Leadership Lessons Yielding Industry Leading Outcomes
In November of 2018 Beacon Worldwide took on what was initially a revenue and operational assessment process for a medical services company in California. This quickly led to a fractional leadership role (which is a core service of Beacon) implementing the recommendations with Beacon’s Founder, Carl Erickson assuming the Chief Growth Officer position. Given the depth and pace of support needed, Nina Labonte, MD of Global Services also assisted. This role extended far beyond just sales enablement.
What we soon came to realize is there were many talented and dedicated people. Therefore, our job was to help share the experience and guidance we had developed over the years and apply it to the operational and revenue assessment insights based upon simple principles. These rules are applied to every fractional or full-time leadership role our team assumes.
Number 1, your people are key.
In this client, there were world class doctors, managers, techs, patient counselors and area managers who all had a dedication instilled in them from the Founder Dr. Tom Tooma. His clinical skills are legendary and his dedication to patient outcomes is extraordinary. He has a natural way of engaging that helps lead his people down the path to better performance by his demeanor and critical insight to formulate questions that causes them to think. His style helps foster collaboration and directly impacts employee retention. With over 80 clinics in 8 states, his clinic is consistently the top performer. We consistently drove these collaborative principles of leadership and fostered them across the organization.
Number 2, create the best patient (Client) experience possible.
The best patient experience can only occur when the team has clarity of their goals based upon the needs and perspective of the clients. It was also vital to reinforce or create new channels of communication that allows great ideas to become enacted faster and pilot them with certain centers. A, B testing was accelerated, and the impacts were immediate. Particularly in our digital go-to-market strategies which were a significant focus area.
NUMBER 3 eliminate conflcit and internal competition
While administrative requirements are necessary, mid-size companies need to look at innovative ways to minimize the bureaucracy that plagues larger companies and causes cross-functional frustrations. To ensure rapid implementation capability, and eliminate age-old issues like Operations versus Sales, Carl’s remit was expanded to include not just the Chief Growth Officer role but was expanded to include the Chief Operating Officer and EVP of Patient Experience roles. This was over 80% of the company and about 1,000 people. This was a great move by the CEO.
Communication was greatly enhanced, metrics driven best practices were implemented and made visible to everyone, and Dr. led center huddles were implemented among other things. Goals were constantly reinforced, and interdepartmental flash points were minimized. This all contributed to a strengthening of the culture. This also helped ensure a relentless focus on patient experience from every angle and while it is always evolving, the goals never waivered. And when we were not perfect, we took ownership with a patient first focus to fix it, and this included Carl making many personal calls to patients. This behavior was quickly reinforced across the many executive directors and proactive patient actions became the rule not the exception.
Number 4, in healthcare, technology matters, and as the founder states, get the best!
The principles of this medical services company closely aligned with those of Beacon. Their dedication to staff, integrity, communication, and technology was ever present. What we also added was the platform of constant innovation to better serve both patients and employees.
These core values also needed to be woven into the day-to-day interactions with patients so they could literally feel the differentiated experience. When applied across tens of thousands of patients per year across 80 locations and over 30 thousand surgeries, the patient referrals escalated.
We coordinated our messages across multiple media with a full leveraging of marketing technology and the impact was astounding. Patient education and experience took a well-supported front seat, flanked by a tremendous staff. No surprise, volumes skyrocketed and continue to.
Technology also needs to be looked at from the staff and patient’s perspective. This meant the pace of digitization needed to be increased. The technologies being pursued was not for the sake of technology but very clearly to make the patient experience, staff roles and compliance monitoring easier and more cost-effective.
NUMBER 5 Align your objectives
With an amazing people foundation, and a fantastic funding partner, we quadrupled the size of the company in about 3 years, and I could not be prouder of the team that helped drive this journey. This experience was one of the highlights of my career. Our funding partner understood the value of driving culture and the impact of our life changing services to create the foundation of growth. They could not have been more supportive of this vision.
This has been a reaffirming life lesson on leadership that illustrates it’s all about the people. I have loved my time at this company with this incredible team as we all learned and progressed together. They will undoubtedly continue this amazing journey as I resume the helm of Beacon.
One final note. I would like to also thank Nina Labonte, Beacon’s MD of Global Services for her extraordinary guidance of Beacon while I dove in deep with this incredible health care company.
If you would like to discuss how any of these successes might help you improve the patient/client experience and operational results, we would love to speak with you.
Beacon Worldwide is a global, sales and operations transformation organization specializing in the health care, consulting, legal, engineering, technology and sustainability sectors.
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