"What would Disney Do?" 4 1/2 lessons in leadership (Proceedings)


Cultural insights from a hospital executive who became a Disney cast member

If Disney Ran Your Hospital: 91/2 Things You Would Do Differently by Fred Lee

Cultural Insights From a Hospital Executive Who Became a Disney Cast Member

It's About Culture, Not Service...Culture is what you think and do without thinking about it...

Client/Patient-focused care - - think about the acronym "SHARE":

Sense people's needs before they ask (initiative)

Help each other out (teamwork)

Acknowledge people's feelings (empathy)

Respect the dignity and privacy of everyone (courtesy)

Explain what's happening (communication)

Look to the AAHA Compliance Study to understand what people (pet owners) want. Move your practice toward having/doing what pet owners want. Stop defending "our way or no way".

If Disney Ran Your Hospital, You Would:

1. Redefine Your Competition and Focus on What Can't Be Measured (values, perceptions...)

Our competition is anyone our clients compare us to...We need to manage perceptions...

Recent studies consistently report that 75 - 80% of pet owners think of their pets as children.

This Means Job Security!!! Our moral imperative is to advocate on behalf of a being that cannot advocate for itself.

It's About Culture...

If you don't know where you're going, you'll probably end up somewhere else.

Decide what is important:

What are the core values of the practice?

What are the core team values?

What mutual values are shared by the team?

Values create culture as they are always on display

Decide where the practice is going:

First define values, then define vision

Without a vision there can be no focus...

Decide what the practice stands for:

Your vision is in your head...Your vision statement is on paper...Any vision is intangible and must be translated into an emotional message...Inspire your people to be believers! The team walks in the shadow of the leader. Your team will mirror and then adopt your commitments as they see you living them.

Each of us is the "CEO of me". Every leader is telling a story about what he or she values. What is the title of YOUR story?

Performance Excellence - - Ask the following questions: What is our vision? What are our values? What are our goals? What is our behavior?

Then ask these next questions: Do we do the wrong things wrong? Do we do the wrong things right? Do we do the right things wrong? Do we do the right things right?

A client's perception is his or her reality... You never get a second chance to make a first impression... Outcomes are delivered by teams, but impressions are delivered by individuals.

Erma Bombeck said, "Never go to a physician whose office plants have died."

2. Make Courtesy More Important Than Efficiency - -

The enemy of courtesy is not rudeness... it is avoidance. People act in the manner in which they've been trained to act. Strive for perfection and settle for excellence. Have a high tolerance for mistakes, low tolerance for repeated mistakes, and zero tolerance for anything that hinders the team. How can you encourage entrepreneurial thinking within your team? Are you getting in the way of team members' efforts to institute and facilitate change? Allow improving compliance to be the catalyst for courtesy vs. efficiency.

3. Regard Client Satisfaction as Fool's Gold - -

Satisfied clients are not necessarily loyal. Focus on client "success". When you can't remember anything, you are satisfied. Loyalty is generated by memorable things that happen that we didn't expect. A satisfied person has no story to tell. Give your clients stories to tell. Building loyalty means building repeat business. According to the AAHA Compliance Study pet owners want their veterinary healthcare teams to do more for the pet. Build repeat business by doing more for the patients you have. It takes just one person from your team, during one visit, becoming personally involved.

Loyalty must be earned, and it is earned by showing more than simple courtesy. The key is demonstrating compassion. Employee loyalty is important as well. Cost of turnover:

Replacement - - @30% of annual salary

Strain on employees

Loss to a competitor

Potential loss of connection with clients

Why do clients/customers leave a business?

1. 68% perception of employee indifference

2. 14% dissatisfaction

3. 9% lured by competition

4. 5% influenced by friends

5. 4% moved away/other

Why do employees leave a job (internal loyalty)?

1. Quality of leader relationship

2. Ability to balance work/home

3. Amount of meaningful work

4. Level of co-worker cooperation

5. Level of workplace trust

4. Measure to Improve, Not Impress - -

You can overtrain for a marathon, but you cannot overtrain a team's ability to communicate. Strive for high tech, high touch, and high show. Think: "State of the Art, State of the Heart". Build emotion into the experiences your clients have with your practice. Create "Magical Moments".

Answer the question: "How do we do things here?" Protocols create consistency of experience for all parties. Then answer the question: "How do we talk about how we do things here?" The entire veterinary healthcare team needs to speak with "one voice". This creates a consistent experience for the client and patient.

When you think you have trained enough, then train some more. Internal communication is as important as communication with clients. What are your practice's key messages? All patients need and deserve a specific nutritional recommendation - - over half the clients who receive a specific nutritional recommendation will remain compliant. Pet owners want to know what to feed a pet when it is ill as well as when it is healthy. Every one of your patients needs and deserves an appropriate laboratory workup before general anaesthesia. 75% of clients want a follow-up call when their pet has been sick. 90% of clients want to be reminded when their animal is due for an examination, medicine refill, etc.

5. Decentralize the Authority to Say "Yes" - -

You are always right when you are satisfying a client. Autonomy and decision making are keys to retaining excellent team members. The authority to say "Yes" elevates the status of every employee. Many employees do not want the responsibility of deciding when to say "Yes" and when to say "No". A "huddle" can facilitate communication, responsibility, and teamwork.

What is important to you, the practice owner? Is this information clearly included in your new employee orientation? Are expectations clear? If expectations are clear and are discussed regularly at team meetings, then the decision-making around making someone's day is easy.

The goal is a complete, seamless, hassle-free experience for the client that creates a lasting impression - - a "story".

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