The Healthcare Leadership Mindset: Embracing a ‘’What-If’’ Culture

People are used to things happening quickly in today’s fast-paced society. The healthcare industry can’t escape these cultural norms. Nevertheless, we keep trying. 

Healthcare is perceived as a conservative sector that adopts new technologies cautiously. In our industry, mistakes can harm people’s health, so prudence is a virtue in our world. The healthcare leadership mindset requires a paradigm shift. How do healthcare leaders create a culture that opens the door to new possibilities?

Questioning and reimagining what can be done is the first step toward change.

What is a what-if culture? It involves adopting an experimental mindset for how things are done. What could you accomplish if you approached things differently as a healthcare provider or HealthTech company?

It’s impossible to answer these questions in a short piece, but let’s explore a few thoughts about change and how we, as an industry, should stop resisting it.

Managing change: an evergreen challenge

If you’re a healthcare leader, how do you create an environment that encourages you to question your own methods constructively?  

What if? What if is a powerful concept. In our private lives, we live in the shadow of futures that never were, and at the business level, effective decision making don’t escape the difficulty of transiting one path instead of another.

A constructive what-if is not based on judgment or daydreaming. The goal is to foster creativity and curiosity to see change, even if it is difficult in the short run, as a viable and possible alternative to do things better without taking unnecessary risks.

Can we manage this challenge and encourage all stakeholders in health care to be open to new ideas and propose changes to improve outcomes? Here are some ideas to consider.

A new pace of change in healthcare

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of agility in healthcare, and this approach will likely become the new norm. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare organizations were forced to adopt an agile approach in multiple spheres, like adopting new technologies to enable remote care, revamping existing processes to allow for social distancing, and implementing new population health protocols.

The velocity of change in healthcare is accelerating at a rate many professionals have never experienced. The result is persistent stress levels and mental health issues in teams that savvy healthcare leaders know they must manage.

As a healthcare executive, how can you empower your team to embrace change, thrive in uncertainty, and deliver outstanding results? There isn’t a simple formula, but here are three suggestions to enhance your leadership skills.

Acknowledge reality

The importance of validating people’s feelings cannot be overstated. Rather than demonizing overwhelm, we should address it. When healthcare professionals feel overwhelmed by the amount of activity taking place, they must be supported to foster self care.

Taking on challenges starts with you at the top of a healthcare organization, leading through influence, acknowledging the changes occurring as part of your corporate inclusion efforts and, most importantly, providing your staff with the tools to navigate them.

Reimagine what’s possible

There is no doubt that we live in unprecedented times for our healthcare professionals, project management teams, industry partners, and the people we serve. Increasingly, the limits of what’s possible have been pushed, and continuous improvement and innovation have become the norm in healthcare.

Leading this industry forward requires you, in healthcare administration, to do your part to make it much more adaptable instead of being seen as a behind-the-scenes industry or as one behind the times. How do you accomplish this? Creating an environment that welcomes suggestions and rewards those who believe processes can continuously be improved and propose ways to refine them. We should not discard any idea just because we have always done things in a particular manner.

Embrace the future

Healthcare leaders must keep an eye on advances in other industries, challeging their fixed mindset that such innovations will not work in healthcare. Since 2020, it has become evident that many changes, such as remote care and CRM implementation in hospitals, are feasible and can be implemented successfully if healthcare leadership commits and the staff is engaged.

A new path awaits

Healthcare has a bright future. Though there’s a tendency to be overly pessimistic about the industry as a whole, technological advancements and managerial changes promise an exciting future.

What if cultures promote leadership development can lead to revolutionary ways of serving people, transforming healthcare organizations, and improving patient outcomes.

Today, let’s do something a little different.

Please get in touch if you need help creating amazing content for your healthcare organization.

Serg Valencia

Serg Valencia

Serg Valencia is a Healthcare Writer & Content Consultant who helps Payers, Providers, Pharma Brands, and HealthTech companies generate an impact with their message.

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