Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Putting Performance Into Practice - Introduction

For the past several months I’ve shared a detailed look at “Game Changers”. I’ve written about several national and global trends that are and will be impacting health related practices including physical therapy and personal training. I’ve shared what I see in my “crystal ball” as to what those trends suggest for us; and I’ve written about what actions leading practices are taking in response and preparation. The key messages have been:

  1. The health environment is changing rapidly – more need, competition, and risk with less reimbursement and flexibility.
  2. There will be winners and losers from a provider perspective – with change comes threat and opportunity.
  3. Today’s strategic and operational decisions will determine who wins and who loses tomorrow – most practices are not designed to thrive in a changing environment.
  4. Leading practices are reinventing themselves to be lean and prosperous.
    With these understandings in mind, I’ll begin a new series of articles that will focus on the philosophical framework of the successful management of a growing practice or professional career.

    When performance matters, things are not left to chance. This is true for winning athletes, high achieving professionals and successful organizations. Integrity, congruency, and consistency become critically important – it is what enables long term purpose to be efficiently transformed into effective day-to-day decisions and actions in an increasingly challenging environment.

    We will shift our focus in the upcoming posts from responding to changes in the external environment to managing change in the internal environment that we shape. While we cannot control what happens to us, we can control how we chose to respond to what happens to us.

    Our potential choices and control are largely influenced by how we approach the task of leadership and management. We will explore a comprehensive management framework for replicating a sustainable high performance organization. The model has implications for owners, managers, professionals, coaches and teams that performance in business, sport, and in life...

    All The Best!


    © Copyright 2010
    Wednesday, March 24, 2010


    As a faculty member of the Gray Institute's GIFT Program, I will be spending the next 4 days with health and fitness professionals (GIFT Fellows) from around the world at one of GIFT's three 2010 Gatherings. These are incredibly energizing and innovative events!! As a result, I'll probably be posting a day or two late this week - thanks for your patience!

    All the Best!

    Saturday, March 20, 2010

    Quotable - Truth Series

    Instead of being interested in what is new. We ought to be interested in what is true” - Pfeffer’s Law

    Game Changers – Differentiation

    In changing markets its important to differentiate your superior services from those of competitors. Leading practices understand that and invest in training and marketing that validate that they are in fact different and better – not just self-made proclamations but in a truly unique service experience and result. Why? Because doing so is a Game Changer!

    So what are leading practices doing to Change the Game in their markets? Here are some examples that are illustrative.

    §  Evolving their messaging from “all about us” to “all about you”.
    §  Evolving their focus from “our credentials” to “your benefits”.
    §  Evolving their priority from “our quality” to “your value”.
    §  Evolving their terminology from “insider jargon” to “straight talk”.
    §  Evolving their orientation from “provider-centric” to “client-centric”.
    §  Evolving their priorities from “process” to “performance”.
    §  Evolving their policies from “our convenience” to “your convenience”.
    §  Evolving  their presence from “our clinic” to “your community”.
    §  Evolving their offering from ” treatment” to “training”.
    §  Evolving their professional development  from “credentialing” to “competencies”.
    §  Evolving their operations from “proficient” to “profitable”.
    §  Evolving their assets from “equipment” to “employees”.
    §  Evolving their recruitment criteria from “ a licensed” to “a leader”.
    §  Evolving their strategy from “me too” to “my advantage”.
    §  Evolving their reputation from “responsive” to “relevant”.
    §  Evolving their compensation from “institutional” to “individuals”.
    §  Evolving their pitch from “prescription” to “preference”.
    §  Evolving their potential from “”possible” to “promise”.
    §  Evolving their performance from “ordinary” to “optimal”.

    And that’s just the beginning!

    Differences that don’t make a distinction don’t make a difference! Distinctive differences are Game Changers! People notice distinctiveness and talk about it – as they tell their family and friends the Game continues to Change - advantage grows with distinctiveness and excellence.

    So what’s the difference? ...ONLY THE GAME!

    All the Best!


    © Copyright 2010
    Thursday, March 18, 2010

    Quotable - Truth Series

     To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful.”  - Unknown
    Sunday, March 14, 2010

    Game Changers - Performance Tracking

    Industry Leaders are well aware that the Game is Changing around them; and because they are committed to excellence, improvement, and innovation, they are restless. Restless is a good thing - I suspect you sense the restlessness too.

    Its been said, if you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. It's also been said that if you don't know where you are going you're likely to end up there. And, if you don't know where you are, how will you ever get to where you want to be?

    I took a road trip in Europe recently - it was not my first but it was certainly my most enjoyable. Of course the French wines and the Christmas markets had something to do with it. But there was something else - something of a Game Changer. It was a GPS unit (Global Positioning System).WOW!

    If you've walked or driven in the old cities of Europe you appreciate the labyrinth of streets, walks, and alleyways. They twist and turn. Street names change frequently from block to block. There are one-way and dead-end streets. . Missed and wrong turns are a given. It often seems that, "you can't get there from here!" Being lost is a regular part of every day.

    GPS offers several benefits. First, it tells you where you are. Secondly, it tells you how to get to where you want to go. Third, it suggests places you might want to go if you knew you had the option. Fourth, it tells you without emotion or judgement when you have gotten off course - "Please turn around when possible".

    GPS is all about performance tracking -about getting from point A to point B. It responds to your specific purposes and goals. Almost instantly it sorts through millions of possible routes to quickly direct you to the best one. It advises you of what's up ahead - a curve, a turn, a lane change, your next strategic decision, or your next critical move. If you get off course it will easily bring back on course.

    GPS leverages the integration of multiple high level perspectives (satellites) with on the ground purpose, orientation, movement, and communications.

    Like old European cities, practice management can be confusing, disorienting, and challenging to get one's arms and mind around. 

    Performance Tracking in one's practice is very similar to GPS. It measures all an only the information that is needed, processes it quickly, interprets the situation, and provides timely direction. It is sensitive to your destination and timing. It lets you know when a decision or action is needed. It tells you when to: "stay in your lane", "keep right", "take the next exit", "turn around when possible, and that "you have arrived at your destination". 

    Performance Tracking is the strategy, technology, and tool that elevates leading practices above the rest. It provides them with perspective, directions, efficiency, and alternative options. It provides opportunity to explore without getting lost. Together with Performance Standards, Performance Benchmarking, and Strategic Planning, Performance Tracking provides owners and managers with a three dimensional perspective of where the practice is and how to most efficiently and effectively arrive at the desired destination on time and with the attitude and energy to enjoy it. 

    Think of Performance Tracking as your Guided Performance System - its an incredible Game Changer!

    Got Tracking?

    All The Best!


    (c) Copyright 2010
    Performance Builders

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    Quotable - Truth Series

    “Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.”  - Robert Brault
    Saturday, March 6, 2010

    Game Changers – Operational Standards

    Leading practices take the lead and stay there because they have performance standards for which they train to attain. They scout the competition, assess their own potential, establish expectations, develop strategy, and manage resources. Like sports teams, industry leaders go into the season and every day expecting to perform to their potential and leave the winner. They play as professionals and constantly step up to new challenges.

    Professionals are energized by performance standards because they empower them to bring out their best.  

    Every professional athlete and team is defined by their statistics. They know what is expected of them and deliver reliably. They understand that their compensation and job security depend on how well they perform every day. They can never rest on past accomplishments. If stats or attendance are down, players, coaches and managers are held accountable. There are always contenders who will readily step into any performance gap.

    Without performance standards, accountability, and consequences there is no excellence – there is no superior performance.  Top performers earn the reputation and hold the title only so long as performance excels. They reliably adapt to deliver under new challenges and changing conditions.

    In practice, operational standards include clinical outcomes, sales, revenue, expense, charges, collection, cash flow, utilization, productivity, profit, and market share. Everyone has their stats and every statistic has an owner. Every decision and action impacts performance by helping or hurting – neutral impact does not exist.

    There are three reasons Practices are not top performers - no standards, the wrong standards, or inadequate management implementing standards.

    Performance standards are a strategic tool. Each standard influences, and is influenced by, the other standards. They are crafted not cast. Management’s most important task each season is the definition of performance standards – it is the cornerstone of business strategy.

    It’s about more than budgeting. It’s about the orchestration of priorities, resources, and deliverables that will ensure a championship performance by the team. It’s about setting the bar; and it’s about going over the bar day after day.

    Operational Standards are a sign of professionalism. They separate front runners from the pack.

    Operational Standards are incredible Game Changers for those who know how to use them. There is nothing that creates more value in less time and at less expense than Operational Performance Standards. They are powerful and potent. They do more than change the game – they transform the culture of the team. They transform players into professionals. They establish competitive advantage.

    Got Standards?

    All The Best!


    © Copyright 2010
    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    Quotable - Truth Series

    "The reason why truth is so much stranger than fiction is that there is no requirement for it to be consistent." - Mark Twain