Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Even If It Scared Me

A couple weeks ago I was challenged to have lunch and a chat with someone that made me feel uncomfortable when I thought about contacting them.  Like so many, I had this voice inside my head that said,

"She's so much better than you are and at such a high level, she probably doesn't even know who you are."  

Because of the challenge, I stuck my tongue out at that voice and emailed this person, who happens to be the mayor of Rocky River, Ohio.  I had met her before, but it was just a fleeting meeting.

I didn't expect to hear back and I think secretly I was kind of hoping that I wouldn't.  I could say that at least I had tried!  But of course, Mayor Pam Bobst, graciously accepted my invitation.  I did bare my soul and tell her that I was total apolitical and she still agreed to have lunch.

The person that met me for lunch wasn't the mayor..... it was just Pam.  And we had a great 2 hour lunch. (I was feeling guilty that I was taking too much of her time away from the city!) where we talked about everything under the sun, including canning of fruits and vegetables.  I found a new friend and an awareness of how crazy those notions inside my head had been.

I have wondered since then, how many times I have held myself back because of that voice inside my head.

What stops you from taking the big challenges?

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Food for Thought from Don Kardux

Don Kardux always is creative in his approach to giving us a book report that makes a person want to read that book.  This one is great in that while it was originally written for hospitals, Don realizes that  hospital is nothing more than a big business!  Enjoy!

I worked with the management team at Swanton Health Care and Retirement center monthly for over eight years.

Like most of the management teams I serve we read many of the books I've included in my Connext Nation monthly book reports.

Stacy, the wonderful chef, at the Swanton, Ohio facility recommended Fred Lee's book "If Disney Ran Your Hospital 9 1/2 things you would do differently."

We studied the book and for a number of months revealed our 'Take-a-ways'. We weren't exactly a hospital but almost all of the book's insights applied to our situation.  We had 'Residents' (patients)  Nurses, Doctors, Aids and all sort of support staff just like a hospital.

It was a great reading experience and I know those 9 1/2 revelations helped the staff improve on the excellent company culture which Mitch, the founder, created years ago.

This books main focus is on a 'Customer Service Culture' and I believe can benefit with any business.
All you need to do is substitute the words 'Doctor & Patient' with customer and hospital with your company.

There are literally hundreds of 'Take-a-way' in this book.
To help 'wet your reading appetite' I'm going to mention ten.
One for each chapter
1.       Redefine Your Competition and Focus on What Can't Be Measured. - "If Disney ran your hospital, you would define your competition for customer loyalty as anyone the customer compares you to."
2.       Make Courtesy More Important than Efficiency.  from the director of food service, "We had the idea that if our department really wanted to give great service, we would be offering room service any time during the day, just like a hotel" Stacy and the team at SHC implemented this idea and the results were: A decrease in anxiety medication, reduction in wasted food and many other patient center positive results

3.       Regard Patient Satisfaction as Fool's Gold  "A five means you are very satisfied" and they only count the fives. Remember the book "Raving Fans".

4.       Measure to Improve Not to Impress  "no amount of quantifiable numbers will ever have as much impact on behavior as anecdotal information.

5.       Decentralize the Authority to say Yes-  A highly rated indicator for customer loyalty is spontaneity. "The ability of frontline employees to solve problems spontaneously on the spot "

6.       Change the concept or work from service to theater  "What is the reality of this patient's experience and how can I make it real to me?"

7.       Harness the motivating power of imagination  "Motivational imagination begins with question like: What would you do in this situation? If such-and- such happened to you, how would you feel? These kind of questions prompt us to imagine a real situation, then analyze or rehearse our response."

8.       Create a climate of dissatisfaction  "If necessity is the mother of invention, dissatisfaction must be the father of improvement."

9.       Cease using competitive monetary rewards to motivate people.  "Participating in the reward system will breed cynicism and rivalry between team members and might even render suspect the moment of kindness in the customer's eyes."
10.   Close the gap between knowing and doing  "It takes desire to accomplish a dream, the 'want to' of motivation. ...If you are a competent and self confident manager, and want to badly enough, you will find a way. The great manager, like all great performer, will make it easy."

Intentional culture has been a key to the success of Disney. It's worth finding out the why and how.