October 19, 2018
Written by: Scott Williamson
Last week I wrote about applying behavioral economic theory to entrepreneurship. If we accept that there may be some validity to that, then maybe we can move forward with phase two. I think it is fair to say that, as an owner, you are very much interested in “maximizing” the return on your investment, however you define “return.” The question is, “what’s the best way to accomplish that, and can you get out of your own way?” What is the best strategy for leading your company to greatness? Dr. Ryne Sherman is the Chief Science Officer for Hogan Assessments in Tulsa, OK. He says “most of the thinking suggests leaders should be charismatic, attention-seeking and persuasive. Yet such leaders tend to ruin their companies because they take on more than they can handle, are [arrogant], and don’t listen to feedback from others.”
There’s an old saying that “there is a thin line between confidence and arrogance…It’s called humility. Confidence smiles. Arrogance Smirks.”
There are times when, as the owner, you have to make a difficult decision, and you have to at least feign confidence so that your team can feed off that strength. If you’re still in business, then you were probably right more often than not. But wouldn’t it be nice to have just a little more certainty in those decisions? Maybe a few less ulcers? The reality is that the people who work for you are (or should be) as vested in the company’s success as you are. It’s their livelihood too! By engaging your staff in your strategic decision making and by recognizing the contributions they can make beyond their strict “job description,” you begin to realize that you can depend on them to help. The more you trust them, the more receptive to their ideas you become and that creates a positive cycle. You begin to empower your people to think, not just perform. It moves you further down the spectrum of humility. It never removes your authority, but it certainly creates an atmosphere of teamwork and common goals, rather than an atmosphere of workers with a “taskmaster.”
However, you can’t run the business on just feelings and conjecture, even when those feelings are shared by the entire staff. Can you imagine driving your car without any kind of gauges? Not even the “check engine” light? Why would you run a business without gauges? Don’t you want to know your key indicators? Is more cash coming in than Is going out? Is your business the best it can be? What is good enough? It’s time to quit running your business by the seat of your pants and charging ahead based on experience alone. It’s time to take a scientific approach to practice management. I encourage you to enter the digital age and use data to inform your staff and your decision making. Much like learning to trust the people who work for you, there is a process for learning how to trust and use the data. As a member of Choice, we are here to guide you through this transition and can help you navigate the hurdles you will encounter. Reach out to us today!
Scott Williamson, MBA, CAE(ret), is the Executive Director of the OPIE Choice Network. He founded and is President of Quality Outcomes, LLC., a company dedicated to establishing a consensus building approach to identify broad-based Orthotic and Prosthetic (O&P) outcomes data to identify and teach professional best practices. Scott was recently certified in Lean Six Sigma.
Scott is a member of the National Quality Forum and is active on the Quality Measures Research Council. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Orthotic and Prosthetic Learning, he is a member of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and is past-chair of the Healthcare Knowledge Taskforce for ASAE. He is the President of OPAF and is Treasurer of the Pedorthic Research Foundation Board of Directors. He has worked in professional certification since 1992, and most recently worked for the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics, Inc. (ABC) from 2002 – 2010 as the Director of Facility Accreditation. In that position he played a key role in establishing and maintaining the national standards for quality O&P care. Scott has been a key liaison between the O&P profession and CMS during the development of the CMS Quality Standards and their mandatory accreditation program. In 1995, Scott earned his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Richmond and his undergraduate degree is in Management Economics from Hampden~Sydney College. While earning his MBA, Scott worked for MWH MediCorp (a hospital holding company) where he developed and maintained billing and performance data and was responsible for corporate safety and security. In 2005 Scott earned his Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Scott is a frequent speaker on value-based healthcare and its impact on the provision of O&P services, as well as business process improvement and change management in a small practice setting. He has taught DMEPOS accreditation processes and standards and explained the CMS Quality Standards. Scott, his wife, Colleen and daughter Nicole live in Fredericksburg, Virginia.