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Be the change that you wish to see.... in your healthcare business meetings Part 4 of 5

By Adrienne Evatt

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How a leader conducts meetings not only plays a key role in the quality of the outcome, but it sets a performance model for the rest of the organization. This series of blogs discusses the 10 traits of effective meeting leadership, with the first six behaviors discussed in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. In this blog, we move on to the next two critical behaviors.

7. Stay out of the weeds

There is a time for drilling down and getting into the details, and there is also a time for staying on track. It's always appropriate to ask relevant questions about performance data and targets, whether financial, clinical or otherwise. These data provide informative metrics and information that are critical for understanding the business of your healthcare system. But don't get tricked into going down the rabbit hole by continuing to dwell on data to the point where you lose sight of the important strategic conversations that are a productive use of your time. Use meetings to have strategic conversations and drill down only when necessary -- and get back on track quickly. The behavior that you will inspire in your team is to know their numbers and be able to emerge from the details in order to consider strategic implications across the system.

8. Drive accountability

It is critical that your hospital leadership understands what they own in terms of results. They have accountability for operational outcomes even when they may not have authority. They should understand the broader influence responsibility that they have. This is true for facility and department / corporate leaders. In some organizations, it is the corporate and headquarters departments that can have a more difficult time acknowledging this reality. Make it clear to them. These leaders need to feel accountability for these results, regardless of their sense of control ... this is part of leadership expectation in their role and it bears re-iterating in your meetings with them. Requiring that each meeting include a recorded set of follow-up action items is a fantastic way to drive accountability, and the action list is only as good as the leader's ability and perseverance in following up. Before anyone leaves the room, each action identified in the meeting needs a definition, an owner (who is responsible), and a due date. These action items must be identified during the meeting, be sent to participants within a short time, and be accompanied by clear expectation regarding the follow up. The quicker that actions are shared with accountable parties, the greater the impact on the recipients. It is possible that you will eventually want to re-emphasize this accountability outside your meetings as well, and that can take the form of human capital practices like incentives, pay practices, merit and discipline programs. If you are going to set goals for your staff, your meetings with them, conversations, policies and practices need to reflect that they are accountable for those goals.

Look for the next blog covering another set of leadership behaviors that can change your organization. Performance Solutions' culture driven performance model can help your organization lead change in this and many other ways.


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