Building a Great Team II

Last time I addressed curiosity as a desired quality of people who are involved in leading systemic change in healthcare. This is broadly applicable of course, but our focus is on medicine and technology. Again, I always look for these five qualities in people I want to work with:

  • Curiosity
  • Creativity
  • Confidence
  • Compassion
  • Competence

If someone has these qualities, they are more likely to work for the good of both the organization and its patients. As an added bonus, they are more likely to become trusted members of your network of long-term collaborators.

Creativity
The root word here is create. The very idea of process re-engineering involves creating new components of a business model. One thing creative people are very good at doing is making use of existing resources to do something new. Within the art world, people may use paint, stone, clay, metal, fabrics or musical instruments to create an expression of their vision. In the healthcare world, these resources might include staff, buildings, vehicles, space, or even the board of directors. Currently, the resource getting a lot of attention, and the one driving much change in the US, is information technology. The point often made on The Art of Medicine and Technology, and one always worth stating again, is that technology is just one of the resources available to enable positive change. This is important because not every leader or organization is adept at using every tool available.

For example, if all artists are told they must now use clay as their medium, some may adapt nicely, while others may simply retire from the art world. A good percentage of them however, will have to figure out how to integrate clay and sculpture into their vision. The majority of physicians and hospitals are most likely in this last category, but instead of clay, they are being told to use information technology to change their operations. Adding information technology alone will not make the transformation, nor does it constitute a comprehensive strategy. Creativity will be required to see how all of the operation’s current resources (including any technology) can be leveraged to achieve new levels of performance, safety and patient satisfaction. In the end, technology and clay are tactical siblings; it is up to the artist to achieve the vision.

-Rod Piechowski

(Next, more on Confidence)

Copyright © 2010, Rod Piechowski, Inc., Consulting

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