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The Discipline of Getting Things Done

June 24, 2015 // Erik Nelson

With the “tipping point” in healthcare reimbursement fast approaching, healthcare organizations will be forced to adapt at an unprecedented pace. While CEOs have been concerned about prioritizing strategic initiatives, this concern is shifting to how organizations are going to implement these changes. In the end, the winners in the healthcare industry—as in any industry—will be those organizations that master the discipline of “getting things done.”

Understanding how to get things done versus doing it are two different things. While there are many great resources that describe the framework for developing this discipline, actually transforming an organization is an entirely different matter. And with time in short supply for healthcare organizations, something needs to be done now.

Start with the Leadership Team

The most important step in developing the capability to get things done is making sure that the leaders of an organization view execution as the most important part of their job. These leaders must also be active participants in this process.

Successful companies do not view project execution as a special program that is rolled out like so many in the past that have faded away. Instead, it is something that is ingrained in the corporate culture of an organization and exemplified by its leaders. It becomes the way in which leaders conduct themselves on a daily basis, as it drives:

  • Who they hire
  • How they spend their time
  • What questions they ask
  • How they hold staff accountable

Cultivating this change at the leadership level is the first—and most important—step that will start a cascade of other decisions and actions needed to transform an organization.

Augment Staff with Seasoned Leaders  

While the road to developing advanced execution capabilities is challenging and time consuming, injecting the organization with people who are experts at this craft is the best approach for accelerating the learning curve. Not only can battle-tested project leaders help an organization navigate more efficiently, but they can provide hands-on training for existing staff and temporarily increase an organization’s capacity for implementing change. And with the clock ticking, healthcare organizations need more help now than ever before.