I have recently finished The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni and it is a fantastic book. I would recommend it all to animal hospital owners and hospital leadership teams. If you read this book and apply the principles he outlines it will no doubt improve your hospital’s “health”.
In The Advantage, Lencioni walks you through the 4 disciplines, which will create a healthy organizational culture:
- Discipline 1-Build a Cohesive Leadership team
- Discipline 2- Create Clarity
- Discipline 3- Over-communicate Clarity
- Discipline 4- Reinforce Clarity
I am going to do a few blog posts discussing the key areas, but today’s post will be an overview of organizational health and why it is so important to your animal hospital. I believe that most animal hospitals today are smart. They have some understanding of marketing, finance and technology. And, of course, the veterinarians in these hospitals practice quality medicine and surgery.
Being a healthy hospital is very different from being a smart hospital.
A healthy hospital is one that has minimal politics, minimal confusion, high morale, high productivity and low turnover.
Traditionally the focus has been more about how smart our hospital may be instead of how healthy our hospital is. Don’t get me wrong, practicing high quality medicine is essential and you must have the basics down with regards to marketing, finance and technology.
But, in order to be successful today your hospital needs to be SMART and HEALTHY.
Lencioni has proposed three reasons for why so many business owners/leaders do not embrace the fundamentals that are necessary to create a healthy hospital. First is the Sophistication Bias: organizational health is really simple and straightforward so many people believe that they are “above” needing to focus on these fundamentals. Second is the Adrenaline Bias: becoming a healthy hospital takes time and you have to take a step back and assess where you are at and where you want to go which is difficult to do when you just put out fires all day. Lastly, is the Quantification Bias: Though the benefits of becoming “healthy” are vast, they are challenging to quantify which can make overly analytical leaders frustrated.
There are so many advantages to having a healthy animal hospital. A healthy hospital has minimal politics and confusion. There is also a high degree of morale and productivity and a very low turnover among good employees. Lastly, they are just a lot more rewarding to work in!
Unhealthy animal hospitals are a completely different story. Unhealthy hospitals lead to wasted resources and time, decreased productivity, increased employee turnover and customer attrition. Do those sound familiar to anyone?
Have you experienced working in an unhealthy hospital and what were the repercussions of such a place?