Creating a Culture of Excellence Twenty Practical Strategies for Committed Leaders  A Presentation for GENESIS HealthCar

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What's in this for you?. Every executive says she wants to create a culture of excellence in her organization.But only a minority of organizational leaders are willing to pay the price.Complacency, impatience and a natural resistance to change are hard to overcome.Success is a huge barrier.For t

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Creating a Culture of Excellence Twenty Practical Strategies for Committed Leaders A Presentation for GENESIS HealthCar

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1. Creating a Culture of Excellence Twenty Practical Strategies for Committed Leaders A Presentation for GENESIS HealthCare System Kendall L. Stewart, MD, MBA November 12, 2004

2. What’s in this for you? Every executive says she wants to create a culture of excellence in her organization. But only a minority of organizational leaders are willing to pay the price. Complacency, impatience and a natural resistance to change are hard to overcome. Success is a huge barrier. For those who are serious and willing to pay the price, here are some practical strategies that will work. After listening to this presentation, you will be able to List three common barriers to organizational excellence. Identify three practical strategies for creating a culture of excellence. Explain why these strategies make sense. Explain how to deploy these strategies effectively in your organization.

3. What are some of the common barriers to an organizational culture of excellence? Executives who don’t “get it.” Executives who are unwilling to “walk the talk.” Executives who are unwilling to pay the price. Executives who are too impatient. Executives who refuse to face reality. Executives who are unwilling to forego “ladder climbing” for 5-10 years. Executives who indulge in temper tantrums and blaming. Executives. Period.

5. What practical strategies will promote the creation of a culture of excellence? People Embrace discomfort. Identify champions. Develop emerging leaders. Define the “Rules of Engagement.”* Extrude negative leaders and trade up. Planning Align the organization around your strategic values. Adopt a framework for organizational excellence. Adopt a process improvement methodology. Deploy a simple strategic planning process.* Take the long view. Process Design and deploy an organizational change process. Deploy leadership teams throughout the organization. Document key organizational processes Empower a limited number of interdisciplinary process improvement teams. Engage stakeholders in real work.* Performance Identify key performance indicators. Demand comparative data. Set measurable short- and long-term goals. Insist on detailed action plans. Deploy balanced scorecards (BSCs) throughout the organization.*

6. Define the rules of engagement. Why should I? Creates discomfort Clarifies expectations Identifies inappropriate behavior Sets the tone Holds leaders accountable Marginalizes negative leaders Gives the zealots hope How can I? Identify flawed leadership behaviors. Describe appropriate behavioral alternatives. Write them down. Provide practical examples. Sell them to key opinion leaders. Confront and extrude noncompliant leaders.

7. Deploy a simple strategic planning process. Why should I? Engages stakeholders Allows everyone to contribute Converts passive participants into informed partners Changes novices into experts Aligns the organization Focuses on performance Demands action plans How can I? Fire your consultants. Identify a local champion. Design the process yourselves. Deploy it. Focus on results—not the process itself. Produce a Balanced Scorecard—not a binder. Measure its effectiveness. Improve it over time.

8. Engage stakeholders in real work. Why should I? Invites emotional commitment Encourages teamwork Calls for expertise Creates mutual history Promotes pride in accomplishment Documents and preserves intellectual capital Results in more effective bonding than mere social activity How can I? Identify an organizational need. Outline a project. Clarify the desired product. Organize a project team. Sell the value of the objective. Invite commitment. Recognize and reward participants. Proselytize others.

9. Deploy balanced scorecards throughout the organization. Why should I? Clarifies objectives Aligns focus throughout organization Forces deep reflection about measures that matter Emphasizes measurable results Calls for comparative data Promotes benchmarking and the search for best practices Demands ongoing action planning Facilitates continuous improvement How can I? Make a religious commitment to pursuit of excellence. Aspire to be data driven. Decide on your strategic objectives (values). Identify meaningful measures that support each strategic objective (value). Report baseline data with brutal honesty. Set realistic targets. Find comparative data. Monitor organizational performance over time.

10. What have you learned? The pursuit of organizational excellence is hard. It is an unending process, not a moment. Few leaders will make the commitment, and fewer still will stick it out. For those who do, this journey becomes the foundation for a meaningful career. Just getting by is a lot easier, but the pursuit of excellence is more satisfying. It actually requires less effort to lead a successful organization than a mediocre one. Leaders can’t produce organizational excellence by themselves, but they can discourage it with no help at all. The strategies that successful leaders adopt in their pursuit of excellence—while always customized to their own organizational culture—are remarkably similar. Committed zealots are available and at your service.

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