The Basics of Management

What is Management?

"Management is the acquisition, organization and application of resources in pursuit of tangible goals guided by a clear mission."

What are the Resources Involved?
  • People
  • Physical assets
  • Money
  • Potential
  • Know-how
  • Financial returns
  • Reputational status
  • Efficiency of market acquisitions
  • Optimized productivity of assets applied
  • Recruiting and retention of top talent
Managers are Responsible for:
  1. Acquisition, onboarding, training, development and productive application of human resources.
  2. Conversion of organizational mission, goals and objectives to your areas of responsibility.
  3. Culture.
  4. Integration of effort with other managers.
  5. The customer experience.
  6. Departmental productivity.
  7. Departmental efficiency.
  8. Fidelity and representation of the values and mission of the organization.
  9. Ongoing development of a "Belief System."
  10. Stewardship of resources.
Foundational Understandings of Managers:
  1. The organization's reason to be (its Mission.)
  2. The organization's direction (its Vision.)
  3. The organization's way of doing business (its Values.)
  4. The organization's basis for strategy and methods of operation (its Belief System.)
  5. The organization's strategic plan (how it gets to where it is going.)
  6. The organization's brand position (how it is positioned in the "mind's eye" of potential markets and competitors.)
Example of a Healthcare Organizational "Belief System" - A Mini Case Study:
  • "We believe demand for our services will grow based upon demographic trends."
  • "We believe the governmental payers will continue to hold down price inflation rates and will focus more scrutiny on total costs of care."
  • "We believe commercial insurers will follow the governmental payers on cost of care goals."
  • "We believe that competition of patients with the best insurance will increase; the patient experience will become an area of focus and investment."
  • "We believe competition for top talent will increase."
  • "We believe impending clinical technologies will require increasing capital investments."
  • "We believe that the patient experience is our key competitive edge and all are accountable for it.
Manager's Role in Culture:
  • Culture is the leaders' choice.
  • Leaders direct culture. Culture "by default" is a risk.
  • Culture is the human condition at work.
  • Culture is the principal predictor of organizations that perform at the highest levels.
Culture and the Human Condition at Work (What the Human Condition Needs):
  • Clarity of purpose.
  • Clarity of beliefs.
  • Clarity of values.
  • Clarity of goals, objectives and performance metrics.
  • Clarity of communication.
  • Clarity regarding how "what they do" fits.
What Else Does the Human Condition Need at Work?
  • A way to belong, not just fit in.
  • Individuals need to know how what they do matters in service to the mission of the organization (i.e., how they matter.)
  • Fairness, equity, justice.
  • Fair and equitable rewards.
  • A reasonable sense of control over what they do and how they do it.
  • Ongoing clarity of "Where we are" and "Where we are going."
  • Confidence in leadership.
Understanding the Importance of and Difference Between "Productivity, Efficiency and Opportunity Cost":
  • "Productivity" is improved when the outputs produced increase as compared with the inputs required. Example: the physician modified her work day to spend a higher proportion of her time doing surgery; more revenue is now produced for the same work day.
  • "Efficiency" is improved when the same outcomes are produced at less cost. Example: the optometrist can now see the same number of the same type of patients per day at less cost per patient due to modifications in how support staff and other resources are applied.
  • "Opportunity cost" occurs when a product or service is produced by a person or process at a cost higher than is required to get the job done equally well by an alternative approach. Example: the physician was applying her time to provide patient care services that could be done by a qualified physician assistant.
Manager's Performance Scorecard (Sample):
Note: Performance categories (areas of focus) typically remain the same while metrics of focus may change.
Higher Order Opportunities for Managers:
  • Innovation: Creating applications of new ideas and concepts that produce improved results more economically.
  • Encourage interdependence among other managers.
  • People development.
  • Customer experience.
  • Ongoing assessment of productivity.
  • Managers acquire, organize, develop and direct organizational assets to serve vision and mission expectations.
  • Managers are the first line of people development.
  • Managers are the first line of patient experience performance.
  • Managers are the first line of organizational productivity and efficiency.
  • Managers are the first line of innovation.
  • Managers are the first line of organizational performance accountability.

About Daniel K. Zismer, Ph. D.

Daniel K. Zismer, Ph. D.

Daniel K. Zismer, Ph.D. Is the Co-Chair, Co-Founder and CEO of Associated Eye Care Partners. He is also Endowed Scholar, Professor Emeritus and Chair, Department of Healthcare Administration, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota.

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