In a medical practice, like any business, a keen eye must be kept on the bottom line.
You want your revenues to go up and to keep your expenses in check. However, the success of an organization isn’t just about the bottom line. It’s about building an enterprise that’s “healthy” and will continue to prosper and grow over the long term.
In today’s advanced age of medicine, we’re constantly inundated with information about how to lead a healthy lifestyle. We know now to put down the bag of chips and pick up some fruit, and we know to get off the couch and get some exercise. The links between our daily behaviors and our long term health are much better understood than they used to be.
Both in business and life, there’s a tendency to live for the short term (immediate gratification) at the expense of long term success. In business, this is exemplified by an emphasis on short term profits and dividends versus lasting re-investments in the future of the organization. In spite of our knowledge, we’re often still blind to the correlation between our daily activities and the long term consequences. Just like the blissful ignorance of eating a diet rich in fatty foods will ultimately lead to health consequences, failure to reinvest in your practice will eventually lead to an organization that’s dysfunctional.
To help diagnose the true health of your organization, I’ve created a checklist:
- Does everyone in your organization know why it exists?
- Is there a clear and easily understood mission/vision statement for the organization?
- Are the values of the organization described and clearly understood?
- Do your employees reinforce your culture?
- Does everyone understand the most important objective in the organization right now?
- Does everyone have clearly defined roles and responsibilities?
- Do team members understand each other’s different personality and communication styles?
- Are team members free to speak the truth in a trusting environment?
- Do team members regularly meet in productive meetings?
- Do team members feel valued and appreciated?
- Do your organization’s leaders routinely reinforce the mission and values of the organization?
- Do employees get regular feedback on their performance?
- Is patient feedback being sought by all members of the organization and shared with team members?
- Do you regularly seek feedback for improvement from your employees?
- Are the leaders of the organization accessible?
- Does every part of the organization have a person assigned with accountability for ensuring goals are met?
- Are there key performance indicators (KPI’s) measured for every role in the organization?
- Can employees report at any time what their productivity is and how it compares against goals?
- Does the organization have “after action reviews” to discuss ways to improve?
- Are successes regularly celebrated?
I hope this checklist guides you in helping your organization obtain optimal health!
Martin Willoughby is a serial entrepreneur, author of Zoom Entrepreneur, and a business consultant. Direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.