I have learnt many important lessons over the past six months, both as a dad and as a manager. As you move into a position of leadership you get excited about the prospect of implementing strategies, ideas, and initiatives. What I have come to realize is that the execution and implementation of a good idea is much more challenging than coming up with the idea!
I work with smart and capable people. They are motivated, have autonomy and have purpose in their job – to get people back to the things they love. Along with firefighters, Physiotherapists have one of the highest job satisfaction ratings. I sometimes struggle creating change that motivates an already motivated group. A good problem to have I suppose:) One of our company goals is to create better business systems. Better systems can be seen as suffocating to the natural flow of the clinical environment. Sadly this is the opposite to the intent of these changes. I believe that a company needs a balance between structure and flow. Ideally structure is in place to enhance creativity, improve engagement, and to catch problems. It should increase the likelihood for flow experiences and organic engagement amongst co-workers. The problem with too much flow is that as people get busier, distracted, or start to lose interest in the company, their motivation to engage wains. Google and 3M are prime examples of companies that created structure around flow experiences. Designated time was given to employees to work on personal projects. Employees were free to do as they pleased during this time but a structure was in place to ensure it occurred. If Google or 3M had just suggested that their employees take creative time, it probably would not have succeeded to the same degree.
As I reflect on the “change” initiatives that I attempted I realize poor communication was often to blame for the faltering execution. Because the team is autonomous and strong willed, a clear description of the vision, idea, and purpose were needed. One initiative should have been implemented at a time, feedback gathered and dialogue to follow. Moving forward I need to do a better job following the seven steps to successful change.
1. Create urgency and pull a small team together
3. Create a vision – how will the future be better
4. Make it happen
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Be clear and direct and don’t leave things to the imagination.
6. Get input and empower others to act
7. Produce short term wins
8. Make it stick
l think if I can follow these steps moving forward our shift to an efficient business with incredibly happy teammates will be much easier. Thanks for reading