John is an executive recruiter & speaker sharing his thoughts on healthcare, recruiting, digital technology, career management & leadership. 

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Michael Lewis: Boomerang: Travels in the New Third WorldMichael Lewis: Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World Next up on my reading list. Lewis, author of Liar's Poker, The Big Short and Money B
7 November, 2011 Posted by John G. Self
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30 January, 2015 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Healthcare, Leadership
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This Is Not Just A Throw Away Line

Posted January 30th, 2015 | Author: John G. Self

 

“Your people are your most important asset.”

There are three things I would like to say about that phrase. Well, actually four, but in this blog I try to avoid curse words.

  1. It is one of the immutable truths in business.
  2. Healthcare organizations love to include that phrase in their annual community reports.
  3. Strikingly, few organizations actually practice what they write.

His colleagues respect himGiven that healthcare reform seems to be picking up steam with recent CMS announcements regarding value based reimbursement, I thought it would be a good time to parse the phrase your people are your most important asset in the context of how the lives of leaders will change with a drastically different business model.

Asset – Property owned by a person or company, regarded as having value and available to meet debts, commitments or legacies.

People – Typically employees, but I am not sure that concept is broad enough to be of sufficient value in the context of reform.

Expanded Definition - I favor the idea of expanding your “assets” to include your physicians, board members, contractors, vendors and those politically critical stakeholders.

Independent community hospitals, from the 12-bed Critical Access facility in a remote southwest Texas town, to the 550-bed regional medical center on the east coast, will need every advantage they can muster, all the help, trust and loyalty of these assets, and more. This means CEOs must spend more time building strong ties – the kind that bind – to ensure that they can maximize the leverage of what their “assets” can offer. If you do not have this tight we-are-all-in-this-together relationship, you will see your revenue and operating margins slip away.

The independents will survive because they earn and sustain the trust, loyalty and support of their communities. You cannot, for one day or one minute take them for granted. There will be intense competition for those customers and it will take a team performing at a high level of efficiency and consistency to withstand the onslaught of the big systems that believe bigger is better.

Having a team of great employees who are valued and respected and who are committed to helping nurture and sustain the trust, loyalty, and support of your clients is not just golden, it is essential.

© 2015 John Gregory Self

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28 January, 2015 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Management
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The Language of Finding A Job Is In Defining Your Value

Posted January 28th, 2015 | Author: John G. Self

The concept that led to the creation of the so-called elevator speech is dead. Thank goodness.

Defining Your Value PropositionAs most of you know it was a favorite term, a tool, a recommendation that career coaches liked to pass along to those who were thinking about, or actually looking for a new job. The problem with this elevator speech concept is that it is based on the candidate’s chronology of experience and the concept of quantifiable value is nowhere to be found.

Today, the language of finding a job has changed fairly dramatically.

Candidates need to speak in the language of getting things done versus what I was responsible for. The former reflects value, the latter chronology.

My colleague Nancy Swain is an expert in helping candidates define their value proposition. Her approach to transition coaching is that focusing on defining and understanding one’s value proposition is far more important than just rewriting a resume.

What Nancy is really doing is helping candidates understand the language of finding the right job, not just the same job in another city as is so often the case in outplacement.

Candidates who can speak confidently about the value they can deliver, interspersed with mentions of their experience versus the other way round, stand a far better chance of finding the right job.

© 2015 John Gregory Self

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26 January, 2015 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Healthcare, Leadership
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Planning For The Future, It All Begins With You

Posted January 26th, 2015 | Author: John G. Self

Last week, John spoke to the Texas Organization for Rural and Community Hospitals Leadership Retreat at the Lakeway Resort and Spa near Austin. His topic – Talent Management: Your People Are Your Most Important Asset.


The pace of change in healthcare reform is picking up speed. It promises to be an interesting 2015 for all healthcare provider executives, especially those who run rural and community hospitals.

Planning For The FutureWhile some may argue or debate about the pace of this change, there can be little doubt that the end game will be all about transformation. And with transformation comes the disruption of our comfortable, albeit costly and inefficient, business model. The phrase value-based reimbursement is so easy to annunciate, yet the consequences of this shift in how we are paid for what we do is staggeringly enormous.

To borrow a thought from Marshall Goldsmith’s book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, the leadership strategies and the skill sets that helped you achieve success over the past 25+ years will not ensure your success in the new healthcare environment. We all need to change the way we lead, acquire new knowledge and begin thinking about the programs and services that will ensure our survival, and the type of people we must hire to meet that goal.

Change is hard and transformation can be mind-blowingly painful. The one immutable truth for CEOs during this period will be: It All Begins With You. If you like what you do, and you want to prolong your career, you must get into the game by planning for the future sooner rather than later.

There are many things you need to begin focusing on but none more important than determining what kinds of employees, and skill sets, will be needed. If your plan is to wait for the waves of change to begin rolling ashore, heed this advice: these are not gentle waves that might grow a little bigger, but the beginning of a tsunami. You cannot wait to begin planning.

Here is but one example of the changes that await us just around the corner: the job of Risk Manager in the 1980s to 2014 was all about minimizing the risks of patient falls, employee injuries, preventable medical errors, to name a few. Within five years, the new Risk Managers must be population health management specialists who can help you ascertain the health risks of your community of potential patients.

Chief Nursing Officers must be focused on the continuum of care, from preventable care and pre-hospitalization services – outside the brick and mortar – through the acute and post acute care. He or she must have a deep understanding of the changing risk models and look at health service delivery from the total cost of care perspective. The CNO must be a patient care service integrator and innovator who can develop ways to deliver care in a more cost effective and safe manner.

In the past, Vice Presidents of Marketing focused on strategies for boosting inpatient admissions. In the future, it will be all about keen analytical skills, due diligence, deal structure, finance, business-to-business/payer contracting, consumer commitment and state-of-the-art communications tools to promote the best-in-area outcomes and exceptional patient satisfaction.

OK, these are fairly superficial when you look at the complexity of the impending change but they reflect the magnitude of change we must make.

It all begins with the leader, but without the right kinds of employees with the requisite skills to deal with the market complexities, the future will be a tough place to survive.

© 2015 John Gregory Self

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