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Getting change ready (Proceedings)
To deal with growth, we are really talking about how we handle change in the workplace.
Fast Growth = Change
• To deal with growth, we are really talking about how we handle change in the workplace
• Change compels us to get out of complacency
Is Your Practice Complacent?
• No highly visible crisis
• The practice measures itself against low standards
• Planning and control systems are rigged (or non-existent) to make it easy for everyone to reach goals
Get Change "Ready"
• Push decision making down to the lowest possible level.
• Begin sharing information.
• Talk, but listen too. It is a 2-way street.
• Encourage participation.
• Get into the trenches with front line employees.
• Help people see the "why" of change, and work with them to discover "what."
The Voice of Those Affected
• "What is in it for me"?
• "Why is this important"?
• "How do these people even know what the problems are - they don't bother to eve ask us"?
• "Do they really think they can change the entire practice at once"?
• "How much of our time and their money will they sink into this dry hole"?
Step 1: Mobilize Energy and Commitment
• Do this by sharing values and a clear vision. Compelling work alone, but usually forced to do so because of the "elephant in the living room."
• People do not argue with what they help create. You will get buy-in through participation.
• The group who will implement change must agree on what the problems are and why they need to change.
Why Not from the Top?
• People resist having solutions imposed upon them by individuals who lack familiarity with day-to-day operations.
• Resistance is expressed through lack of motivation and commitment to the change.
• MUST have top level support - not control.
Step 2: Develop a Shared Vision
• Do you have a mission, vision and values?
• Is it just a sign on the wall, or do the owners and key managers inspire others in the organization toward a vision?
• Vision is "what can be seen," so focus on:
o Specifics about how to improve the business
o How those changes will benefit the employee and patients/clients
• Price Pritchett at Pritchett and Associates says:
o 20% of employees embrace change from the start50% are fence sitters
o 30% resist any kind of change/growth
Components of Shared Vision
• Describe a desirable future
• Be compelling - much BETTER than the current state of things
• Be realistic within the grasp of the hard working folks who will make it happen
• Be focused on a manageable set of goals
• Be flexible
• Easy to communicate with all levels of employees
Step 3: Hire Qualified Employees
• BIGGEST decisions - right people on the bus and the rest OFF!
• Answer the question: What isn't getting done well? What is holding the practice back?
Plan for Employee Turnover
• Would a key employee departure upset the applecart?
• As volume of business increases some people will not keep up.
• Without clearly defined roles, new employees will leave.
• Systems is the answer to this problem.
• Good leaders will have three characteristics:
o A persistent belief that revitalization and change is the key to competitiveness
o They can articulate their conviction in the form of a credible and compelling vision
o They have people and organizational skills to implement their vision.
Step 4: Focus on Results, Not Activities
• If you cannot measure it, then you cannot manage it.
• Operations, experience and expertise is critical.
• Short-term goals must be identified and met, then discussed with regular, good communication.
Step 5: Implement Systems
• Infrastructure for Growth
o Project Management
o Quality Control
• Checks and balances for your practice
• Reduce stress and make workloads predictable and manageable
• Helps with managing turnover
Step 6: Start Change at the Periphery
• Likelihood of success is greatest when change is implemented in small, autonomous units. Success breeds success.
Change and Growth: What is in it for Me?
• Clear advantage over the status quo
• Compatibility with peoples' desires and values
• Requirements that are understandable
• Option for people to experience the change model at a small scale first
• The possibility of people observing the suggested change in another setting
Step 7: Train Employees and Train Again
• Employees cannot read your mind
• Invest in training and supervision of the employee
• There is a direct correlation between training and productivity
• Our goal is CONTINUOUS improvement and change.
• This is a PROCESS, not an EVENT
Step 8: Implement Technology to Support Operations
• Give people the tools they need to do their jobs
• Cannot run a business on a wing nut and a prayer
• Strategically plan and budget for technological improvements
Step 9: Improve Quality
• Deliver a CONSISTENT client experience
• Develop checklists and scripts to recover from service failures
• "Process mapping"
Increase Client Satisfaction (Value)
• Listen more than ever to what employees and clients say about their experience with your business.
• If clients are negatively impacted by a system (or lack of), fix it quick!
• Complaints and surveys are a great thing.
• Stay current with:
o What is important to your clients?
o What is happening in the marketplace?
o What is your competition doing?
o What is your practice doing well?
o What do you need to improve?
Step 10: Expand Services, Not Just Service
• Add new procedures and profit centers
• 80/20 - do you know the rule?
Maintain Positive Cash Flow and Control Costs
• Don't "burn" cash. Running out of cash is the most common reason a business fails.
• Spend cautiously and get paid promptly.
Implementation of Change and Growth
• The single biggest impediment to growth is the inability of the culture to change with the growth. We are often failures at IMPLEMENTATION.
6 Implementation Problems
• It takes more time than we thought (76%)
• Major problems surfaced that we did not predict (74%)
• Coordination of activities was not effective enough (66%)
• Competing activities and crises distracted attention from implementing the strategic decisions (64%)
• Capabilities (skills and abilities) of employees involved with change were not sufficient (63%)
• Training and instructions were not clear to lower-level employees (63%)
Reaction to Change: A Sense of Loss and Anxiety
• The typical employee spends 8 hours a day doing, in general, fairly routine tasks; and, the completion of those tasks becomes the culture.
• CHANGE CREATES ANXIETY
• People will adapt, but there is a predictable series of responses
Stages in Reaction to Change
• Defensive Retreat
• Acceptance and Adaptation
• People get stuck for a couple of reasons:
o Change is not a single event
o Everyone comes to the table with a different level of experience relative to change and different coping skills
o People who are emotionally fragile are particularly vulnerable during times of change (see rule # 3)
Minimizing the Negatives of Change and Growth
• Keep your cool
• Handle pressure smoothly
• Respond non-defensively
• Develop creative and innovative solutions to problems
• Be willing to take risks and try out new ideas
• Be willing to adjust priorities
• Demonstrate enthusiasm for long term goals
• Be open and candid
• When a decision needs to be made, make it