Is Your Business Ready for Change?

Is Your Business Ready for Change?
Christine Henderson, Director of Business Operations – August 29, 2017

While it may be universally recognized that the only constant in the healthcare sector is CHANGE; how companies prepare and implement that change can make the difference between smooth sailing and a scene from Cape Fear.    A key component in being a successful change agent is having a robust Business Readiness Plan. Why Business Readiness you may ask?  Let’s consider a quick example…

Your son is turning 16 this month and you go out and buy him the most reliable car on the market as you want the very best for your baby boy.  He turns 16 and you hand him the keys with a smile-he then promptly smashes his brand-new car into the side of your garage.   “What the heck happened?” you ask.  Simple, he was not given the readiness skills to drive the new car-no training, practice, or driver’s education classes.  It is unimaginable that we would put someone behind the wheel of car with little or no training or guidance, yet companies implement new systems, products and/or processes routinely without getting their staff ready for the new technology.

The finest car is only as good as the skill of the driver the same way the preeminent technology is only as effective as those utilizing it.  Catalyst’s Business Readiness Practice employs an industry proven methodology that focuses on the human element to ensure the successful deployment of a new technology, product, or process.

Step One  – Evaluate & Plan

Before setting out on any journey you need to know who you are bringing on the journey, what you are packing, and where you want to end up-the same principle holds true for a Business Readiness project.  Key activities in the Evaluate and Plan Phase include:

Analyze your performance relative to healthcare industry leaders

Establish benchmarks and performance goals

Identify any actionable quick-win opportunities and subsequent longer-term business enhancement prospects

Create a road map for improvement, including capital and human resource requirements 

Develop a RACI to identify roles and responsibilities; Who is Responsible>Who is Accountable>Who is Consulted> Who is Informed

Step Two  – Communicate and Manage the Change

Nothing will cause discord with your staff quicker than rumors swirling around like a drunk squirrel at Mardi Gras. The key to stopping the rumors in their tracks is clear and concise communication in conjunction with a robust change management plan.  Key components of this phase are: 

Communication and Change Management planning and realization

3C Communication - Clear; Concise; Consistent 

Verbal & written communication components

Alignment of the communication approach with your culture

Step Three – Document, Document, and then maybe Document

Tribal knowledge is fine right up to the minute the key tribe member retires, then it is a nightmare of inconsistent behaviors and inefficient processes.  In the highly regulated and audited world of healthcare, having documented controls around your business is essential to excelling in the healthcare space while at the same time ensuring your staff is consistent in their approach to their work.  Key Business Readiness Documents include:

Process Models - Structural representation of the activity flow for a specific business unit or function, including hand-offs & cross departmental relationships

Policies - Statements of intent which guide your decisions and actions; the “why” behind an action

Procedures - Step by step instructions on how to perform a specific task; the “how” behind an action

Job Aids - One pager “cheat sheets” for common activities

Step Four – Train for Success

Not every learner learns the same way, and that is why it is imperative to offer training options that speak to the various learning styles of your organization.  Targeted learning activities and robust supporting documentation lend themselves to successful outcomes.   Key components of the training phase include:

R3 Training - The right training to the right staff at the right time

Customized knowledge transfer activities that speak to your corporate culture

Knowledge checks to identify any missed areas and gauge the readiness of your staff  

Business Readiness can make or break the deployment of a new technology, product, or process- preparing your staff for the changes ahead is the foundation for success.

Catalyst Solutions can facilitate your Business Readiness activities as Catalyst has decades of change management, business documentation, and adult learning experience. We excel at delivering Business Readiness Support for Commercial, Medicaid, Medicare and Exchange partners to aid not only in the successful implementation of new technology/products/processes, but to lay the ground work for consistent controls moving forward.