Virtual + Transparent: 4 Ways To Improve Your Bottom Line
By Tom Schramski, PhD
Volume 1 Issue 17, September 16, 2014
A silver lining of the Great Recession has been the re-focus of many businesses on what really drives their success. In many healthcare businesses, especially those planning for a transition or future diversification, this has become even more important. One thing we have learned is the following: not everything we think is important really is necessary. In addition, we now understand that the marriage of virtual and transparent is a very powerful relationship.
To be virtual means that you question each assumption about the shackles of a traditional office and real estate, while embracing communication technology. To be transparent means that you open your core business operations to everyone so that they can actively participate in your progress. The net result is a stronger bottom line by:
- Focusing on what structure is necessary to support success. Today, we have many healthcare businesses, ranging from durable medical equipment (DME) to long-term care programs, effectively operating without a traditional office. They may co-op a service or delivery site as necessary, but they can lease space a la carte while reducing administrative expense.
- Building a flexible communications technology structure that significantly lessens the need for traditional data storage (aka file cabinets) and that can be accessed by mobile technology like smartphones. Today, smartphones exceed laptop and workstation sales combined, and they even include electronic signature capability to satisfy most regulatory requirements.
- Integrating new dashboard software that has changed the face of traditional spreadsheets. A progressive executive ensures managers have key critical numbers available to monitor at all times without the need to dive into their Excel-based report with regularity. The idea is to keep your eyes on the salient data, interpret, and then act.
- Relying more on individual accountability and performance and less on traditional meetings and mind-numbing chatter. The assumption is that most information can be transmitted electronically for your review in advance, while the precious time together is used to review strategy and outcome data, challenge the orthodoxy, and implement new action.
This last point is rich with a new view of the time your team spends together. Real human interaction is critical to the bottom line of all organizations, not offices and file cabinets. In a virtual and transparent enterprise, the emphasis is on meaningful dialogue and the trust in individual accountability and self-management.