“Teamwork Makes the Dream Work”

Traditionally senior management at healthcare companies would set goals and decree that those goals were the most important things for the team to focus on over the future. Times have changed. In today’s fast paced culture, many senior healthcare executives are shy from setting goals, because things change so fast goals cannot realistically keep up. To see where senior management’s priorities are today all one has to do is follow where the firm is investing its money – and predict where this will be in the future. In order to operationalize these investment decisions and drive them to fruition, we have compiled some “tips and tricks” that enable teamwork and team participation in an effort to “subtly” align activities with the desired outcomes. Yes, it is harder than checklist types of goal setting, but much more agile and powerful if accepted by all sides.

  1. Identify three core pillar areas teams are responsible for. This should be wide enough to include what anything one does on any given day so it falls under one of the pillars. These core pillars should be consistent year after year, only changing slightly. To keep focused, team members should know that these pillars change if there is a communicated major change in company direction.

    This is about taking a massive amount of detail and boiling it down to themes. Remember, these pillars are not about developing but regrouping your team into core responsibilities for the enterprise to thrive. Keeping the pillars broad allows for flexibility along the way. Instead of being tied down to individual people or projects, these pillars are calibrated to represent what people are getting paid to do at your firm.

  2. Every year re-imagine what success looks like spanning your three pillar goal construct. This type of vision process sets your team up to be proactive vs. reactive. This is key for success of any substantial value (and both a driver of as well as depending on entrepreneurialism lived at everyone’s desks). Equitable success generally incubates in an environment that nurtures positive outcomes, rather than the eye being on preventing disastrous things from happening (note this one down, please). 

    When your team builds the strategic plan, imagine what the team would see if your three core pillars were successful. Further consider what interdependent elements exist in this successful space? And how would things be different next year with these three pillars advancing the firm forward to greater overall innovation?

    This takes some playful spirit laden imagination. You should encourage your team to “let go” and embody this sort of spirit for the best outcomes. Goals only work when everyone sheds ego and delves into the real work of inner self inspection. This type of thinking is best done by a mind that is playful and willing to take risks, not one burdened by a need for guarantees and safety. Leaders should first encourage themselves and then communicate this type of enthusiasm in encouraging your entire team to be open to possibilities. See above.

  3. For this vision-to-reality frame to work in practice, your team has to be clear on what the current reality is. Your team should be clear on what skill set your three pillars hold, how the individual pillars could change in advancement, and what support/resources are available to nurture said advancement. This is where you decide on priorities, clearly. Without doing this your pillars will be clamoring for resources, putting managers in a difficult position, that could have been avoided.

  4. With your three pillars understood points 1-3 now the fun part starts: Together the team considers, evaluates and determines key actions required to achieve pillar goal results. Is your team clear on the direct path of focus for the next 12 months? Or are your pillars drifting along in some cute, but overall unfocused fashion?

    Your pillars should also understand their interdependent nature for the firm’s overall success, how do the pillars plan to collaborate with each other? How will the pillars use their unique skills to elevate the skills of those across the entire company?

  5. What is the time-frame the pillars are on? Each pillar is not required to have the same timeline, given that is not how life works. But each pillar being clear on their time-frame can be a mixture of frequent deadlines and milestones.


Remember, this is about using intention to determine your performance and priorities to build goals. You can do this even if your organization is in the middle of determining their own next steps. If circumstances change, modify your inputs into the system. More often than not, you will be adjusting the context, actions, and timeframe. The results tend to be anchors that remain relevant even when changes occur in the organization.

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