How 2 orthopedic leaders build strong organizations

Carly Behm -  

An orthopedic practice is only as strong as its leaders, and great strategies can translate into great care.

Two orthopedic leaders shared their strategies for building culture and a strong organization on episodes of the "Becker's Healthcare Spine and Orthopedic Podcast."

Mike Boblitz, CEO. Tallahassee (Fla.) Orthopedic Clinic: With any organization that I've stepped into, I really try not to rush into any conclusions, but rather try to take a step back and understand the market because every market is different, and look at ourselves in the mirror and understand both the good and the bad within the organization and start to lay out a new strategic plan. As you do that, every organization has a mission and a vision and values. Once you have this new strategic plan and a new vision, you really have to step back and test if that mission, vision and values are the right fit. So in regards to culture, I've learned this a lot with my strategic background, that a lot of organizations have these values and great words like integrity or honesty or respect.

Unfortunately, most organizations make the mistake and don't really connect those values to the employee and where it's meaningful. So in my view as I've sat here and at Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic, I've taken time to dissect our strategy, roll it out and then think about culture and our values. To me, people power our organization, so it is nothing more suitable than to come up with values. It's P.O.W.E.R. "P" for "passion," "O" for "ownership," "W" for "We" —, not I — "E" for "Excellence" and "R" for "Recognition." Recognition is, in my opinion, really the most important part, because we have a tremendous workforce and we need to do a better job recognizing the good work. As I've done that, it's been very well received. 

Louis Shapiro. President and CEO. Hospital for Special Surgery (New York City): There's five things that are important: 

The first one is inspiration. I think people need to be inspired by the organization they're part of. If they're inspired, then the people who are part of the organization can accomplish a great deal on behalf of what that organization is trying to accomplish. Even with the advent of technology, organizations are still largely driven by the people who work there. For HSS, that comes from two things: our big purpose, and it comes from the aspirations that we have. We never declare victory. We're always working to get better. We're always trying to reach more people. We're always trying to make people healthier so they don't need us. If they're sick, we're always working to help them get better faster and more efficiently. 

No. 2 is culture. I've been an advocate of focusing on culture in an organization for a long time, and it's been part of the fabric of HSS. I believe creating an environment where individuals who work there feel like they own the place and are leaders, regardless of what their particular role is in the environment, causes them to be excited to be there. 

Third is I try to look at everything through the lens of people, structure and process. Do you have the right people in the right roles? Do you have the right structure that allows them to do their job, and do you have the right processes in place? There's a lot of moving parts, and organizations evolve over time, and you need to constantly evaluate things from a people, structure and process point of view. 

The fourth thing is strategy. One thing we do here is we are always reflecting on how we got to this point, what's going on in the environment around us, where we think we need to be in the future and how we're going to get there. We refer to that as our road map. That has kept us on the straight and narrow path. 

The fifth thing is details. Details really matter. Blocking and tackling, getting things done, measuring progress and having a true shared leadership model throughout the organization. You can only communicate. So really focusing on making sure that your communications are top-notch. I think those are all fundamentals of what we do that contribute to our success that is not necessarily directly relevant to being a Center of Excellence in healthcare.

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