Friday, October 03, 2014

Change is Constant, not Static or Linear

"We live in times of constant change." I know this but it was the headline of a newsletter for Physician's this month. The topics are about Change Management, because, let's face it, healthcare is in a state of flux despite the fight doctors are putting up to maintain status quo. IN fact, so much is changing for healthcare - HIPAA, HITECH, EHR/EMR, ACA, Medicare, payment cuts, etc. - that many doctors are either becoming specialists or getting out of medicine.

Other industries have faced change before - newspapers, music, banks, grocery stores, even pharmacies. (How many pharmacies are just drug stores?). GE in the days of Jack Welsh went through enormous change.

Pharma is going through change because R&D is too expensive. That mitigates everything since the research pipeline is anemic. Drugs cost between $250 million and $1 billion to go to market. The payback may take years.

The telecom industry is going through flux too. TDM-to-IP transformation, USF, CAF, E-rate, inter-carrier comp, cloud, broadband, Net Neutrality, security, taxes, cellular, digital divide, etc.

"Over 70% of change initiative fail."

"In 1995, John Kotter published research that revealed only 30 percent of change programs are successful. In 2008, a McKinsey & Company survey of business executives indicates that the percent of change programs that are a success today is still 30%." Read more here on change management.

What can be done?

It requires leadership, culture and a Big WHY. All three are necessary. I'm not sure which is the chicken or the egg, but I would suggest that the WHY is most important - and that it is communicated to employees and customers. And that the leader(s) live it.

The other thing to remember is that "Change is never a static linear process." There will be starts, stops, failures, small wins, re-boots. Have patience. Keep your eye on the prize - the WHY.

There is no map.

A couple of interesting articles geared toward healthcare but they are quick reads that you will get something out of as your organization shifts, pivots, changes too.

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