By Laurie Sorrenson, OD, FAAO
April 19, 2023
The great Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation told Leslie Knope, “Never half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing.”
My son and practice partner, Eric Hammond, OD, reminded me of this quote when I was putting together a lecture on implementation of business changes and improvements. Implementation is hard to do in an optometric office. I feel like our office is pretty good at implementation, but it is still difficult. I make it more difficult because I try to implement too many things at one time. My son is good at reminding me to: “whole ass one thing, Mom!”
I used to get together with my team, or part of my team, to brainstorm ideas, troubleshoot what could go wrong and all get on the same page. I would then say, “Let’s do it!”
A month or two later I would ask how it is going only to find out it either didn’t even get started, or ran into a hiccup and was abandoned. What the heck??
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Looking in the mirror to see the problem, I came to realize that the problem was me. There were often multiple issues I did not deal with to be able to implement a new idea well. Here are four things I probably didn’t do when the plans or changes I wanted were not implemented:
- Troubleshooting what could go wrong with the right people. Running a new idea by the right people, including the ones who find fault with new projects, is essential.
- Creating a step-by-step game plan and defining who is responsible for what.
- Communicating with the entire team about the “What we are doing and more importantly, WHY we are implementing something new?”
- Most importantly, to make myself a reminder to check in with the appropriate people to see how it is going! I create a repetitive task on my Google calendar, but sometimes I create scheduled messages to the appropriate people as a reminder. So, I might schedule a “How is it going?” to go out in three days, then one week later, then two weeks later, and then one month later.
Steps for Implementation
- What is the “What” and the “Why”?
- Troubleshoot potential issues
- Decide who is responsible for what
- Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!