HFMA’s ANI: The 2014 National Institute – THIS IS BIG!

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There was one pervasive theme that dominated the keynotes and breakout sessions at HFMA’s ANI: The 2014 National Institute conference: it will take a village of strong, pragmatic and effective healthcare leaders to navigate the volume-to-value transformation.

We are moving from episodic care to a concentration on the entire population. Whether you are a financial, clinical, technical or HR leader, this healthcare paradigm shift calls for astute action and unprecedented collaboration.

Let’s stop kidding ourselves, this is not the first time we have seen disruption in healthcare; many executives may harken back to the success they had in embracing and implementing the diagnosis-related group (DRG) changes in the 1980s and think "I’ve got this." Bottom line is, today’s changes are not your father’s healthcare reform. Unlike past reformation initiatives, which mainly impacted the providers, today’s changes impact the entire universe of patients, providers and payers.

In short, anyone that has access to, provides for, or pays for healthcare is deeply interconnected. To coin the theme of this year’s conference – THIS IS BIG.

Leaders representing all points of the care continuum descended on Las Vegas for the conference on June 22-25, amongst a sea of opulent hotels and manufactured happiness; in reality, leaders were there to glean a few golden nuggets on how to best navigate their own respective mission critical.

During her Aligning Nurses and Finance Professionals to Drive Value presentation, Pam Thompson, CEO, Association of Nurse Executives, best characterized the current healthcare landscape as a "quaking bog." Basically, experienced healthcare leaders are faced with building their own platforms of change on ground that is peat over water – no firm terra. "Old foundations are not the same, and there is rampant disequilibrium and deep abiding unknown."

As such, strong leaders will need to reach within and outside of their innate abilities to lead for change. Today’s success will not be determined based on past successes. This healthcare environment calls for cohesive teams at all levels of the healthcare organization. This ranges from senior executives such as the CIO, CNO, CMO, CHRO and CFO sitting down to map their care redesign alignment strategy to the evolution and implementation of interdisciplinary team-based care approaches that serve patients proactively throughout the entire care continuum. This paradigm shift undoubtedly exposes talent gaps and, more importantly, uncovers opportunities to achieve talent effectiveness.

This new age calls for "Multipliers." I believe that HFMA nailed it by bringing in Liz Wiseman, author of Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter. This notion of evangelizing the "genius maker"—a leader that maximizes the most of those around him/her—rather than the "genius"—the leader that is the smartest person in the room—is paramount to leading for change in this new era of healthcare.

Back to the concept that it will take a village to navigate this journey from volume to value; I raise that hand by saying it will take a village of "Intelligence Multipliers." Liz Wiseman notes that leaders who use their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capabilities of those around them are Multipliers of intelligence—they inspire employees to stretch themselves to deliver results that surpass expectations. Conversely, "Diminishers" are those who cling solely to their own capabilities and fail to see the genius of their team(s).

As an executive who specializes in talent management and acquisition in healthcare, I cannot emphasize how important it is for organizations to embrace the concept of Multipliers for all of their functional areas. At their core, they are a group of talent magnets who attract and optimize talent; challengers who extend challenges; investors who instill ownership and accountability that will see proliferated dividends from their own investments. Remember … THIS IS BIG.