• By: Kriss Barlow, RN, MBA | kbarlow@barlowmccarthy.com Right wrong or otherwise, we all make snap judgments when we meet new people. Last week I needed help from an airline gate agent and here’s what happened: I approached the counter ready to beg, cajole and flaunt my frequent flyer status as I wanted to get home on an earlier flight. As I approached the counter, the gate agent looked up immediately, smiled and asked how she could help in a warm and engaging way. She listened fully to my request and then said, “Let’s see what we can do to make that happen.” The interaction was all of three minutes and yet, it left me feeling positive, I know her name

    Feb 01,
  • By: Jeff Cowart, MAH | jcowart@barlowmccarthy.com The beginning of a new year, the launch of a new goal, a significant change in direction – all of these are opportunities for reflection on where we’ve been and where we’re going. Usually, this reflection is accompanied by resolutions, declarations of new direction, and a burst of new energy. Too often, however, this process quickly devolves into disruption at the hands of the mundane, the heavy tug of the status quo, and the loss of traction toward our new goals. Then the malaise and disappointment of failure starts to hover and nag. Why is this cycle so familiar? The truth is, the cycle has nothing to do with our good intentions nor our

    Jan 25,
  • By: Allison McCarthy, MBA One of the themes we heard at the recent ASPR (Association of Staff Physician Recruiters) Annual Conference was the challenge in getting leadership to fully understand the complexity and resource intensive nature of physician recruitment. Too many searches to fulfill and limited people power was clearly a struggle for many who are working hard to be successful. The reality is that we will never win leadership’s support by focusing on the tactical details. And just telling them that recruitment is “important” will likely not do it either.  To gain leadership buy-in we must help them to see “how” it is important to the organization’s strategy. Your first reaction might be “But I don’t know what that

    May 27,
  • By: Betsy Finkelmeier, RN, MBA [box]There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. -Colin Powell[/box] There is no question that health care organizations have becoming increasingly complex.  System affiliations have multiplied the number of providers, services and facilities that need to function as a coordinated entity.  Sometimes the complexity of today’s health care environment makes the myriad operational challenges seem so complex and multifactorial as to be insurmountable.  How can you step outside the pressing daily issues to concomitantly manage successful process improvement initiatives?  Here are some thoughts to consider: Pick a manageable component of the problem which you can successfully impact: Don’t be defeated by the seeming size or

    May 20,
  • By: Kriss Barlow, RN, MBA [box]"Failure is not the opposite of success; it's a stepping stone to success." - Elli Stassinopoulos[/box] I was struck by this quote.  My brain first went to my personal tolerance for trial and error. After all, business development innovation requires ideas that are new in concept or have new approaches for implementation.  Even the best new plans may not turn out as we’d hoped. That’s the truth.  Yet, at a personal level, I have abundant angst when things don’t go perfect right out of the gate. This got me thinking, is my reaction natural or is it a part of the healthcare culture (and past clinical background) that defines me. Healthcare hates doing anything that

    May 12,