How to find 3-7% more Net Revenue at your Hospital

A recent survey of 146 CEOs by the Advisory Board (1), the CEOs voted that “sustainable cost control” was the number one priority. This is an imperative that every hospital in America must be doing in the current health care environment. Net revenue is tightening up. Smaller and smaller increases from government programs are the trend and health plans are taking the position that any new net revenue be tied to improving quality or costs. The routine annual increases are not routine anymore.

What CEOs should be focusing on is collecting all net revenue. What is the best that can be expected in net revenue collections from the revenue cycle area? Is it 90% of expected? 93%? 96%? What is preventing your organization from collecting closer to 100% of expected revenue?

We know that nothing ever happens at 100% in any field, endeavor or undertaking. Asking the question of “why not 100%” is the start of reviewing what is preventing your organization from improving on net collections. If your organization is at 91% net collections (including vendor fees, etc. from handing off old accounts), that’s pretty good. But can your organization get to 95%? Or 97%? Or 98%? What steps can be taken internally to earn an extra 3-7% of net revenue? That extra money could be the difference in meeting budget or bond market targets.

How to find your 3-7% extra net revenue:

  1. Adoption of a new attitude. Policies and procedures have been adopted over time that balance the effort and expense of collecting versus the return. Making policies that allow for write offs of cases under $500 or $300 creates the mindset that it is ok to “just write it off.” If $500 is ok to write off, then why not the $15 co-pay? The concept is to reinforce the attitude that NOTHING is written off without a “good” reason. Hospital revenue cycle leaders get under pressure to lower A/R and it is too easy to compromise on small amounts that can add up. But when its ok to write off $15 it becomes easier to write off larger amounts. Additionally, reinforcing the attitude of no write off without a good reason helps support collection efforts of the front offices as well as in the back end
  2. Trend analysis needs to be refined and acted upon more quickly. The new analysis is one plus one equals a trend. Reporting in revenue cycle often trends towards financial statistics and contractuals. Reporting needs to get more granular and specific to highlight trends in more real time. The best way to get real time information is to educate and empower your skilled staff.
  3. The staff need to understand that when they see something happen twice – sound the alarm. Getting a denial or a rejection you don’t understand once happens. But twice is a trend. You do not need to wait until 10 or 50 or 100 examples occur to request an investigation, create a report and send to a payer. Health plan payment systems are very precise and anything unusual needs to be acted upon immediately.
  4. Get better at reporting and documentation – fast. To support the staff, create rigor in the documentation of issues with plans. Nothing helps contract discussions for the managed care lead than starting off with how difficult the health plan is administratively. Reporting also needs to be detailed and refined in new ways to spot trends and support the managed care staff.
  5. Establish new interactions with payers – set expectations and standards. Monthly meetings with payers need to reframed. The managed care lead needs to get agreement on performance and service expectations of the health plan. Simple expectations of responsiveness, service turnaround, etc. is imperative and needs to be enforced with the health plans.
  6. Use process improvement techniques – be rigorous. Collecting the last few percentage points of revenue requires focus and discipline. Using process improvement techniques and their rigor is a must to gain and sustain results.

Hospitals need to ask the question: what more can be done to gain net revenue? Re-evaluating the revenue cycle and creating a “need attitude” is key. Adding a new focus and training for staff will create the ability to approach payers in a new way for new results.

(1) 2018 Advisory Board Research Annual Health Care CEO Survey conducted between December 2017 and March 2018.

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Maximum Wow Strategies Lead to Scarcity

See Previous post.

A maximum wow strategy is when a lot of money is spent on something grand, splashy and showy that delivers little or no value to the company or its customers.

A prime example of this is when a company builds an expensive and extravagant off-site corporate headquarters. When I was a young man, my father told me, “Son, beware of your ego. A man’s ego can get him into a lot of trouble and cost him a lot of money. Ego trips are very costly.” Many a company has been severely weakened by a CEOs ego trip of building a lavish corporate headquarters that often was not even needed. The offices they already had were serving the company just fine.

For a counter example I would offer Walmart. Walmart is the largest brick-and-mortar retail establishment in the world by a very large margin. Its corporate offices have for many years been in the top of its warehouses in Bentonville, Arkansas. Top corporate officers are in plain offices with cheap wood paneling and utilitarian steel desks. This proximity to its distribution centers gave corporate officers a profound and intimate understanding of the needs of its supply chain. Walmart developed the most sophisticated automated distribution centers of any brick-and-mortar retailer. These sophisticated automated distribution centers are credited with a large part of Walmart’s competitive advantage over other brick-and-mortar retailers. This is Sam Walton’s legacy. As wealthy as he was, he was a man without an ego. He was a form follows function kind of man. Good enough was good enough. We will save excellence for our customers.

If a competitor had wanted to destroy Walmart, instead of building a gleaming corporate headquarters in the downtown of a major American city for themselves, they would have built and paid for one for Walmart on the condition that they must house their corporate officers there. This would have isolated Walmart’s leadership from the needs of its supply chain and decreased the likelihood that they would have ever built their automated distribution centers costing them their current competitive advantage.

Value is defined as quality divided by cost. So how do we define quality? Is it a large towering building built of the finest materials and sitting on a piece of prime real estate? Or is it proximity, awareness, humility and engagement? I would argue that Walmart’s choice of its corporate offices was the value decision not just because it delivered at a lower cost but also because it delivered a higher-quality leadership engagement for the company.

A maximum wow strategy is company leadership writing big checks and taking on heavy debt to be paid for by the company for ego-driven projects that deliver low value to the organization.

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Your business’ future lies in an abundant strategy – not in scarcity

In Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler, the authors make the point that technological developments and continuing innovation will bring to the world a future of abundance rather than scarcity, of increasing prosperity rather than increasing poverty. I believe that they are right so long as we can maintain freedom in general, free markets in particular, reasonable levels of taxation and relative peace throughout the world. As I pondered on the ideas they presented, it occurred to me that a business leader needs to have an abundance mindset in strategic development. An overall scarcity strategy cannot bring a strong and bright future to an organization. We cannot simply cut and slash our way into growth and prosperity. Nor can we simply spend our way into growth and prosperity. An abundance strategy is one of tremendous value generation.

My wife and I built a home using a general contractor who builds custom, luxury homes. I commented to him one day that it had occurred to me that there are three types of people who buy a custom home:

  1. Maximum WOW! These buyers do not care how much it cost. They want to upstage everyone else at any cost.
  2. Maximum value. Value is defined as quality divided by cost. These buyers are willing to spend more money if they get a good return on their investment relative to their experience living in the home and to their resale value.
  3. Maximum value. Value is defined as quality divided by cost. These buyers are willing to spend more money if they get a good return on their investment relative to their experience living in the home and to their resale value.

I told him that I thought that he could build homes for wow buyers and value buyers, but he could not build a home for an economy buyer to which he agreed.

At first glance we may be tempted to see a maximum wow strategy as an abundance strategy, but maximum wow and maximum economy are both scarcity strategies. Both strategies are low value generation strategies, and low value generation will sooner or later lead to scarcity. In maximum wow the cost is too high relative to the quality generated. In maximum economy the cost is low, but the quality generated is too low relative to that cost. The abundance future is in high value generation that comes in a maximum value strategy.

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Lessons I Learned at Wiederhold & Associates

Before I joined Wiederhold & Associates, I had heard of executive coaching but never really understood what it entailed. I knew of generic outplacement firms that provided services to aid in job transition but did not know of transition coaching. The past four years have been an invaluable experience, exploring and learning about both these niches from one of the best in the industry! Above all, the talented and inspiring leaders that I have had the opportunity to meet, the lasting relationships built, the experienced and dedicated coaches that give it all to help leaders uncover strengths and hidden potential, and the team that makes all this happen behind the scenes, have made an indelible impression on me.

I’ve been fortunate to have good mentors and great teams that I have worked with and learned from throughout my career. Some of the lessons that life experiences taught me, I got to validate in my experience working with over 100 executives through Wiederhold & Associates. As I look back, I’d like to share some of the key lessons I will carry on with me in my career.

✔ Relationships trump performance
✔ Preparation is the key to success
✔ Passion is a key differentiator
✔ You get to define your own success
✔ Accomplishments must speak of your value or impact on the organization
✔ Maintain a business log, before exiting a role gather relevant data and metrics
✔ Keep your resume updated always
✔ Attitude can make or break you
✔ You cannot let your network “go cold”, relationships are a continuous work in progress
✔ Choosing the path less travelled may be riskier but also opens doors you never knew existed
✔ Opportunities are most often created, they don’t always exist
✔ Coaching is not punitive, it is a reward!
✔ Interviewing and being interviewed require completely different set of skills
✔ Even the most accomplished leaders have insecurities
✔ Dealing with emotions head-on is the best way to move forward, especially negative ones
✔ Always be aware of how you “show up” to others, not what you think of yourself. Perception is reality.
✔ Being vulnerable is human, not a sign of weakness
✔ Self-awareness is critical to emotional intelligence
✔ When you stop learning, you stop growing and you stagnate
✔ Take responsibility for your actions, but blaming yourself will get you nowhere
✔ Focus on what you can control, don’t waste your energy on external factors
✔ Be intentional, be mindful, be present
✔ Transition is hard, even if the choice was yours. It takes a village!
✔ Don’t burn bridges, it’s a small world!
✔Healthcare has and will always be a very dynamic and demanding industry
✔ You always come out a stronger and better leader, when you go through transition!

Mitali

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Confidence

With confidence, you have won before you have started - Marcus Garvey

As we continue to explore successful attributes, another imperative soft skill is confidence. Confidence is having faith in your own skills and abilities. It is an attribute difficult to measure, but its absence hardly goes unnoticed. Why is confidence so important? Confidence is attractive. Charismatic people tend to exude confidence. Confidence can help you harness your inner potential. Research supports that confident people accomplish more. It has the power to help you overcome challenging situations, take risks, and handle curveballs thrown at you. Confidence helps you establish trust with people and engage them. It makes you appear more competent and helps you win the respect of others. Dr. Ivan Joseph, a professional soccer coach admits that throughout his career he recruited his players not based on their talent – how high they could kick the ball, or how fast they could run or the team spirit they displayed, but on their self-confidence. He believes that everything else is a coachable skill or trait. Tedx Ryerson University

You can display self-assuredness or lack thereof it in more ways than most people are aware of. How you present yourself, your gait, tone of voice, the words you use, non-verbal cues, interpersonal skills, relationships, even your online or social media presence can paint an image of your confidence level. All these aspects create your “presence”. A limp handshake, lack of eye contact, shifty movements, slouched posture, and excessive use of “I think”, “ums” and “ahs” are some common faux pas to watch for. Non-verbal cues are important expressions of power dominance. It governs how other people think and feel about you. You can influence other people’s reactions by exhibiting confidence. People tend to focus more on the delivery than the message itself. Hence, this can be a powerful tool in controlling how people view and react to you.

Have you met someone and wondered how they landed that deal or got the job they have? I know I have many times. If it wasn’t relationships or networking that got them that far, it was their confidence and most likely their confidence played a very significant role in their relationships.

Charisma is not the same as confidence but we all gravitate towards charismatic leaders. Another reason confidence is important is that appearing confident augments your charisma. Have you ever been in a room where one person’s presence dominated the room? They seemed to captivate their audience and drew people in with such ease. John Antonakis, an organizational behavior expert, suggests that charisma can be practiced as a skill utilizing verbal and non-verbal tactic. And once you grow your charisma and connect with more people, your confidence will inevitably be boosted. How to Read and Predict People

Confidence is like a bank account - you must make deposits to have a balance available for withdrawals. You must draw from various sources so not to deplete your funds. Just like a diverse investment portfolio that minimizes risk, you need to have different buckets that you gain confidence from. Identify your buckets and keep them replenished. Recharge your batteries…success is just around the corner!

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How to be Intentional every day

The word intentionality or intentional has become very popular over the last couple of years. Hopefully, the meaning of the word will not be dumbed down to the point of being overused and ineffective.

Intentional- Done on purpose, deliberate

Intentionality- The fact of being deliberative and purposive

I embraced this word almost two years ago and it has become a very important part of my vocabulary and ultimately -- my success.

I attach intentionality to nearly everything I do. Whether it be choosing what to eat for breakfast or looking at my schedule for the day, in that moment, I am focused on giving the best of me and intentionally becoming hyper-focused and in-the-moment.

Here are some ideas that apply not just to career transition but also to you in your everyday interactions.

  1. Be focused on your interactions. Any interaction, whether on the personal or business side, I make a conscious effort to bring some level of value to the interaction. I don’t just pull this out of the sky, I think about it before the interaction actually takes place. However, this does not mean I have to control the conversation. Even when all my plans fall by the wayside, I can be a very intentional listener and that will always bring value to the conversation.
  2. Minimize multitasking. Make the most of your day with “zones.” I am intentional about getting the most out of each and every day. I utilize the concept of zones. Setting my calendar up this way allows me to reach proficiency in one task before moving onto the next zone. I relate it to running because in the beginning, you’re not very efficient, but as you proceed you reach the highest level of efficiency in your stride and breathing with the least amount of energy. However, eventually you will start to tire and you will lose that efficiency. It is at this point that I move into the next zone. I do not allow, as much as possible, outside disturbances to distract me while I am in that zone and I do not engage in multitasking. I am very much in the moment.
  3. Find balance in your daily routine. After many years, I’ve come to realize that three things must be in balance in my life in order for me to be at my best. They are sleep, diet, and exercise. When these are not in alignment, I don’t make the best decisions, nor do I ask the best questions. On days when I’m out of balance, I will minimize my contact with people and not make any major decisions. Even this is intentional. We all have off days. Overall, I am very intentional about keeping these in balance. It’s not just being aware of the need for this balance, but taking action and creating the best, most intentional you.

Intentionality has a great deal do with preparation. Without preparation, how can we really be intentional? Without preparation, how successful can we be? Let us not fly by the seat of our pants, let us be purposeful about what we do, mindful about how we live and what value we have to offer in each and every moment.


Join the WIN (Wiederhold Intentional Network)!

The main purpose of the Wiederhold Intentional Network is to take networking from the typical shotgun approach to the rifle approach.

  1. You will expand your network with little effort on a consistent ongoing basis with individuals at a similar level.
  2. You will gain industry intelligence from these key interactions.
  3. Most important, you will give back to others as a resource and a catalyst.
  4. It's free!

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to join or click here for more information!

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What is transformation…and why should we care?

“I’d like to introduce Gary Skarke. He is an expert in the area of transformation. His company’s success, for the most part, has been outside of healthcare but has touched healthcare on a small scale. As we all know, healthcare is going through a significant transformation and most of what he will share in the article below aligns well with what is happening in the healthcare industry today.

This is the first in a series of articles focusing on the many types of transformation his company has helped other organizations navigate successfully and how these same situations are occurring within healthcare today.” – Jim Wiederhold

* * * * * * * * * *

In today’s environment, organizations must change – and change dramatically – to survive and thrive. Who remembers what happened to RCA televisions, Motorola cell phones, or Myspace (competitor with Facebook) or how they lost their market leadership? They did not make the dramatic innovations and changes (typically called transformations) to stay ahead of the competition. Businesses have made transformations for a number of years although they were previously called under the headings of quality, reengineering, Lean Six Sigma, and others. Such transformations were made to cut costs, grow, increase customer satisfaction or simply stay in business. United States healthcare similarly has and is undergoing transformations, many of which are mandated by the U.S. government, like electronic medical records. We wanted to share what transformations are happening with businesses so that they can be applied more readily to healthcare.

Organizations are appropriately cautious about transformations. A 2015 survey by McKinsey* found that only 26% have been “very” or “completely” successful at both improving performance and equipping the organization to sustain improvements over time. Transformation is an overused term. It is not a tweek, but an overhaul – a complete change in the way business is done. IBM was at one time only a provider of hardware such as computers but transformed successfully into a provider of consulting services. The amount of effort that goes into the change is proportional to the impact on the organization. The bigger the change, the bigger the effort, and the bigger the potential results. Transformations can be around any or all of the following: strategy, process, systems, metrics and culture. We will cover each of these areas in a series of brief articles.

* McKinsey & Co., 2015, “How to Beat the Transformation Odds”

TBO International LLC provides transformation services to help clients beat the odds for successful outcomes.

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The Importance of Mentorship in Our Lives

We all need guidance. Even the most seasoned professional needs a sounding board from time to time. I am a firm believer that as professionals we can choose to never stop growing, learning, and evolving into the best version of ourselves. Part of this growth is directly influenced by the people we seek out for support.

One of the things my mother said to me as a young adult was, “You are the company you keep.” I didn’t realize it at the time, but she was talking about mentorship and being mentored in the most basic sense. To affect another in a positive way and to have them do the same in return, all while growing as a person.

Three ways a mentor/mentee relationship adds value to your life:

  1. Lends you a new perspective. Being a mentor or mentee puts you in the mindset of the other person, even if just for a moment. It can be invaluable to get the perspective of another professional on situations that are occurring in your world in which you feel you have little to no control over. This type of discussion could lead to possible action items or solutions. At the very least, you will leave the conversation feeling like someone actually understands.
  2. Growth opportunity. Often your mentor has been in the profession longer than you and can offer additional insight into a lot of different scenarios. Soak this type of information up and learn from it. Take the gift of hindsight they offer you and make improvements and grow because of it. Conversely, a mentor can grow equally from the vision a younger professional may bring to the table.
  3. Expand your network and give back. Share connections with one another. Start building relationships with the professionals that your mentor/mentee connect you with. This is how genuine professional friendships are created. It’s interesting how things work. While you might be the mentee in one relationship, you will become the mentor in the next. In each instance though you will grow as a professional and as an individual. It’s a win-win.

At Wiederhold & Associates we are launching a mentor program offering our large network of professionals the chance to create deep and meaningful professional relationships with one another. With over 25 years in the healthcare industry, Wiederhold and Associates has one of the largest and most effective networks in the United States. Our Mentor Program takes this network connection one step deeper. It gives the mentor and the mentee the opportunity to use common experiences to glean further insight into life and career situations. There is no stronger bond than those created through shared experience.

Interested in joining our Mentor Program? Click here for more information.

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DON'T GET AMAZONED

The company that puts you out of business will not look like you!

The job of an entrepreneur/CEO is to look around the corner to see what is coming in the future. It is hard to know what a competitor looks like when they may not look like me (see: Amazon vs. Sears, Uber vs. Yellow Cab).

When I peek into the future, how do I know what I am looking for? What will my competitor or my business model look like tomorrow? The risk of missing a change in the business model is great. My role is to work on new processes that can help my clients get more value and make Medic Management Group more competitive. Many CEOs are concerned that disruptive companies may enter their business segment and change the business model. Amazon may not enter my business space - health care management - but I have to worry about companies like Apple and Google.

In my world, I cannot be lulled into thinking that patients will continue to seek health care in brick-and-mortar buildings. The technology explosion in health care does not just relate to genomics, new medications and surgical treatments. Every day new technology is being developed to enable patients to be seen from remote location s through monitoring devices that communicate with the providers. The telemedicine advertisements that we see on TV are just the beginning.

Many entrepreneurs and CEOs are too busy working on the day-to-day issues of their companies to explore new opportunities. We are so entrenched in day-to-day that we do not think like the generation of entrepreneurs that is looking for the new way. In the past, we attended annual trade shows, or we would study our competition to see what they were doing. Today, by the time you see what the competition is doing or hear the ideas that are discussed at trade shows, it may be too late.

How do we keep from being 'Amazoned?'

  1. Get new ideas from businesses not in your industry. When you meet friends or talk with colleagues, do not just ask ' how's business?' Ask what new ideas and technologies they are seeing in their field and consider how they can be adapted to your business.
  2. Perform a critical analysis of the current business by your team or an outside entity. How can we do it better?
  3. Learn about bots, artificial intelligence and new technology, and find out how they relate to your products and offerings.

As the CEO, owner, entrepreneur, you are the chief visionary. You cannot delegate something as important as understanding the future of your company. A 22nd century vision is critical. Those of us that "skate to where the puck is going, not where it is has been" have an advantage over our competitors, current and future.

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Career Lattice vs Career Ladder

Last week when the guest speaker in my Organizational Behavior class mentioned “career lattice”, I saw many quizzical expressions on my student’s faces. I realized, where other industries have adopted this method of talent development and retention, the healthcare industry largely lags. Part of the reason is the level of specialization, training, and even licensure requirements in certain roles. Certain skills need to be honed over time and you get better at your “trade” the longer time you spend in it. This can and has, however, led to burnout in many healthcare professionals leading to a talent drain. Healthcare is now one of the largest employers in the country, so it is time we paid attention to breaking stereotypes. The hierarchical career ladder has always been around and may have worked well in the past. But as more and more professionals look towards versatile and rewarding careers, while still maintaining a semblance of balance and flexibility, the concept of a career lattice makes much more sense that it ever has. The other limiting factor is our definition of career growth. We mostly tie it to a title or compensation, making it very prescriptive and limiting our options. But how about expanding your professional toolkit or repertoire, getting outside your comfort zone to challenge your abilities, utilizing your skills and experience in a different area – is that not a growth opportunity? Sometimes to take a step ahead, you may need to take a few steps back or sideways!

Though it may not be applicable in some specialized niches, it is important that healthcare organizations explore and adopt the concept where high potential employees are given growth opportunities to explore other roles and develop new competencies. We know that changing an individual’s attitude or behavior based on an organization’s culture is a much harder journey than teaching new skills and competencies. They why lose a professional who has become an integral part of the organization due to a lack of opportunities? In some industries, it is the norm for professionals to remain in their roles only for a couple years before they move into another role. This enhances employee engagement, retention and loyalty, while ensuring a steady pipeline of motivated individuals within the organization to fill critical vacancies. It also significantly reduces the costs associated with recruitment. What are some best practices that healthcare can adopt? Most healthcare organizations are accustomed to matrix structures, so opportunities are plentiful.

When I look at my own career path, it has certainly been a lattice. I planned to get to the “top” and the quickest way was the hierarchical ladder. It was a competitive rat race. I wanted to remain in hospital operations as that was the world I knew, loved and thrived in. I exceled and did achieve my career goals becoming a hospital CEO. But that also got me to a crossroads in my personal life. I loved my work, but I also loved my growing family and had to make some difficult career choices to give both my best. What I have learned through my experience is to keep your options open and never be afraid to take risks. The adage “greater the risk, greater the reward” maybe cliched but is so true! What I feared to have been career suicide (stepping down from my first CEO role) launched my career into a very different and equally rewarding path! So, whether your organization supports a career lattice or not, don’t be wary to explore it in your own career journey and seek out opportunities that help round your experiences and not typecast you or limit your options. Be creative and enjoy the journey. It is not a race so why not take the scenic route?

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Are You Ready for 2018?

2017 has been a turbulent year for the healthcare industry. Not only have we seen tremendous disruption in technology and innovation, but also more consolidation and strained resources. Natural disasters across the country and the unstable economy have added to the mounting pressures. Leaders have been challenged to do more with less, like never before. You may be using predictive analysis tools in strategizing for your organization, but have you looked at your personal toolkit to see if you are ready for what’s in store in 2018?

At Wiederhold & Associates, we consider three key ingredients for success – history, process, and relationships. Here are some techniques to proactively and methodically plan for a successful 2018.

History:

  • List of accomplishments - Do you have a list of professional achievements for the year? Grab a pen or type out a list, before you forget! It is important to keep track of any milestones, at work or outside, that have been proud moments for you. As time passes by and memories fade, you may lose track of things that may have significance in the future. Doing a quick year-in-review list of accomplishments will help you document and keep these fresh. Or even better, start a business journal and keep it updated throughout the year.
  • Resume - When was the last time you updated your resume? You do not have to be actively looking for a job to keep your resume updated. In times like these when change is inevitable and happens at lightning speed, it is always a good idea to periodically update your resume especially with new skills, accomplishments or credentials that you may obtain along the way. The same applies for your LinkedIn or any other social media profiles.
  • Self-assessment – Have you done a gap analysis for yourself lately? There are several assessment tools available but even a simple exercise of listing any new skills that you have learned or honed, assessing any areas that still need development, and identifying ways to work on these ensures that you are focusing on your professional growth. The core competencies for roles have steadily evolved, and what measures were used to assess your performance even five years ago may not be as relevant as what is needed in the future. Do you have a competency checklist for the types of roles you see yourself in and are you diligently working towards building/polishing those skills?

Process:

  • Personal Brand – Have you “Googled” yourself lately? Always be aware of what is floating in cyberspace about you. Reputation management is an active and lifelong task of maintaining your personal brand. At times you may find yourself caught amid a media blitz not of your own doing or liking. Being aware, and taking necessary and proactive steps to protect your online brand is critical to your professional success.
  • Goals – Do you have a SWOT analysis for yourself? Once you have identified strengths and areas of focus, set SMART goals for yourself. Ensure that your personal goals align with your organizational goals, if there is dissonance it is time to reflect! Where possible, have discussions with your boss to find synergies that will benefit all parties.
  • Action Plans – Do you have clear action plans to achieve your goals? What skills/experiences are you missing in your toolkit and which ones do you plan to focus on in the coming year? How will you measure success?

Relationships:

  • Networking - The holidays are a great time to reach out and reconnect with individuals in your network. It also offers a lot of social opportunities, holiday parties and gatherings to meet new people and expand your network. With work slowing down some, and the holiday cheer around, people tend to be more open to giving and receiving. A great time to nurture your relationships!

So, celebrate your accomplishments in 2017 and ring in the New Year with confidence and assertion. Cheers to your success in 2018!

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Give yourself the gift of networking – how to network during the holidays

The holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with old friends and colleagues that you may not have spoken to in a long time. The season is full of celebrations and parties where you are in the presence of a lot of untapped potential. Potential to make a connection. Spark or rekindle a new or old friendship. Networking is all about finding connection points.

Finding that common ground that endears you to the other person and during the holidays, those connections come even easier with the added ingredients of warm fuzzies (eggnog anyone?) and a healthy dose of good cheer. So, when you are headed to the next holiday party, don’t groan and moan and count the hours until you can be home in front of the fire, look at it as an opportunity to widen your net and build up your network.

How to work a room:

  1. Don’t stand by the front door. When people first arrive to a meeting or party they are nervous and looking for a place to put their things or visit a bathroom. Standing by the door is a sure way to get overlooked.
  2. Spend only five minutes with each person you meet. This is long enough to listen to what makes them unique and for you to establish a connection within exchanged pleasantries. Get their business card and offer yours if asked in return.
  3. Make notes on their business cards. Anything that will help you remember that person when you look them up later is invaluable. There is no way you can keep everyone you meet straight and that one detail about that person could be what gets you that future meeting. It adds the personal touch.
  4. Follow-up. Think of how many times you given out your business card. Now think about how many times someone used that business card to reach out to you after the fact? Part of working a room successfully lies in the follow-up. Connect with the person on LinkedIn, shoot them a quick note telling them how nice it was to meet them and add the fun fact about them you jotted down on their business card.

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Happy Holidays from Wiederhold & Associates

In lieu of mailing holiday cards, and in keeping with the spirit of giving during this time of year, Wiederhold & Associates has made a donation to a charity in honor of our clients, network members and friends for being a part of our lives this year. For 2017, due to the amount of natural disasters the U.S. faced this year, we have selected the Salvation Army as the recipient of our donation.

The Salvation Army helped with all the hurricanes that hit the U.S. this year and are currently assisting in California with the wildfires. More information on their efforts can be found at Salvation Army news.

We at Wiederhold & Associates hope and pray that you enjoy a happy and safe holiday season. As you enter the New Year, never forget what is most important: your faith, your family, and your friends.

Jim Wiederhold and

The Wiederhold & Associates Team

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Three Ways to Work With Recruiters

With over 15 years of executive search work and helping healthcare companies recruit, land and lead talent for their organizations, there are still things in the industry that surprise. One of those is the disconnect between the healthcare executive and the headhunter/search industry.

In this article I will share 3 Ways to Work with Recruiters.

  1. Get to know them before you need one
  2. Often, I get calls from healthcare leaders whom I have never had any prior contact with because they are now out of work due to a reduction in force, a merger or conflict with a board member and a myriad of other reasons.

    An old Chinese proverb states: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”

    I have talked with thousands of healthcare leaders and I am always surprised when someone tells me this is their first real conversation with a headhunter. In today's fast changing healthcare world your network is key to your future success should you need to do a job search.

    Unfortunately, when an organization decides to do a RIF there is no loyalty to you even if you have spent the last 10 years giving 60 hours a week to the organization. Even when we as leaders expect loyalty from our employees we are willing to cut their legs out from under them when we must save money or our own job. (But I digress). This is a topic for another day.

    The point here; get to know recruiter(s). Even if you just took a new job continue to build your network. I have worked with executives who have taken a new position only to find out it is not the right fit; a board member decides they don't like them or the family isn't happy once they arrive and the need to extract from the situation sooner rather than later.

  3. Take or return their calls
  4. As I stated above, I get calls from leaders who I have never had a conversation. What I didn’t say is that I had never called them. As a headhunter my job is to network, get to know leaders and help you, or an organization find the right fit for an opening.

    I know what you are thinking here. I get way too many calls from recruiters to take or return a call. I am way too busy to speak with every headhunter that calls my office.

    Believe me, I understand this point, but see point number one.

    I am not saying you must return every call every time, but build relationships with more than one recruiter. How many? The number is up to you, but I suggest you have a relationship with 5 to 10 recruiters in the industry. Not all recruiters are the same. Some are transactional and don't want a relationship, they just want the placement, some treat candidates like a head of cattle and just like to run you through the process and some are relational and want to work with you long-term and build a relationship that serves you both to find a job and help you build your team should you need help.

    You need to talk with more than one or two to find the right match for your own personal style. And also understand it is impossible to know about every possible job in the marketplace, nor can we place you in a job if a company is already engaged with another firm, or is unwilling to pay us a fee for the introduction. Therefore, it is important to get to know many recruiters, and the only way you can do this is to return calls, or messages when appropriate.

    I learned, probably like you did growing up to treat others the way I want to be treated. However, I do my best to treat others better than I want to be treated…this is the platinum rule. Most recruiters worth their salt and who have been in this business more than a couple of years are fairly thick-skinned and take rejection pretty well, or they wouldn’t still be doing this kind of work, but I recommend when you can -- return their calls. You will know within a few minutes of conversation whether you can connect with this person or not, and if you don’t just be honest and tell them you prefer they not bother you anymore.

  5. Update your resume every six months and send to your recruiter contacts.
  6. If you are like me and most others I talk with in this business, it gets harder and harder to remember everything we have done or accomplished from one month to the next.

    I suggest every month you sit down and reflect on what you have done to move your team, departments and organization forward. Keep a running document or journal that is secure and saved frequently that you can update each month.

    Schedule an appointment with yourself every month to do this so you don't forget things and they never get added to your resume. I also suggest you do this with your team. I am a coach, and this is a great way to coach your individual team members each month and encourages them to keep working hard and reminds you of how hard they are working. Then guess what? When it is performance evaluation time you have already had 11 sessions with them to help you create their evaluations and now there are no surprises at the end of a year.

    If it is not put on the calendar it will not happen. Put this appointment on your schedule and your teams schedule every single month...you will thank me later!

    Once you have the information on your own personal journal document, then schedule a six-month appointment with yourself to update your resume with the best and most quantifiable information you have from the last six months. Then spend 30 minutes writing a personalized email to your recruiter contacts and attaching your resume.

    This doesn't mean you are looking for a job, it means you are watering the tree after you have planted the seed. You are growing your network before you need it.

    Learn more about mike at www.harbourresources.com

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Happy Thanksgiving!

We are grateful for our clients, associates and friends.

Wishing you and your loved

ones a Happy Thanksgiving!

Jim

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Where to Next? The Fastest Route to Career Advancement

Are you looking to be promoted?

If getting a promotion is important to you, then it is time to sit down and ask yourself what you can be doing to actively advance your career. Here are some suggestions.

Regain Career Momentum

Define what success looks like to you. Once you have established the main target, break it down into smaller achievable steps and goals. Implement a workable system that will increase your technical and emotional skillsets needed to move from one step to the next.

Manage Up

Managing up means that you go above and beyond the tasks outlined in your job description. You continuously go the extra mile. Your job is to make your immediate manager’s life easier. Learning to effectively "manage up" can put you in a great position to align with your immediate supervisor, integrate effectively with the organizational culture, receive great recommendations, and ultimately help you on board effectively.

Help your stakeholders recognize your ability to build and lead a high-performing team that goes above and beyond the call of duty. Leading well on a small scale shows initiative and ability. Report team successes to your direct supervisor, giving credit to both the team and team members. As their leader, their success is your success. Consistent progress in leading a high-performing team will show that you are able to graduate to more responsibility.

Build Your Network

Networking/connecting is essential to your success both while gainfully employed and in transition. Networking with a purpose is a vital component of anybody's career success but is often terribly neglected.

Ask Questions / Survey Your Surroundings

•Have I asked my immediate superior what it takes to get to the next position?

•How has this organization historically handled promotions?

•Do they generally promote from within or seek externally?

•What is the general time-frame for people to get promoted within the organization?

•Is the person you report to going anywhere?

•Does the person you report to have a history of mentoring his/her direct reports?

By defining your goals, developing a strategy, and become intentional about executing your plan, you can increase your chances of advancement immeasurably.

Here's to your success!

Jim

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United States Weather Conditions

Oregon's Eagle Creek fire along the Columbia River

Monday we reflected on the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States. It was a pivotal moment in the country’s history and Americans continue to recognize its importance in our lives on its anniversary each year.

Currently the United States is experiencing another significant chapter with wide ranging weather conditions that affect a large portion of the population. We have had two hurricanes since August 25, and Jose, a third storm following them could feasibly land in the Virginia area; there are dozens of forest fires in over ten western states; and as of Sunday night, 260 earthquakes have been registered in Idaho since September second.

The Wiederhold network extends nationwide, either as current or past clients or simply those we know as friends and colleagues. We continue to think of everyone in harm’s way and hope for the safety of them, their friends and families.

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Happy Labor Day

We wish you and your loved ones a safe and fun holiday weekend
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Happy 4th of July!

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy
and safe Fourth of July

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Target Success with Advanced Networking Strategies

Because you've been a part of the Wiederhold & Associates Network, we wanted to share some exciting news with you first.

As you know, networking/connecting is essential to your success both while in transition and gainfully employed. Networking with a purpose is a vital component of anybody's career success but is often terribly neglected. Being intentional is necessary.

Therefore, we have formalized a streamlined process to make it easier for you to expand your network through Wiederhold Intentional Networking (WIN) program. Becoming an active WIN participant will enable you to:

  • With limited effort, expand your own network with quality connections
  • Exchange key information about market and industry trends
  • Increase ability for quality transitions through network connections
  • Affect others in a positive way
Are You Ready to WIN?

The WIN strategy gathers key information from each premium active network member and targets meaningful matches within our client list. As an active member in our program, W&A will introduce you to key members of our current network, helping you gain significant connections that you would not otherwise have access to. Remember, most of our clients are Vice President through C-level executives.

Once you have made the connection, we will send you a short anonymous evaluation form. Each member's feedback will bring value to helping our clients grow their skills in effective networking/connecting as well as passing along current industry trends.

If you want to know more about expanding your network with little effort while affecting others in a positive way, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and she will let me know of your interest and follow up.

Here's to your success!

Jim

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