Felicity MACHOKA's Profile
Are leaders born or made?
This is a frequently asked question.
Different school of thoughts could argue out this question depending on different circumstances. Behavioral theories believe that people can be taken through certain processes to become great “natural” leaders. These processes involve education, learning and motion studies. Leadership is a set of skills that can be learned by training, perception, practice and experience over time.
I suggest that if she has significant technical know-how, it is worth putting her on a personalized development plan and opportunities that will help her learn this new skills. An example is attending one of the Harvard’s leadership and management course. It is also important to give a constructive feedback to her by starting with how good she is technically however, she can benefit from additional training in leadership skills to have a holistic approach in management.
I would suggest an initial gap analysis to ascertain the reasons of the increased LOS. Measuring and managing ALOS is multifaceted because of several variables and impacts of other metrics; disease process, patients seeking early treatment, complexity in diagnosis among others. However, understanding the underlying factors, and identifying the bottleneck in patient flow requires tracking and understanding of the variables through a streamlined data collection process and analyzing the data to develop strategies to mitigate them.
One of the important widely used tool is the clinical pathways in the inpatient care process, the discharge plan process, and establishing an estimated date of discharge as early as possible. It is also important to involve Utilization Management (UM) tools to minimize wastage of resources and to develop tailored measures to address the gaps.
Changing organizational culture is difficult because it involves looking at the tedious process of performance reviews, and most importantly the principles that the organization will adapt. Similarly, it is not an individual decision but everybody in the organization has to embrace it and translate it to a daily habit.
In leading organizational culture shift, leadership plays a significant role. It is also important to identify the change makers; the most influential group of people in the organization to lead the change on the other hand, the stumbling blocks “the other group of people who are resistant to change”. These category of people should be given roles in the subject and be actively involved in the process because most often they influence others to resist.
Leaders on the other hand have to commit to changing their own behaviors and to lead by example. The process requires a fundamental change in the thinking process and consistency to produce the same results every time.
Set clear goals of what change you have to bring and most importantly the rationale for the change. For example, rather than telling everyone that they have to use the new tools, It is important for them to understand the implication of evidence-based practice and standardization of care in improving patient outcomes. Similarly, involving your team in the change process and having a feedback mechanism to see the gaps or to learn why it is not working is equally a significant step to take.
I do echo the suggestions from my colleagues.
Most often it is challenging to subjectively tell a person that they are underperforming therefore, I would recommended a well written plan using SMART objectives, a review process and a personalized professional development plan aimed at meeting the set objectives. Consequently, it is imperative that every employee understands their contributions toward a common vision and mission that defines the organization’s value, success and sustenance. Similarly, it is vital to have a well-planned regular meetings to track the status of the incomplete set goals, and encouraging brainstorming on existing or potential problems. This promotes accountability for the responsibilities they assume, the choices they make and the deadlines they have agreed to meet. The team derives satisfaction and ownership when they are engaged in the decision-making process, which in turn yields productivity and system approach.