“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” This is an ancient Chinese Proverb and is still as true today as when it was first uttered.
Interestingly enough, in your own practice you can apply this to increase efficiency and profitability.
Inefficiencies start at the top
As the owner of the practice, you may often find that a lot of day-to-day odds and ends hit your plate that are neither your job as the provider/producer nor as the CEO. Quite often, you are presented with problems and issues that no one knows what to do about and it shreds your production day taking care of these.
On the other side of the coin, sometimes owners refuse to delegate certain actions or duties that SHOULD be done by the staff. The staff are willing but you are not trusting them.
The answer is two steps:
(1) Quite simply, the missing element in the above situations is training the staff until they can do things TO YOUR STANDARDS. If you continue to do things yourself and never train the staff how to do them, you will always be troubled with those duties and have the inefficiency of interruptions throughout your day. As it says in the Chinese Proverb, teach them so they can do it from there on out.
(2) Once the staff are trained as above, you must DELEGATE to them and require that they handle things and don’t let them float up to you. If they make a mistake, don’t freak out and take that duty or action back on yourself. Train them again and help them be perfect. Most staff are very willing to help you and that is also why you have staff – so you can be the practitioner and not deal with the day-to-day admin matters.
This is a quote from one of our clients who applied the above 2 steps:
“With the help and direction of AMI, my management focus has shifted from running my staff to a new strategy of putting in systems and structure so that they are empowered to run on their own. They are now trained to evaluate matters for themselves, based on policy, and take the right actions on their own. … The income has gone up and my time at the office has gone down. … On the door to my private office are three big letters: SFZ. This stands for Stress Free Zone. Since working with AMI, this has taken on a deeper meaning and is becoming a reality.”
That’s what we do – we teach our clients to fish. And you can do the same with your own staff!