I know. I’m borrowing this title idea from a popular book in healthcare patient experience circles. In the spirit of unadulterated sarcasm, I am speaking out on behalf of consultants everywhere.
It is not uncommon for me to enter negotiations with hospital leaders who want guarantees that the Baird Model will increase their patient satisfaction, engage their staff, and have the doctors holding hands and singing Kumbaya within a few months. The hard, cold truth is that their cultures weren’t formed in a couple months, nor can they be completely transformed, in a couple months. An outside consultant can offer unique and valuable guidance. They can share a plethora of solid information, including best practices, and how to structure and manage change, but they are not, nor will they ever be, the organization’s leader. The CEO and C-suite are the leaders. The middle managers are the leaders. While a good consultant can coach and advise leaders, real change won’t happen without leadership. People don’t change because someone told them to. Significant and positive change happens because you are collectively moving toward common goals, and connected to purpose. Can a consultant give guarantees? Only when the client guarantees they will do their part in strong, consistent leadership.
If I were in charge:
- There would be a crystal clear vision for the culture of the future – what is looks like, feels like, and sounds like. This vision would be communicated to stakeholders in a consistent and engaging fashion, with attention to unique stakeholder groups.
1.5 The vision would help define which candidates are best suited to work in the newly defined culture.
- There would be clear leader competencies, and accountability for staff performance. No more making excuses for housing the disengaged, or those who have retired in place.
- There would be a strong connection to purpose that is fostered individually and as a whole, so that every person and every task, is valued for its contribution. Recognition for living the mission, vision, and values would be prompt, personal and plentiful.
If all these are done, an organization will be well on its way to sustainable, and positive change. When people are aligned, engaged, and informed, they take ownership of the customer experience, and great things happen. Guaranteed.