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Simplify your management.


Managing in Behavioral Health is complicated. And it's not getting easier any time soon. Add to this recruiting challenges, retention challenges, pay for performance contracts, and email overload. Executives and Managers in our field are facing an uphill battle just to get through a week.

Einstein was correct, and visionary. The answer to this increasing complexity will not present itself if we use the same thought process that got us to this point. Management has "evolved" to a series of measures, reports, graphs, benchmarking and voluminous data that needs to be interpreted, decyphered and sown into a practical, tactical daily plan and a magical long term vision. While I don't know if Einstein would agree, I do know from 30 years of growing and managing businesses, that solution lies in simplification, focus and taking an "unreasonable" approach to challenges and goals.

Simplified Management. Focus. Being Unreasonable. These three concepts will streamline your management efforts and deliver mission and agency success faster than you could ever imagine.

Simplified Management. First, management needs to define 3 key drivers, determine simple measures of those drivers, and create the graphical representation of both those drivers and success for each driver. The process of eliminating the "A" priorities and "A" drivers from the rest is critical and simple. What drivers and/or events will drive you out of business, either if they occur or if they fail to occur. Revenue, and more specifically Cash Flow, must be one of your Key Drivers. Doesn't matter if you are a Non-Profit Agency or not, you absolutely must track, graph and manage your Cash Flow. Make sure to graph actual over time, weekly intervals will simplify your efforts and maximize your time. Your graph must, and I cannot stress enough, you must show what success, ie what is the minimum Cash Flow per week. Even better is the specific Cash Flow per specific week. Showing what you are billing is not enough. Showing what you are collecting is not enough. You must also show your target so you can actually manage the difference or reward over achievement.

Focus. Multi-tasking works for simple items. Walking and chewing gum while texting. Beyond that, I will argue that your reward and benefit is directly related to your power of focus. If you need to get something done, you stop all other actiity, block inbound calls, block off your schedule, and you sit down and get it done. This simple concept applies to managing your Key Drivers, your meeting preparation, your email, and the occasional article you may write (yes, I locked myself in a hotel room to finish this article). Unfortunately, focusing for one time period will not guarentee success. You must block out follow up time to revisit an issue, properly follow up on action items, and reflect on what the graphical data represents.

Being Unreasonable. To lead organizations effectively, we must be willing to embrace this concept. As George Bernard Shaw states, "the reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. All progress, therefore, depends upon the unreasonable man." As we collectively strive to improve the quality of care in Behavioral Health, it is necessary for us consistently push the bounds of what we as leaders and our organizations do. Reviewing Key Drivers with keen focus will trigger new ideas, concepts and strategies. Feel confident to set unreasonable goals and objectives to push your team, yourself, and your organization to new levels of success.
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Publication:Behavioral Healthcare
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2016
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