If you own a care business you will know only too well how it feels on a day to day basis, fighting the whirlwind. No matter how hard you try you just can’t seem to break free from it. Just when you think you’re back on track, another whirlwind comes along and you’re back in it again. Your team are busy doing the “day job” or the “24 hour day” job in care. If you are in this cycle it prevents you from moving forward. I’m afraid, as a leader, this is down to you.
So how do you get out of it?
If you haven’t read the 4 Disciplines of Execution by Franklyn Covey then I highly recommend it to you. It provides real examples of businesses who are not “playing to win” and more importantly how they changed this.
If you haven’t got time to read the 4 Disciplines of Execution, I’ve provided a quick summary and things you can start to do today. Set yourself free from the whirlwind. Outstanding care businesses that I’ve worked with use this structure. It works!
You need to have an overall strategy in terms of where you are heading. As an example, if your strategy is in the next 12 months you want to achieve an outstanding rating. What can every person in your business do to achieve this goal?
Discpline 1 - Focus on the Wildly Important Goal - WIG
Once you’ve explained the goal and how you’re going to achieve it as a team. Every person in your business, including you, sets a wildly important goal each week. The Wildly important goal should have a positive impact on achieving Outstanding. You might want to split it up in to the KLOE’s Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive and Well Led.
Discipline 2 - Act on the lead measure
Many business goals fail because they act on lag measures rather than lead measures. You need lag measures, but they won’t help you to get to the goal if you’re not looking at future measures. When you act on lag measures it only tells you want you’ve just done, not what you are aiming for in the future. A Lead measure needs to be predictive and can be influenced by your team. Take recruitment as an example. The recruitment part links to all parts of the KLOE’s. Without enough care staff you can’t be Safe, Effective, Caring and Responsive and being a well led business will attract staff. A good lead measure for the recruiter could be attending two community networking events in the week ahead, with the objective of recruiting 2 new care staff.
Discipline 3 - Create a compelling scoreboard
The book talks about a football game, you know when you switch the TV on the first thing you want to know is what’s the score. Knowing the score is central to the human mindset. We need to know because if we don’t know we don’t know where we are now. I’ve worked in businesses and you get a new manager and they say “yes we’re going to have 1-2-1’s every month”. We do have a 1-2-1 for the first 3 months then the 4th one gets missed and before you know it 3 months have gone by and you still haven’t met. We need to know where we’re heading to keep us focused. With the recruiter example above they would have a scoreboard with their wildly important goal and where they are with it. Each team member would have the same scoreboard with their goals on there. The following week it could be that the recruiter commits to calling all care staff to discuss a refer a friend scheme. This is in line with the overall goal and is another wildly important goal that the recruiter is accountable for.
Discipline 4 - Create a cadence of accountability
Try and get each person to come up with their own goal. When they come up with the goal it creates accountability. If they’ve never had to really think about this before it will take some time but once they get it you’ll be surprised at how innovative people are. Be patient at this stage. Give them time to consider what goal they can achieve that will have the biggest impact on the overall goal of becoming Outstanding. When you have your team meeting the following week to assess how people have got on with their wildly important goals, all team members, including you, are expected to explain to the team how they’ve got on. If it was successful give them praise, if it wasn’t successful ask what could they do differently to make sure it’s successful this week.