Sitting in a waiting room recently, I read an article in which the author compared the culture of an organization to a person’s blood type. We do a lot of work with our clients around management and leadership and with our ‘Managing people and your business’ courses coming up in late November it seems appropriate to use this space to start exploring this subject!

It runs through your veins

The analogy of the culture of your clinic being your blood type is a powerful and thought-provoking idea. The culture of your practice determines how absolutely everything happens – the day to day running, the level of team engagement and commitment, the journey the patients experience and the ultimate success of your clinic. People, your team and your patients, are what make your business. How can you ensure that you provide an environment in which both team members and patients will thrive?

It can be life or death

If you were a patient and needed to give loads and loads of information before having an operation but they didn’t ask you what your blood type was, if things went wrong it could potentially be a disaster. A bit dramatic to compare that to having the wrong person on board you might think…Ask anyone(perhaps yourself) how destructive the wrong individual working for you has been. On the milder side this person might ‘just’ sap your energy and cause an uncomfortable atmosphere. On the more dramatic side the wrong individual can cause serious damage and threaten the survival of your practice.

Hire for attitude and train for skill

We have often observed a rather reckless way of taking on new team members. A lot of emphasis is placed on the skillset of the new recruit and less so on the attitude. Whilst skillset is important to get the job done (and we do recommend that you have a list of ‘essentials’ which candidates need to meet), it is extremely important to do as much as you can to check that the person is culturally aligned and has the attitude your business needs. Their CV may tick all the skillset boxes and they may seem like the dream team member on paper. How many times have you then met this potential dream team member and your gut has just said ‘it doesn’t feel right’?

Hire slow

Following on from the point above, sometimes that candidate that gave you the feeling of ‘it just doesn’t feel right’ often slips through the net and becomes your team member, only for you to realise fairly soon afterwards that you should have listened to your gut. I can probably count the number of times on one hand where a client has said to me that at the time of interviewing they weren’t sure but it worked out okay! For the most part I am met with ‘I wish I listened to my intuition’. Take your time to find the right person and have a formal process in place.

Fire fast

Having the wrong person on board can be like having a blood transfusion with the wrong blood type. It can be lethal. Just yesterday in our team meeting we were chatting about how we have so often seen our clients keeping team members on board to the detriment of the practice and even loosing good team members because of the one bad apple. I am not for one minute suggesting that you just start getting rid of people! You need to have a process in place and manage the situation appropriately. Don’t just ignore the situation and hope it will go away. It usually won’t and when you do take control you’ll wish you did ages ago!

You’re in it for the long haul

Just like your bloodstream, the culture of your clinic is paramount to survival and it needs safeguarding. What do you want to be true about the feel and culture of your clinic? What needs to change for it to be that way? What do you need to put in place to make that happen in the short term, in the long term and on a regular basis?

We hope that some of the ideas above have given you some food for thought and will help you to enjoy your work and achieve your vision. We have specialized in helping practitioners to have successful practices for over 10 years now. Let us know how we can help you.

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