The healthcare industry is facing tremendous uncertainty. Regulatory changes have resulted from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. New, individual markets are emerging as a result of the introduction of healthcare exchanges. New payment models are emerging to try to bend the overall cost curve. New care models are being introduced to attempt to integrate care and improve population health.
Despite all of this uncertainty, some consistent themes have emerged from my recent conversations with bold leaders in healthcare. I believe that these themes apply to other industries as well. How many of these are you practicing?
Develop a clear vision: These bold leaders have formed a clear set of beliefs about the ultimate end state and the implications for their organization. While they recognize the uncertainty, they are not paralyzed by it.
Communicate clearly: These bold leaders devote significant time communicating their vision to the broader organization. This communication is critical in building alignment within their organizations. Effective communications includes being willing to talk about the painful parts of the transition – and not just about those who will benefit.
Align resource allocation: The vision becomes more than words, when there is clear alignment with the resource allocation process. These bold leaders are moving in advance of current market conditions and service line profitability to shift resources to new areas that are critical to their vision. In addition, they are demonstrating the strength of their conviction by making material changes in resource allocation, not dabbling at the edges.
Build something compelling: The desired outcomes from the transformation that these bold leaders are pursuing are dramatically different than the current state. The benefits and outcome improvements are material enough that all of the various constituencies can see obvious benefits for them – and they are significant enough to be worth the effort to change the status quo.
I’m curious, in your experience which of these has proven to be most beneficial when facing uncertainty?