Barlow/McCarthy Blog

Teamwork is a Must

Jan 20, 2015

Brady-FTW-new-england-patriots-32045229-960-641By: Allison McCarthy, MBA

I love football season and am surrounded by New England Patriots’ fanatics. Earlier this season after losing to the Green Bay Packers, the Pats headed straight to San Diego.  While spending a week together may have seemed like a simple strategy to prepare for their next game, media reports noted that it had more to do with “team bonding.” Rather than go back to Foxboro and do more of what they do, Belachick decided to break routine and spend time just hanging out.  The players needed to interact personally and spend more time together to regain that sense of camaraderie.  Whatever they did worked and the Pats brought home a victory the next game.

Recently a few clients have made the same decision in relation to their primary care recruitment efforts.  They have decided to bring their internal teams together — practice administration, physician leadership, marketing and recruiters — to review strengths and challenges, strategize about what needs to change to bring greater success and, most importantly, re-connect as a team.

Everyone involved in recruiting must have a shared vision, clear roles and defined responsibilities; each doing their best to help the organization – keeping personal differences from derailing the team’s performance and results.

In these cases, the vision might seem obvious: Recruit PCPs.  But the important take-away is that the entire team dedicated themselves to working together to successfully deliver on “specifics” – how many, by when, for where and how.  They created tangible goals so they would know if they succeeded or not.

Clarity around roles and responsibilities is probably where, as a consultant, I see the most “dancing.”  There’s a tendency for people to tap dance around failures and assign blame. Recruiters want to blame leadership if they’re vague about where new providers are needed or if they have less than alluring practice opportunities claiming, “I can’t recruit because I don’t know what I’m recruiting to” or “I can create candidates, but they accept other competitor offerings.”  At the same time, leadership looks to blame recruiters for not expanding the sourcing pipeline and providing the necessary numbers to allow for success with a certain percentage of fallout.  The reality is both sides are right.  Both recruiters and leaders need to work together to improve those areas where they have direct responsibility, and team meetings must provide a venue for each to feel accountable to each other and the overall goal.

The New England Patriots know well that if their offensive line goes one way and the running back goes the other, they don’t win. They also don’t win if their defense can’t prevent the other team from scoring or if the kicking team is off by even a bit.  When it comes to physician recruitment, the same holds true. If you don’t have great teamwork, the organization that does will take the game.

  1. Pasquale

    Nice blog entry! Makes a lot of sense and hopefully others will get their teams working together with a little help from my friends and Barlow/McCarthy. CYA..