Meetings are essential for a DSO to have continuity with communication and direction. However, meetings do not have to be monotonous. With a few keys in mind and technology at your fingertips, you can keep your Executive team, Leadership team, and all team members on the same page.
Here are the strategies we suggest at DSO Success to enhance your communication planning:
- Use the KISS* method: *Keep It Simple Students. Don’t complicate your agenda.
- Use a software in which everyone can have access. Some favorites are Asana, Microsoft Teams, and Google Docs.
- Keep the Agenda continually posted for everyone to add topics as they arise.
- Start the meeting with something positive – a goal that was met, a practice that was acquired, even something personal if necessary.
- Address agenda items.
- Problem/Concern identified
- Solutions – suggestions and finalization of decision
- Implementation strategy – (Specifically Who, What, When, How)
- Accountability follow up – (Specifically When and Who)
- How will this be measured?
- Review at next month’s meeting to ensure the decision/implementation is taking the correct course of action.
- Repeat until all agenda items are addressed.
- Confirm next meeting date.
- End on a positive note.
- Stay focused on the reason for the meeting. Only team members who are in the organization for the wrong reasons like to waste time in meetings and get the team off-topic. Stay as focused on the subject matter as possible to use everyone’s time wisely. Brainstorming is great but if you can’t come to a decision here are two suggestions:
- Ask everyone to write their suggestions down on paper and turn them in. Then place them on a ballot and vote on them between this meeting and the next one instead of wasting time discussing them.
- Put it on the agenda for next month and the supporters for each cause provide a 5-minute presentation on why their idea could provide the best ROI or the best reason and then a vote could happen after the presentation.
- Include the right personnel in the appropriate meeting. When you have expanded beyond one location there are a lot of things that change in your organization. The same holds true when you expand beyond 10, 50, 100, etc. locations. Each milestone seems to come with another trial of situations that you must confront just as you thought you conquered the last milestones. Getting the most out of your team means you should engage your team on their level. It is obvious that you should not invite all of your team members to your Executive level meetings. However, it is wise to include some of your key team members to maintain their top performance.
I have had tremendous success with a few of these working groups:
- Incorporating the Leadership team with the Executive team on a quarterly basis to share updates and continued vision casting.
- Including the Centralized Supplies Purchaser (Over the entire organization) in with the Leadership team on a quarterly basis to review overhead and Profit and Loss analysis for each practice.
- Encouraging the Clinical Assistant and the Associate Doctors to meet each month to come closer together in their Treatment Planning ability, clinical efficiency, discussing cases/appointments that went desirably well, upcoming scheduling concerns/resolutions/goals to maximize their working relationship.
The last and most important communication tool you must implement when you are beginning to meet with multiple workgroups is follow up. Someone in the group should be responsible for taking notes. One of the things we know about working with large organizations is that “Change is Inevitable”! It is very important for the team member to take notes to record the change to take place as well as who to inform that this change has taken place. There should be a timeline for this action. It should take no longer than 2 weeks for this change to take place and everyone to be notified about it. A due date, as well as a check box, needs to be used in your preferred software so everyone can be on the same communication level. If you follow these simple suggestions for continuity with communication you will begin to see your organization is efficient, the essential team members are always updated, and everyone is equipped to take care of your patients.