(Guest blogger Craig Deao is a senior leader at Studer Group, a healthcare consulting firm, and a managing director at Huron.)
Pop quiz: If five frogs are on a lily pad and one decides to jump, how many frogs are left on the lily pad?
The correct answer is five, because deciding and jumping are two different things. Healthcare organizations often declare their decision to deliver better care or improve value, but when it comes to executing, they have difficulty taking the leap.
Stanford professors Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton studied this disconnect closely and documented their learnings in the book, “The Knowing-Doing Gap.” After studying dozens of organizations that publicly declared intentions to improve, they learned how some overcame the knowing-doing gap, while others did not—even though their declared strategies outlined exactly what they needed to do. Although the professors published their findings almost two decades ago, the same problem exists today, especially in healthcare.
Healthcare organizations need more than a good strategy to deliver results. To enable execution, healthcare leaders must help their employees find meaning in their work, provide them with usable and effective tools, and standardize best practices.