Bestselling Physician & Patient Clinical Medicine in 2020
Kill as Few Patients as Possible: And Fifty-Six Other Essays on How to Be the World's Best Doctor
- Ten Speed Press
Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine 19/E (Vol.1 & Vol.2)
- McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
The Physician as Patient: A Clinical Handbook for Mental Health Professionals
The APRN’s Complete Guide to Prescribing Drug Therapy 2018
The Dysautonomia Project: Understanding Autonomic Nervous System Disorders for Physicians and Patients
How Doctors Think
- Mariner Books
Behavioral Medicine A Guide for Clinical Practice 4/E
Open Heart: A Cardiac Surgeon’s Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table
The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands
- Basic Books AZ
Motivational Interviewing in Health Care: Helping Patients Change Behavior (Applications of Motivational Interviewing)
- Guilford Publications
Medications and Mothers' Milk 2017
The Psychiatric Interview
Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine Manual, Eighth Edition
- Judith E. Tintinalli
- J. Stephan Stapczynski
- O. John Ma
- 978-0071794763, 007179476X
The Management Physician: Identifying Organizational Symptoms
Management Physicians (individuals trained to identify symptoms) must grow to be an integral part of the organization, and there are no better individuals to carry these tasks than managers and executives within the organization.
In medicine, a symptom is understood as any change in the physical or mental feeling in an individual which indicates the presence of a disease. It is widely established that most diseases have reliable sets of symptoms which allow doctors and physicians to narrow down and identify the existing disease. Hence, symptoms have become what we in the business world like to refer to as indicators. Similarly, in business, there are many types of measures that aid management to figure out the current performance, such as Key Performance Indicators (KPI), whereby any deviation from the objectives, targets or goals can be addressed before the escalation of trouble. Tools such as root cause analysis, fishbone diagrams and many more, are simple tools used by management to investigate and better apprehend the "diseases" that lurk in their organizations.
The only drawback with these tools is that they are focus oriented, in other words, management decides on a certain criteria to measure and analyze, then when this criteria indicates a glitch, investigations into the triggers are carried out leading to rectifications and prevention. This is all well and good, but it neglects to address "symptoms" of other diseases (organizational problems) not related to the current management KPI's. During the course of my experience I have observed some consistent organizational symptoms that often tend to indicate particular diseases within the workplace. If these symptoms are left unchecked, the underlying disease may, and will eventually become so problematic, that a cure will require intensive care by the management. As we agree, prevention is a million times better than any cure.
Management Physicians (individuals trained to identify symptoms) must grow to be an integral part of the organization, and there are no better individuals to carry these tasks than managers and executives within the organization. Management physicians must keep their eyes and ears open for symptoms in the workplace, and believe me, there are a lot of symptoms lurking in every corner of an organization. I have selected to portion out what I think are the five most important symptoms that indicate major diseases in the workplace.
1. Non-numeric arguments. This is a symptom which implies that managers, team members and staff are not assembling data or running any data analysis to better improve processes or the organization as a whole. People tend to be occupied with their daily work and are trapped in the urgent day to day requirements lending little space for improvement initiatives. You might witness this during conversations, meetings and even reports whereby the staff basis arguments on beliefs, past experience and common logic. This is a symptom which needs to be addressed before any other, since it indicates a major disease, one that can make the difference between success and failure.
2. Extremely high retention. Even though many companies pride themselves in maintaining high retention of their employees, sometimes, too much of a good thing may be disastrous. A very high retention rate of staff and management may indicate that people are extremely comfortable in their workplace, comfortable to the point where they become ineffective. Staff may become too relaxed because they are not being confronted, or even worse, they are not being held accountable for innovation and improvement. They are left to do what they do to the best of their abilities; which in many cases means stagnation. Staff are working to avoid problems rather than to create new solutions. Review the organization's retention rate and understand why high retention rates are maintained, maybe, just maybe, it's not what you had in mind.
3. It's not our fault. A very obvious symptom and I am sure many may be acquainted with, is how the organization and its staff deal with complaints or failures. If the organization avoids internal investigation in understanding the root cause of problems, complaints, failures or what have you, then you are witnessing a symptom of a major disease. This disease is one where the organization doesn't believe that it can improve, or worse, the organization deems itself the greatest at what they do. When you observe the initiation of a behavior by the organization in dealing with customers such as "that customer is too pushy" or "I can't believe he complained about that," then you are in for a big predicament. If the organization confronts a major breakdown in a process, system or communication and starts blaming others foreign to it, well, that is a big indicator of a disease that may turn out to become the organizations cultural norm one day. Deal with this symptom early, before it manifests itself all over the body.
4. Lack of awareness of the organization's goals and objectives. Although this is an obvious symptom, I believe it must be addressed here due to its magnitude. When staff are unaware of how their work impacts the objectives of the organization, let alone not knowing these objectives all together, then the organization is diseased with what I call "non-directional separation." That means, the staff has separated itself from the unified direction by supposing that the job of maintaining the focus with respect to the objectives or goals is the remit of their supervisor or manager. That develops itself into the all known: "I don't see how my work has anything to do with that." So we let someone else, the manager, think for us. This disease will transcend itself in the culture, triggering an outbreak of carelessness and indifference towards what really matters. Ask questions; see what is going on and what work has been carried to maintain a unified direction, because without it, there is no direction but the ER.
5. Anger with bad news. When an organization, managers or staff get angry or show their continued frustration with bad news, it may be a symptom of incompetent management. A disease by itself, incompetent management can lead to major letdowns in the organization. When confronted with bad news, managers and their staff should find means to overcome the troubles and be taught from them for the future. That is all management 101. Yet, some organizations exhibit a symptom of continuous confusion, anger, frustration along with other nonconstructive emotions when bad news walks in the door. The disease at hand may require early intervention, including management training and retraining as well as awareness of how failures and bad news must be handled.