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    Strategic Design
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    High Performance

Fostering New Thinking

November 1, 2018

Fostering new thinking and overcoming operational barriers at the same time can be difficult.

This is especially true when organizational problems are caused by years of management inertia and neglect. When caught in the midst of revolutionary change, managers are often frozen in place when thinking about how best to manage complex issues.

Let’s face it the “leave well enough alone” attitudes that have worked well in the past are difficult to abandon. This is true, particularly when managers feeling alone and left out of the communications loop.

These let’s-do-nothing obstacles to action prevent floundering managers from taking risks to save a sinking enterprise.

The main problem are the rigid attitudes that often prevent an operation making needed changes when they are in trouble. Rigid “mind-sets” can exist in managers’ outlooks, and color the way they provide services, as well as lead to a lack of understanding of market-forces and how to effectively engage the competition.

The means to competing in this environment requires having a strategic action plan, and staying flexible, in order to respond effectively to threats and opportunities from multiple sources. Hanging loose, requires managers understand that they will have to be cool under fire, while creating flexibility within the chain of command. This is the leadership style that is necessary to give management teams a piece of the action and help bring about change in the organization.

For many healthcare organizations the handwriting is already on the wall and the clock is running out on taking corrective action. For those who have never looked at their services, it may be a revelation for these people to learn that technology and dedication to quality care has passed them by – and maybe it’s even too late to correct operational problems.

Getting on board by fostering new thinking within the organization suggests corrective changes will have to occur to move operations forward. Oftentimes new managers find themselves faced with limited time, and available resources for new programs: including shorter life-cycles of products and services. These issues can quickly confound inexperienced managers since they blur the traditional service systems. Private healthcare providers, clinics, hospitals, entrepreneurial mental health programs and medical marijuana dispensaries are just a few of the new players competing in the behavioral health marketplace.

These competitive elements should be viewed as opportunities. By fostering new thinking, traditional service providers should understand that they still have the edge in building new services, new bridges to the medical community, as well as new ways of conceptualizing the markets and producing better quality patient outcomes.