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Guiding your team through times of transition (Proceedings)

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Oct 01, 2008

What types of transitions does a practice encounter? The first is change imposed from the outside; listed below are some typical examples:

  • Creation of internet pharmacies
  • Change in medical standards
  • Vaccines
  • Pain management
  • Wage and other employee regulations
  • Expectations of associate and support staff

Other changes occur internally and though they may be obvious in some cases they are the ones that may be ignored in hopes that they will be solved on their own or pushed aside until they absolutely have to be taken care of. Some examples are:

  • Deterioration of facility or equipment quality
  • Quarreling staff members
  • Poorly trained staff
  • Lack of transaction growth
  • Decline in profitability
  • Need to expand services

In order to effectively make a change happen, change management experts believe that there are 5 major activities that must take place: 1) Change must be motivated, 2) A vision must be created, 3) Political Support must be developed, 4) The transition must be managed and 5) the momentum must be sustained.

Genuine leadership is the most important quality a practice must have to effect change. Leading is the process of influencing other people to follow in the achievement of a common goal. The foundation of this is trust and credibility. What followers want in a leader is someone that: is open, fair, speaks their feelings, tells the truth, shows consistency, fulfills their promises and keeps confidences.

What Followers Need From Their Leaders:

  • A vision
  • Clear direction to follow
  • An example

A Vision is an enthusiastic, positive picture of the future. It is important that everyone can own this vision. People must have confidence in the value of the vision to them. If you don't show excitement for your vision, why should they? Talk about your vision with conviction and passion, and then be a cheerleader for people's efforts in reaching them.

Resistance to change comes in two main forms: Individual resistance and Organizational resistance. Individual resistance is grounded in fear of the unknown, economic factors, security, habit and selective perception. Organizational resistance is usually due to culture, reward systems, structure and resource limitations.