This isn’t a comfy truth to hear, but we are doomed if we mindlessly stick to how we have always done things or just follow the herd without thinking.
Rule 1: Lean into what makes you special. Surprise! This is different for every single practice. No one else has your exact mix of people, place and patients and you need to work out what critical advantages you have. And exploit them.
Rule 2: Learn how to run a business. Have you read Sun Tzu, Miyamoto Musashi, Marcus Aurelius, Peter Drucker, Peter Senge, Amy Edmondson, Adam Grant, Simon Sinek? If not, why not? Are you some sort of savant who was born knowing all this stuff? I thought not.
Rule 3: Ditch your prejudices and try things. If they work repeat them. Until they stop working. Or you find something better. Explore the new and exploit what works at the same time. Behave like an entrepreneurial startup. It’s the only way to survive.
Rule 4: Unleash your people. You absolutely cannot afford to ignore any talent in your team. You do not know what challenges you will face or where help will come from. So, be clear about your purpose, the reason you exist, and then get out of the way.
Rule 5: Beware people with a solution who tell you what your problem is. Solutions like merging with a super-practice, App based triage, Neighbourhood Teams, Additional Roles staff are being pushed at us with little or no thought about whether they will help our individual practices. I’m sure they are lovely people, but they have an agenda that is often not in our interests.
The pace of change is relentless, and adaptation is essential. But finding what’s right for your practice is the “secret sauce” that will let you thrive.