Q: What inspired you to write “Awakening Your Organization”?
A: Actually, the experience with my father as he battled cancer coupled with my fifteen plus years leading improvement efforts in healthcare where I saw first hand the opportunities to re-humanize healthcare. I believe that everyone, despite their clinical condition, should receive compassionate high quality care from a team that is passionately committed to excellence from before the patient arrives until after the patient leaves and every touch-point in between.
A: In many ways, I believe those of us who work in healthcare are rushing, frustrated, fatigued or complacent based on a number of environmental factors. When we are rushing, frustrated, fatigued or complacent we cannot be truly present. This has resulted in many healthcare workers being principally task focused/task-centric which blinds them to what it truly means to be patient focused and centric. I have worked with and for so many different industries and what sets healthcare apart from other industries is we are dealing human beings who are experiencing pain, anxiety, stress, uncertainty, and even tragedy. This requires healthcare workers to be incredibly emotionally intelligent, empathetic, compassionate and clinically exceptional.
Q: Who can get the most out of reading this book?
A: Every healthcare employee including providers and leaders. Especially leaders because they foster the culture that influences behavior which determines the results achieved. I believe there are incredibly talented and committed healthcare workers who are constrained by ill conceived processes and outdated policies and procedures designed to govern behavior.
Q: Do you feel that lessons from this book could help awaken organizations in other industries, as well?
A: I do. The Awakening Organization Model is transferable to any industry or business. Every business should be setting clear and consistent direction, building a strategy supportive culture, staffing the enterprise with high performing employees and multiplying the efforts through continuous process improvement. I believe the performance of people is the physics of organizational performance because the behavior of people (actions and decisions) determines the results the company will experience.
Q: If readers can take away just one or two things from reading your book, what do you expect them to learn?
A: First, performance of an organization is not based on any single element - it's not just leadership, it's not just culture, it's not just people, it's not just strategy and it's not just processes - it is the synchronization of all of these components. Second, culture is critically important and most organizations only pay it lip service. There is a reason that enlightened people say “culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch and dinner” - because most of the time it does. This is because culture either engages or disengages people, it energizes or de-energizes people and it connects or disconnects people.
A healthy and fit culture engages and energizes the people to behave in strategy supportive ways. The connection between strategy and culture becomes clearer in this context – for successful strategy execution people have to behave in a strategy supportive manner, which has to be reflected in the core values of the organization and everything has to reinforce this imperative. Culture can either be designed, or it happens by default. A culture by default is what naturally emerges whereas a culture by design is a deliberate reconstruction of the elements that purposefully develop the desired culture needed to execute the strategy.
Q: Where can interested parties purchase your book, “Awakening Your Organization”?
A: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and BookVenture