Toward a more peaceful organization
It was an offhand comment, but quite powerful to me. We were talking about how her organization had changed in the past two and half years since we began implementing the Model. She’s the Director of Clinical Services for an organization in Southwest. When we started working closely, they were at 85 average daily census and today they’re over 150. But that wasn’t what she was talking about.
In her New Zealand accent that could charm snakes, she said, “Everything just seems more peaceful.” When we started working together things didn’t feel so peaceful. Service failures were regular occurrences, three or four a week. She was overwhelmed putting out fires. Now, she says, they are just occasional occurrences.
What changed is important, but what didn’t change is important too. As they implemented their model, this organization focused deeply on the visit. They believed us when we said that if they spend their time perfecting the visit, everything changes. Yes, there was turnover. More than with most organizations who implement their Model. But this Director and her CEO say virtually all the turnover resulted in better hires and stronger clinicians who appreciated the attention to training and detail. And, under their Model, they have the money to pay better.
But some things didn’t change, and this is important too. As they nearly doubled in census over two and half years, they didn’t add much indirect staff. They added a marketer and another clinical manager. The marketer made it. The clinical manager did not, yet they didn’t feel any pressure to replace her. With the net increase of one indirect staffer, they are handling almost twice as many patients and feeling more peaceful. Here’s how that helped them: For every additional indirect staffer you hire, you add complexity to the organization. You add another voice saying, “We must . . . .” You add another agenda and another person tempted to fill her days with what feels important. Even if it’s not.
This organization chose the simple path. Become extraordinarily good and one thing. And their lives, simplified.