Shift to Creating
As 2021 approaches it is time to look forward to the new year with optimism and hope. After a very trying 2020 everyone is clinging to the idea of a better next year. And yet, the Coronavirus still exists, lockdowns persist, and economic disaster is being predicted by many. One so-called economic expert recently made the prediction that “We will experience a decade of economic depression”. That is not a pleasant thought! For some people, who live an entire lifetime of financial depression the continued hardship may not seem so different from what they currently experience. But for those who are not used to living in poverty, the effects could be extremely burdensome.
With such uncertainty existing going into a new year there are choices to be made. One can choose to wait and see what happens or assert oneself to continue to live life to the fullest and conduct business with urgent creativity. It may seem difficult to choose one option over of the, but it is reasonable to believe that both contain risk. It’s a potential “Darned if you do, darned if you don’t scenario”. A classic example would be a revenue cycle department in an oncology group not deciding to make changes because of uncertainty surrounding a pending legal case. The money lost from waiting could exceed the cost of the legal battle. On the other hand, focusing on the transition to a new vendor, new processes or new software requires careful attention and legal distractions could have a negative impact on the quality of implementation.
The best solution in this particular example is to carefully plan and execute that plan versus remain idle. It is easy for us to imagine that we will suddenly come to a point in our lives where we are fully prepared, but preparation is not suddenly accomplished. In fact, it is a process that must be steadily maintained. It is dangerous to become settled and complacent in our present level of experience. Life requires preparation and more preparation. The benefits of the multiple options available for revenue cycle work at the oncology group would be financially rewarding, thus justifying preparation and implementation focus. During this crisis there will be both losses and gains. Crises reveal character. When we are put to the test the hidden resources of our character are revealed exactly.
The late, great Vince Lombardi once stated – “The joy is in creating – not maintaining.” In leadership guru John C. Maxwell’s book Leader Shift, he discusses that very topic. In fact, it is one of 11 leadership essentials that he writes about. It describes the necessity for leaders to move from maintaining to creating. We almost always have a choice between the two, even during uncertain, changing, or perilous times. Jeff Bezos could have remained an on-line book seller but look what happened when he became more creative. You can now buy almost anything from Amazon and Jeff is the world’s richest man who became the first to reach the $200 billion net worth mark in August of this year. Wow!
Think of the possibilities with the oncology practice if they walk away from maintaining and begin being creative with managing their revenue cycle. There are always options and there is always a better way to do things. And during tumultuous times, the old adage still holds true – “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Finding a better way, using better tools, and letting go of the status quo are all necessary actions to help define and build constructive creativity into process.
Maybe it will require the practice to invest in new software. Perhaps they will need to find specialists to recover self-pay money. They may be better off letting everything in-house be outsourced to people who don’t have to balance providing clinical care with practice administrative responsibilities. And perhaps some or all of the answers are elsewhere. That is why fostering an environment where people can express their ideas, take some risks, and even fail and still be accepted, encouraged, and supported is so especially important. Ideas provide options and options allow flexibility and serve as alternate routes when roadblocks pop up. Ideas are also multipliers that not only increase themselves to develop more ideas but also provide leverage to replicate the reach, productivity and effectiveness of yourself, your team, and your company.
You have to love this quote, found in Leader Shift and written as a short letter:
“Dear Optimist, Pessimist and Realist, While you guys were busy arguing about the glass of water, I drank it!
Sincerely, The Opportunist”
During this period of indistinct possibilities and probabilities, this fact remains – those who see the challenges as opportunities and move to take advantage of them, will almost assuredly receive the greatest rewards.