Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Majesty of Integrity!

There are so many problems and issues which one can write about, you might think it is difficult to choose a topic.  Quite simply it was not. I do not want to talk about philandering politicians, power-elites, or down fallen TV personalities: at least not directly.  It should suffice to note there are morons everywhere. But, I want to discuss a characteristic which seems to be lacking these days. That characteristic is Integrity and I am personally obsessive about it.

Integrity, as defined by Merriam - Webster, is "firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: incorruptibility".   Integrity means one does what one says they will do.  For me, this has always meant if I said I will call you tomorrow, then I will call you tomorrow: no ifs and or buts.

Lately, I have experienced a lack of the display of integrity from some people I know well, and others I know socially. It hasn't been anything life shattering, just irritating.  Simon Sinek lays it out beautifully in this short video.  I urge you to watch it, reflect on it, and seek to understand.  True integrity is a majestic thing!

I ask you to share this blog post with all your friends and acquaintances.  Not because I think they lack integrity, but because I have a goal to reach a certain readership with my blog. Thanks!

All the Best,

Friday, November 10, 2017

Innovation and Creativity

Innovation and Creativity in the workplace does not get enough attention: especially in healthcare.  It may the rigidity of an organization, history, or just plain old misunderstanding.  What is Innovation anyway and what does Creativity have to so with it?  Plenty!

The business dictionary defines Innovation as "the process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers are willing to pay" (  Does this definition sound familiar?  If not you must ask, is my company innovating?  are we creating new value?  In many cases the answer is a big fat NO.

By Innovation, I do not mean process improvement.  Process improvement is a good thing.  However, improving a process is only incremental change.  It is not innovative at all.  The process itself may be the wrong one in the first place.

If you desire to be innovative you must be able to encourage creativity.  Most Hospital and many other businesses are not creative for one very simple reason.  They do not make it OK for workers to be creative.  Brown (2008, 2010), Csikszentmihalyi (2004), and  Seligman (2004),  all discuss positive psychology, play, and flow as necessary elements of creativity.  In fact, Innovation cannot take place without creativity!

 Mihaly Chikszentmihalyi (pronounced, Me-Hi-Cheek-sent-me-hi) (you thought my last name was difficult) discusses the element of flow: "the notion of "flow" --a state of heightened focus and immersion in activities such as art, play and work" (2004).  You can see his talk on flow in his 2004 TED Talk.  I recommend it.   When I ask, "have you ever experienced flow"?, nine out of 10 people have a look on their face as if I asked them to pronounce 'Csikszentmihalyi'.  Most people in hospitals and business organizations have never heard of it, much less, being able to give an example!

Athletes experience flow.  We typically call this being "in the zone".  Let me ask, when was the last time you partook in art or play at your workplace?  I thought so. Never maybe? This is a concept that must be understood and ingrained in an organization which wants to creative and Innovative.  Visit Our Website for a few examples of Flow and Play in the workplace.

I am presenting a Webinar, April 10, 2018 via Wiederhold and Associates titled "Innovation and Creativity in the Workplace".  I hope you can attend. In the meantime, color a picture the next time you are vexed by a particularly tough problem.  The results may surprise you.

All the best

Thursday, November 2, 2017

You are a busy Healthcare Executive: Learn to Recharge!

I have been there.  Sitting in your seat wondering if I will ever get a break.  In fact, I served as President and CEO of a 600-bed Tertiary Trauma and teaching hospital.  That experience often felt as if I were an air traffic controller as opposed to President and CEO.  The demands are constant and unrelenting. So what should you do?  Learn to recharge.

As executives, you would think we would know this intuitively. However, we are not always good at doing the things we suggest for others. Recharging: taking time to clear the mind and recenter ourselves.  We should do it for ourselves, as well as, those we lead!

Most C-suite folks I talk with do not know how to recharge and many believe they do not have the time.  Well, it is not an option.  You can never be a High Performer in any sense of the concept if you can not recharge.  Guess what.  It is not that difficult.

I tend to block my days so I can be focused for a specific block of time to work on specific priorities.  At the end of each block, I take 10-minutes to recharge.  I may stand up and stretch, take a quick walk outside, or just sit in quiet and clear my mind.  TEn minutes, that is all it takes. You would be surprised at how you will approach your next time block.

Visit our webpage High Performance Solutions Group to see how we can help you perform better.  While there, "Opt-in" to our email list for updates and useful tidbits.  We will show you how to recharge for the Day, Week, Month, Year, and decade!

All the best,
                                          Michael L. McEachern, LFACHE
                                           President & Founder