Strategic Planning Through Scenario Planning
OUTdrive Episode 14 with Lori Wightman
In this episode of OUTdrive, Cliff visits with Lori Wightman, CEO of Bothwell Regional Health Center. A passionate leader and experienced healthcare provider, Lori understands the importance of hiring great people to build a strong team and the importance of strategic planning to achieve sustainable growth. Read more for some key insights from their conversation.
Hire Stars and Get Out of their Way
Bothwell Regional Health Center has about 900 employees and 60 full-time physicians on staff. As the largest employer in Sedalia and second largest employer in Pettis County, Bothwell’s success can be attributed to a strong team guided by strong leadership. Lori shares her leadership philosophy of ‘hire stars and get out of their way.’
She expands, saying, “My job is to make sure I’ve hired stars, and to make sure that all they have to worry about is the job that I’ve hired them to do, and not other stuff. That’s what I’m going to worry about.”
Cliff adds to the conversation, saying, “It’s all about the people and finding the best people to do the job. Give them some direction and some inspiration and get out of the way.”
Lori also makes it a priority to put herself in the shoes of others to understand what their usual day looks like. This allows her to be a better leader and make decisions with others’ needs in mind.
She explains, “I find that when I work a couple of hours in a department, and I’m assigned one person, there’s now at least one person in every department that I feel like I know. And there’s at least one person in every department that feels like they know me. I have just found that that’s invaluable. It helps me visualize what the work is that they’re doing.”
Lori also believes in making decisions with those who are doing the day to day work. In healthcare, she refers to this as moving decision making to the bedside. However, the idea can be applied to any industry.
Strategically Planning Through Scenario Planning
The COVID-19 pandemic and its far-reaching effects is a great example of the importance of scenario planning. While nobody could have ever planned for COVID-19, going through the process of scenario planning has helped Bothwell be prepared to handle a situation of such magnitude.
When asked about the current pandemic and how Bothwell has handled it, Lori answered, “We set up a command center in early March. And with that command center, we set up goals that really defined and guided our decisions over the last six months.”
Cliff adds his thoughts to the conversation about scenario planning, saying “It’s a cool approach, very novel. Obviously, we were pleased to be a part of the process and learned a lot from it and applied it to our own agency planning. I think it sent us down a little bit different path than we would have gone down otherwise. And we’ll be using it again.”
As your team plans for the future, it is important to anticipate changes. Looking ahead in healthcare, Lori expects to see more healthcare services delivered outside of the hospital as technology and pharmaceuticals advance. She anticipates most surgery will be done on an outpatient basis and other changes will include a growth in telehealth, more patient self-monitoring and more technology to help manage health.
As you continue to develop your team and strategic plans, keep these ideas in mind. Are you building a strong team and enabling success? Are you thinking through all the possible scenarios planning for your future?
Rural American Characteristics Prevalent in Community Hospitals
Another key insight from this episode of OUTdrive is the fact that in community hospitals and healthcare, the care is personal. Lori notes, “In community hospitals, we have very personal reasons of why our care needs to be the safest, the best, the friendliness.” She goes on to say, “It’s because we’re providing care to our neighbors, teachers of our children, our parents, our coworkers. The connection to worthwhile work and making a difference is right in front of us everyday. That’s why I love healthcare and why I love community hospitals.”
A key takeaway from this for those marketing to a rural American audience is the value of personal connections. There needs to be a level of personalization in messaging and content to this audience for it to be meaningful and maximize its impact.
Understanding Your Past Helps You Build Your Future
Cliff and Lori discuss the importance of understanding your past to help you build your future. Lori explains, “The traits of courage and hope that John Homer Bothwell possessed, has been part of this organization since it began ninety years ago this October.”
Lori continued, “He helped us build this hospital on a solid foundation. He was very committed to the community. He had a spirit of giving. He had a spirit of teamwork. He was very progressive and he held high standards, not only for himself, but for everything he was involved in. And that’s the foundation on which our hospital was built and it’s part of our DNA today.”
Hear more about these topics, the unique dynamic of rural America healthcare and inspiring life-guiding principles that can be applied in any business from Cliff Callis and Lori Wightman in this episode of OUTdrive.