Steps to Performance Transformation by Ritesh Dogra @Ritesh_Medium

Take a step back and think on the fundamental question – ‘Have I created enough value in my current business model?’

Since the last year, we undertook quite a few ‘Performance Transformation’ projects. This was a pleasant change – existing healthcare providers trying to transform themselves and this had nothing to do with increasing bed occupancy either! So what is performance transformation?

Simply stating, Performance Transformation is Creating Value in Existing Infrastructure which will differentiate an existing set up in the market. To understand this, lets step back and reflect on a familiar concept, the S-Curve.

Redefining the S-Curve
Quite often, a business model in its maturity reaches a stable state. The revenue and margins become stagnant and at this time the promoter is faced with a fundamental question – What Next? This is followed by expression of interest from investors to scale up or providers evaluate new business models. It is at this point of time healthcare providers should take a step back and think – Is this real or perceived S-Curve? And on going deeper, the answers can actually redefine the ‘maturity state’. It is our inherent biases and preexisting knowledge that prohibits us from doing this. In the following section, I will try to elaborate the key steps which can actually help an existing organization transform itself.

1.Start with Immersion and Eliminate the Structure
We are all familiar with the term micromanagers, how about creating new creed of people who we call ‘micro-observers’ and ‘micro-listeners’? Even the best of managers fail to observe and listen to real patient problems and quite a bit of this is attributed to our ability to structure every element of our life– right from structured feedback to structured questionnaire to structured problem solving. Structure is great but never works when you need to understand your customer! Let’s start with unlearning all structures and just immerse ourself, spending our valuable time sitting in lobbies and corridors to understand our customers and break preexisting notions. This will throw up a lot of questions and answers!

2. Stop Gossiping and Start Talking
Our employees right from frontline staff to executives are in midst of action everyday. In fact, few other industries would offer the type of action that healthcare does. Let’s start listening to them and avoid side gossips, else soon we could be competing with Facebook! Spending time with employees to understand problems – their and customers, rather than skimming the surface, in my experience has been really helpful.

3. Identify Problems, Brainstorm and Lastly Don’t be a Super Hero!
While the first two steps will throw out problems and some indicative solutions, go ahead and dig deeper. Only super heroes in movies can save the world! In real life, understand the implications of problems followed by quantification of loss and the impact which solving them could mean for you. Prioritize problems, it always helps. And this is the stage where you can get into your familiar territory – structured problem solving!

4. Make Change Personal
Go ahead and implement solutions; align everyone in organization to your ultimate goals, make them a part of the larger cause, in fact create a mission. For any change to be effective to the core, it has to be personal. Create sub parts of larger solutions and assign everyone an implementation agenda and plan. You will gradually notice a change in your organizational culture, a change for good. And for this to be effective, never create incentives for culture change- it can be suicidal; only offer incentives for results which come unexpected.

5. Create Value and Monitor the ROI
After all, we started with the S-Curve. Start monitoring the impact and you will notice a shift in the S-Curve. And this is the time when you should make a shift to communicating the change – to your employees, target segment, investors and everyone in the ecosystem. More people should benefit from the change- shouldn’t they? And ultimately all of this will reflect in your financial metrics; Revenue, ROI and EBITDA.

So the next time you start thinking of larger than life problems such as trends shaping healthcare or attracting investors for scale, it would be worthwhile to take a step back and think on the fundamental question – ‘Have I created enough value in my current business model?’

Originally published in Healthcare Radius, March 2016:

Ritesh Dogra

Ritesh has been a member of the Founding Team at Medium Healthcare Consulting. He has led a number of engagements in areas as diverse as market expansion strategy for a Fortune 500 medical equipment manufacturer to planning and commissioning of novel healthcare concepts to performance transformation of a leading hospital chains in South and East India. He has received numerous accolades from clients for his rare insights and extraordinary commitment.

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