered by saying there are three critical areas that
demand attention and each area has three critical success factors….hence
the three by three title for this blog.
The first is
Organization Success. If the organization is functioning well in regards to operations and strategic
planning it should stay on a positive course. But the most important three
critical success factors to assure that the organizational will remain
vibrant as the future unfolds include:
Excellence in Governance. The Board must be populated by a group of people who support the principles
that drive excellence in governance. They should understand the difference
between the roles and responsibilities of governance and management, overseeing
the operations, strategic direction, and fiduciary metrics, setting goals
for themselves that parallel the CEO’s and Leadership Team’s
goals, and assure they have the competencies that are necessary to collectively
bring the best thinking to the issues that the organization is facing.
Highly Competent Leadership Team. Successful leaders today have the competences that are required, including
those required for excellence in change management, teaming, operational
focus, strategic and visionary thinking, good listening skill, and superior
verbal and written communicator. In addition, leaders must be committed
to their work individually and collectively. And finally, they must have
a high level of passion for what they do that must not only motivate them
to continuously improve, but also motivate the people who are following them.
Strong Physician Integration. Since the physicians, whether independent, contracted, or employed, drive
the value equation with regard to the quality outcomes, service delivery
metrics, and cost of supply and staff they require, they must become partners
with administration to actively design and implement solutions to the
challenges their practices or their hospitals are coping with at this
moment in time.
The second is
Leadership Success. The three critical success factors for leaders today, whether they are
in the C-Suite, Directors, Managers, or Supervisors, and whether they
are physicians or administrators are:
Competent. Every leader should periodically do a self-assessment of his or her competencies
that are required to complete successfully their performance goals. If
they have a “competency void”, he or she must determine how
to fill that void, i.e. through education or coaching and mentoring.
Committed. A successful leader must be fully committed to the challenging work they
are facing, and totally embrace an accountability matrix which defines
the timeline for completion, as well as, the metrics of success. But recognizing
they cannot be successful alone, they must be committed to and strongly
support the team’s directions.
Passion. The work of healthcare leaders today is undoubtedly more difficult and
challenging than it was in the past. The endurance required to succeed
today must be driven and sustained by a passion for the “sacred
work” that is done each day in caring for people’s lives that
are fully entrusted to them.
And, the third is
Strategic Success. In order for the roadmap into the future to be driven by the appropriate
strategies and tactics, strategy must be built on three critical success
factors. These are:
Collaboration versus continuing competition. The competitive model has driven an excess capacity of beds and healthcare
services in most areas of the country. Since the ability to generate more
revenue is limited to organically growing areas, most leaders must now
decide with whom they are going to cooperate in order to start rightsizing
their collective programs to meet the needs of the community. This is
the only way the overuse of diagnostic and treatment modalities will be
corrected. If done so effectively, a good portion of the healthcare excessive
cost structure will be controlled.
Alignment of Incentives. Sustainable solutions for the healthcare challenges of today must embrace
as much win-win as possible for all the stakeholders. If the solutions
are seen as equitable, both from the reward and sacrifice standpoint then,
and only then, will they be successful in moving the industry forward.
Accountability. Successful roadmaps to the future, if only designed and recorded, will
never be successful unless they are fully implemented. This requires an
accountability matrix, which lists each tactic, the tools and processes,
the expected timeline for completion, the responsible person or team,
and, most importantly, the metrics for success. This accountability “spreadsheet”
must be reviewed on a regular basis by both the leadership team and the
Board to assure that what one is expected to get done, is getting done!
There is no doubt that the work facing healthcare leaders today is more
complex and challenging than ever. However, by remembering the three by
three critical success areas and each of their three critical success
factors, the journey into the future might seem less daunting and, in
fact, extremely possible.