Thursday, March 24, 2011

Relationship Based Management

This morning I was walking around the hospital and stopped to speak with Michelle Meyer, our Manager for SJMC Carondelet Heart Institute (includes cath lab, EP lab, CV Prep and Recovery, EKG and Echo). Michelle is truly one of our exceptional leaders keeping the best interests of our patients, her team and the organization at heart. One of the things she shared with me has been the focus and balance on being an "advocate" for her team while ensuring the she manages the key aspects of her business (e.g., patient outcomes, safety, service, financial).

I really liked that balanced approach - advocating for her team and the organization. So I Googled Relationship Based Management just to see what I would find. The Centre for Innovation in Management described Relationship Based Management well. Although it is listed as a new philosophy, I think it has been an approach around for years with more recent acknowledgment of the long term benefits. They state:

While a new relationship-oriented management philosophy is evolving, command-and-control management still holds sway in the majority of our corporations. The CEO and executives see themselves as serving the interests and perspectives of all of the company's key stakeholders, not just investors. Management as a whole is focused on building strategically important relationships with stakeholders inside and outside the organization. The primary role of managers, rather than commanding and controlling corporate resources, is preserving and extending the relationships upon which the corporation depends.

Relationship-based management takes an integrated, long-term, company-wide approach to identifying and building relationships with strategically important stakeholders. Efforts are focused on creating opportunities for mutual benefit rather than buffering or protecting the company from the demands of stakeholders. Relationship building is directly linked to corporate values and business strategy.

Strong relationships can stimulate innovation, increase flexibility, reduce costs, and allow companies to respond quickly to changing customer requirements. A good reputation, based on sound relationships with customers and communities, means that companies can attract and keep the best employees. Enhanced loyalty and support from employees, customers, investors, and business partners translates into bottom line profits and long-term growth Relationships and the bottom line.

In the healthcare world, that means doing the right things for our patients in harmony with all our providers and key support areas. Thanks to Michelle and our other leaders for role modeling Relationship Based Management.

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