October 3, 2018
Written by: Scott Williamson
Surely you have heard or uttered the phrase “we are all replaceable.” As an employee, the words are a reminder that the world does not revolve around us. As an employer, it is a reminder that redundancy and cross training are essential to long-term viability. But that phrase truly is a double-edged sword.
Taken too literally by an employee, there is a real risk of de-motivation and a consequential lack of commitment. And by an employer, there is the probability that you do not value your staff like you should…and they know it!
So how does Elton John fit in? There is no doubt he’s a rock star. He is a prolific songwriter, chart topper, innovator and has been Knighted by the Queen of England. He is incredibly successful by most measures of men. He is a music legend. But can you name his band?
I can’t. Just recently my wife and I went to see him in concert, he is in the middle of his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour. While taking it all in, I began to notice the band members. It’s a small band, really. A couple of people on percussion, an electric guitar, and a bass. Nameless, but definitely nailing their roles and having a good time. I was enjoying the harmonies and the music being played. At some point in the show, Elton began to introduce them. His band. As I was listening to him talk about each member of the band, it was evident the respect he had for each one. But what really struck me was that one of the guys on stage with him was part of Elton’s original three-man band that formed in the late 60’s! Wow! I can’t swear to it now, but I am pretty sure the rest of the band joined in the 70’s. Maybe one guy was later.
I don’t know any sordid details, but I will bet you that over the past five decades, there were some rough patches in the band. And I’ll bet you that a person like Elton John could have his pick of percussionists, guitarists, and any other kind of “ist” you can imagine. Any one of those band members could have been replaced at the drop of a hat, or a fancy pair of glasses. But he didn’t do it. He stuck with his team. And what a team it is!
Sadly (for me), during the concert I began to think about that phrase I had recently heard…that everyone’s replaceable. I also thought of John Spence and his lessons on “High Performing Teams.” Those of you who know me know that one of my favorite business books is Jim Collin’s “Good to Great.” So, during this concert, the union of Elton John, John Spence and Jim Collins occurred and it drove home the fact that the best performers in your business are in it for the long haul with you. They are not disposable, designed to be ground down and spit out like the leftover plastic in your lab.
Your best people, the ones you build your business around, are committed to your vision and motivated to attain it. Your success is their success. They communicate constantly, transparently, and often without saying a word. They have mutual respect for each other and they resolve conflict constructively. Not everyone wants to be the “Rockstar,” they are happy to do their part and contribute to the success.
Are you a “Rockstar” in your community? What are you doing to build and maintain your “high performing team?”
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.