Making Better Organizational Changes
Written by: Dr. Kathy Gennuso
One thing is apparent: the healthcare industry is in constant flux, struggling to find solid ground while trying to instill new, functional behaviors in its troops. The end goal is often the same – to make fundamental operational changes in order to not only cope, but also thrive in a changing, more challenging market environment.
Unless new behaviors are systematically reinforced by explicit norms and shared values of the organizational culture, and periodically assessed, they may fail. Sometimes initiatives fail because employees are left alone to implement changes with incomplete information, ambiguous goals, limited tools, and fragmented support. Some organizations view consistent, effective information delivery systems and dedicated administrative oversight tools as luxuries.
Organizations use steering mechanisms as tools to effect changes that keep them above water and on course as they grow. These steering mechanisms are processes, protocols, assumptions, rules, and behaviors that are intertwined with systematic choices at all levels, in all disciplines. Steering mechanisms exist within all functions of the organization, from hiring and training, to delegation of authority and succession, to product development. These expand with the growing complexity of an organization’s tasks at hand and the external forces that come to bear on the industry. Having a methodology and tool to guide management through the process of choosing correct mechanisms, as well as means to communicate them effectively, closes the gap between attempting to create fundamental changes and succeeding in the increasingly competitive marketplace.
What does your organization use to make this happen?