Monday, August 14, 2017

Just Say Yes

It is often said, “it’s so hard to say no.”  Then why are so many organizations inclined to say no at every turn?

Whether it’s “that’s not my department” or “there is no way we can do that for you,” time and time again, people immediately shut down a customer with a negative response, even when, and without much effort, they could easily accommodate the request. However, it is not the individual team member’s fault that they are being short sighted and leading with “no.” They are simply modeling their organizational culture of prioritizing rules and regulations over providing excellent customer service—saying no over saying yes.

It is important to clarify that when we talk about getting to “yes,” we are not talking about total agreement. It means hearing and understanding the request and agreeing to explore all possible solutions and work towards a reasonable outcome.

And like any organizational practice, it all starts at the top. As a leader, you must work to cultivate and nurture a culture of yes and empower your team to do the same. Here are a few tips on how to make that happen:

  • You say yes. If your team members observe you leading with yes when dealing with customers, vendors, or other team members, they will follow suit.
  • Tell stories of yes. When speaking to team members, stakeholders or other folks involved in the organization, tell stories of how saying yes was effective and resulted in positive feedback.
  • Celebrate and reward yes. Find ways to celebrate and reward those team members who were able to satisfy customer requests, who went above and beyond to say yes to customers, or who went that extra mile.

Finally, being able to say yes to that initial customer is not its only reward. Of course, saying yes and satisfying requests feels great for you and leads to happy customers, but there are other positives to saying yes as well. It can at times force you to find new solutions, discover new opportunities or unlock new modes of creativity. You also learn to take risks which can be incredibly productive.

While you might have to work a little bit harder to get to yes, in the end there is nothing like it. There are so many times we are met with no, that we need all the yeses we can get.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Know Thy Self

It seems like the health care space gets more and more crowded every day. The reality is that new medical retail centers are popping up on every corner and providers are expanding their portfolio of services at a rapid pace. The good news is that consumers have more options than ever for quality, non-emergency care that’s also convenient and affordable.

Additionally, this means that providers have to up their game in order to continue to grow and thrive in this new landscape. The question then becomes, how do you break through the noise in order to differentiate yourself and ultimately attract consumers?

I often refer to back to the groundbreaking book, Blue Ocean Strategy. In this book, authors Kim and Mauborgne look at how organizations tend to remain in the crowded, bloody red waters of competition, when they should be swimming in the oceans of uncontested market space. In other words, ignore the competition and focus on your own organization to create new and innovative programs and service lines.

Building on the Blue Ocean Strategy model, these are the steps that I and the team at Jupiter Medical Center have taken to create a truly unique and innovative system of care over the last several years:

  • Don’t worry about others. Focus on yourself. Don’t spend your time obsessing about the competition. While you should have a clear understanding of the landscape in which you operate, don’t get bogged down in tracking the movements of others. Instead, find the open lane and take off running.

  • Act don’t react. Position yourself to take on new challenges, setting the pace for your own development and growth as opposed to catching up to others and reacting to their successes.

  • Be willing to operate in the unknown. True innovation comes with risk. If you have developed a trusting team and built a solid foundation, taking a chance on the unknown is not only possible, it is necessary.

Whether it is health care, technology or any other growing sector, in order to stay at the forefront of your field, you must stand out from the crowd. The best way to do that is understand who you are and where you are going. If you can do this, you’re ahead of the game.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Try Us. You’ll Like Us.

Guest Author: 
Jennifer Crabtree
Manager, Digital Marketing and Consumerism
Jupiter Medical Center

Job hoppers. Lazy. Entitled. Narcissistic. Addicted to technology. These are all common perceptions people have of Millennials. As a Millennial, rather than take this stone throwing personally, I want to provide a different lens for you to view us through.

And if that isn’t enough to keep you reading, did you know that Millennials are now the largest share of the American workforce? With that said, attracting and retaining this group of talent is becoming a burning issue for leaders. Here are a few things to keep in mind when recruiting us:

1.              Millennials CAN be loyal, hard-working team members. To gain our trust, loyalty and productivity, we need a workplace environment that is different from previous generations. While Baby Boomers or Gen Xers have conformed much more quickly to the traditional workplace, Millennials want employers to find a middle ground.

2.              Talk to me about how we can make a difference, not just how to drive your bottom line. Money alone will no longer retain us. We want to have a purpose and make an impact from the very beginning. We are happy to answer phones and fetch coffee – as long as it means we are contributing to the larger efforts.

3.              We champion diversity. Millennials are the most racially diverse generation, with 44.2% representing a minority or ethnic group. We are comfortable working across borders and with all different types of people. This blending of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives within a team are natural drivers of collaboration and creativity.

4.              We naturally challenge the status quo. Please do not mistake this for disrespect. It is not that we lack respect for authority, it is that we have a desire to play an active part in change. So even with little experience, we are comfortable sharing our opinions on what we believe is not working or could be improved upon. Layer us into a cross-generation team and the result will be innovation.

5.              We are willing to turn down higher-paying jobs to stay with a company and leader we believe in. Yes, we are buried in student debt and held prisoner to our strange need for avocado toast and $5 lattes, but a company that offers a big paycheck is not enough to keep us happy. We need to be around people who are on fire for what they are doing, and a leader who pushes us to be better and think differently. Working in an environment with a purposeful culture will have a larger impact than earning $100K a year at a job we think is boring.

6.              Work life balance is important to us. We are not necessarily buying into the idea that productivity can only occur behind a desk. We want to spend time with our family and children so that we come into the office recharged, with fresh ideas. Without this, you will have a higher chance of burnout.

7.              We are not (all) lazy. This perception may be a reflection of the fact we grew up with Google and GPS enabled smartphones at our fingertips, and so were able to find answers with just a few clicks. This is not laziness but rather being efficient in how we spend our time. The time we save can now be spent on other, more productive tasks.

And so, when you throw around the list of names for those in my generation, I would encourage you to add passionate, collaborator, efficient and focused. The bottom line is that we bring a tremendous amount to the table and are hungry to help drive innovation. Spend a little time with us over some avocado toast, getting to know us and letting us get to know you.  We have a lot to learn from each other.