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Change is Inevitable – Have You Embraced it?

Change_Inevitable_EmbraceGuest Writer, Terri Wallin, Wallin Enterprises CEO and Consultant, shares ways to be a leader in embracing and leading your staff through inevitable changes in the healthcare industry.

Change seems to be the only constant in the world and certainly in health care. Today’s leaders constantly have to adjust to the world swirling around them. In order for healthcare organizations to thrive, leaders do best if they embrace and master the art of transformation. To help staff through a constant changing marketplace, the leader must be proficient at self-adaptation to the outside changes as well as leading others through organizational change.

But how do you do it? How do you learn the best way to go through change and know that on the other side of it will be a victorious ending? First of all we must learn to not be afraid of change or to change. Sometimes fear stops us in our tracks – the old adage “what if I fail” prevails if we let it. The most successful healthcare leaders in business have documented failures followed by incredible success. What’s their secret? It seems to be about getting up once more than you fall – persistence pays off and learning through trial helps executives and their teams to be empowered to keep going until the goals are accomplished.

Having been in healthcare leadership for nearly four decades, I’m of the opinion that we are just beginning to see the largest transition in health care with the Accountable Care Act (ACA). Impacting the more than 311 million[1] people in the United States, this act will force change as has never before been experienced – at least in health care. Everyone in the country will have to change over time as the ACA is implemented. Unless we become adept at embracing this monumental outside change, we will likely be left behind as the industry swirls to define and become its new entity.

Transformation of the healthcare leader and the organization will be required to significantly move from your current state. If you continue to do incremental change, you may be too slow and you will watch your competitors move beyond you. We are already seeing new players enter the market – as one example, health advocates are becoming an intimate part of the health care team in order to shift us in truly achieving the customer’s needs. Every health care provider is scrambling to position themselves in a market that is undefined in terms of the end point. All players want to survive, but to do so we must embrace transformation and dramatically move our organizations forward.

How does one begin to do that? From a personal leadership standpoint, if you don’t have a confidant or executive coach that can help you assess your abilities to transform your organization and help you transform yourself, get one. When in graduate school, an instructor reminded us that “as you go up the ladder toward the top of an organization remember that people are not likely to tell you that you have bad breath”. It is true – very few employees will tell a leader that a change is needed in the leader in order for the organization to excel. They are more likely to tell you what you want to hear. If you desire to transform yourself, seek out a source that will help you get to the truth of your leadership style and will support you in planning and implementing a leadership improvement plan.

After you are on the pathway to improving you, then begin to evaluate your healthcare organization and where it needs to go to thrive. A few key activities include developing a high level plan to move your organization forward, which consist of:

  • Development of a vision for your organization, hopefully one that is quite innovative.
  • Contrasting your current state with what the future organization might be like in order to crystallize the vision in the minds of your team.
  • Creation and execution of a plan to carry out the vision including ways in which employees can be brought on board to help accomplish the vision, and metrics to measure success.
  • Analyzing and consider altering your hiring processes. In short, if you don’t have a purposeful hiring process that ensures you will bring on the best talent, put one into place.
  • Execution of an effective communication strategy to keep your team engaged and inspired about the forward movement.
  • Sharing elements of your personal transformational journey as a way to inspire employees of your commitment to excellence.
  • Celebration of the movements you collectively make.

Implementing these items allows you to be on your way to helping your organization thrive during these ever-changing times. Move forward with optimism during these uncertain times and everyone around you will gleefully follow!

As aptly quoted by President Barack Obama, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” [2]

[1] The current population of the USA.


biopic-terri-wallinAbout Terri Wallin CEO and Consultant Wallin Enterprises,
Transforming the way you do business.

Wallin Enterprises formed because of Terri’s drive to help organiza­tions succeed with culture and sys­tem transformation. With extensive experience in executive leadership and operations, Terri is highly skilled in helping leaders to transform themselves and their organizations and to ensure their organizations thrive over time. Leaders seek Terri for coaching on leadership and transformation. She is a published author on ar­ticles related to leadership transformation. For more transformational information, please visit

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Category: Leadership, Organizational Restructuring & Transition, Staffing

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