Not sure when to change a system? Unclear on when you should hold your ground and stick with what you’ve got? We come up with a lot of great ideas, and implement them as quickly as we can. That’s understandable – our success rides on getting those systems in place, and up and running. Ultimately, though, your systems are going to be challenged. How do you assess their effectiveness? How do you decide whether your system is a success or a failure? How and when should you change a system?
Here’s the thing – trying to change a system to accommodate everyone is a serious mistake. There’s simply no way to build a system that works perfectly for every single person, every single time. There are going to be people who don’t like the system. There will be unexpected complications. Really, all you can do is create a system that works best for you, your team and your practice.
You cannot change your system every time someone complains – that would result in a constantly-shifting mess that doesn’t work at all. Remember that those who are having problems with your system are most likely the exceptions. They’re the 1 out of 100 who have an issue, while the system works great for the other 99 people. Keep your system in place in that instance.
You might also feel that you need to make changes based on pressure from your team. In some instances, this might be necessary, but in others, the resistance could be nothing more than a dislike for change. Humans are creatures of habit, and we like what we’ve done in the past. If you create a new system, there will be some resistance to its implementation no matter how good it is, simply because it’s a new way of doing things.
Remember that most people don’t really know what they want. When Henry Ford asked people what they wanted in the way of transportation, they told him they needed faster horses. They didn’t know they wanted automobiles, but Ford pushed on anyway. Can you imagine what would have happened if he’d just thrown in the towel and started breeding horses that could run faster, for longer periods? It would be a different world, certainly.
So, how do you create a winning system? There’s no simple answer here, either. Really, it comes down to creating the best-case scenario for your patients, your practice and your team. It does require a bit of critical thinking during the development stage. You’ll also need to teach it to your team (and expect some blowback). Once you have the system designed and in place, evaluate it and fix the most obvious issues only.
Creating a winning system really just requires that you pay attention to what your practice, team and patients need. Build based on those requirements, and then evaluate your system critically for workability and flaws. Make obvious changes, but don’t bend over backwards if someone has an issue – chances are good that they’re objecting because they just don’t like change.