Most of my work focuses on helping practices go from where they are to where they want to be. I always work hard to make sure that the changes I assist practices with are sustainable. This means that the leaders in the practice are the ones to drive the change, not me. Here are three critical steps to make lasting change in your practice:
1. Clarify Where “There” Is
Many of the leaders I work with recognize that they are not where they need to be. However, they have not yet clarified what the new destination looks like. They see that the practice is not growing, as it should. They realize their employees are not fully engaged and there is not enough accountability. It is much easier to focus what’s not working, but it’s more important to define that future state. Every leader should be able to describe this “destination” in detail to themselves and to their employees. Only when this place is defined, can you move towards that new, better version of your practice.
2. Examine Your Culture
Practice leaders often think about needed changes to the structure, talent and strategy. Unfortunately, those things will not transform a practice unless you change the culture as well. Culture doesn’t just happen. It’s a result of many controllable things. For example, your culture stems from how leaders operate and their employee interactions. The good news is, culture can be changed. It must be changed if a practice is going to accomplish more tomorrow than it does today. Many leaders don’t even consider culture, because they are unsure of how to change it. It’s easy to focus on things that are simple to measure. But those things may be far less responsible for practice success.
3. Focus on Leadership Inputs
If you want engaged employees and more accountability throughout your practice, what should you do differently as a leader? This is a question many managers and leaders struggle with. How do you begin to think about your leadership as an input? How do you think of the behavior of your team as an output? Revenue is an end result that is driven by the way people in your practice operate and the actions they take. Employee behavior is directly influenced by the way leaders think and act. It’s a simple truth that if you change the way you lead, people will respond differently.
Changing the way people think and act in a practice is tough but it can be done. I have worked with leaders that have completely transformed their leadership behaviors, culture and created success by focusing on these critical components. Start here, and soon you’ll be where you want to be.