Healthcare Business Olympics

author business delivering on commitments fix this next for healthcare providers group practice Apr 16, 2021
Your business requires teamwork. Every member must work toward an individual goal that helps the company reach its goal of profitability.

Do you think your team could win the business Olympics?


Prompt: You are the coach and your team is losing an important game. Write a speech to motivate your team to a win.

I survey the field where the team works frantically. Sweat rolls off tiny faces as they perform their tasks in the hot summer sun. I glance up to the scoreboard. They’re down by two points with ten seconds left in the third quarter. This is brutal.

I can see the exhaustion in the slump of their shoulders at their desks, in the way Ashley keeps glancing out the window of her cubical as if she wishes she could be running around on the field instead of sitting at her desk. They lack motivation. I think they may have even lost sight of their goal.

The Junior Healthcare Business Olympics are not for the faint of heart. The five kids on this team have been training for this moment for months. They are ready. They can do it. They just need to remember their goal.

I wave to the ref and signal my desire for a timeout. The whistle blows and the kids push their chairs away from their desks and retreat to the sidelines where coaches wait to find the words to get them through this final challenge.

“Bring it in!” I yell, waving an arm and urging them to hustle to my side.

When they reach me, they won’t meet my eyes. I could tell they were discouraged, but this provesd that they’ve forgotten all the things they’ve worked so hard to learn about their business, their goals, and problem-solving.

“What’s going on out there?” I ask them softly.

From the back, Amber mumbles, “I dunno.”

“I didn’t quite catch that,” I say, cupping my ear with my hand. “It looks like you have a problem.”

Again, their eyes fall to their shoes. The boy fielding the client care position nods his head slowly.

“Carter,” I address him. “What’s going on in your business?”

“We’re not delivering on our commitments!” he blurts out, running frustrated hands over his buzzed blond hair. “We have a waiting list of almost a hundred people and all our providers are full.”

My mind is racing. I want to ask why Carter didn’t bring this to anyone’s attention before. I want to remind them that this is the final game. Win and we’ve won the Junior Healthcare Business Olympics, lose and we lose it all. I want to step in and take charge and start giving orders, but as their business coach, that’s not my job. I know, if I do that, I will remove power from the person who is actually supposed to be wielding it.

Instead, I say, “Lacey, what should they do?”

Lacey looks up at me, her auburn pigtails bobbing as she does. She adjusts her team captain armband and squares her shoulders. I remember why she is CEO and captain. Even though she’s the youngest and smallest member of the team, she has the leadership chops to make things happen. And now, with a delivering on commitments diagnosis, she knows how to create her business’ treatment plan. I hand her my whiteboard and she sketches out their next moves.

Lacey knows she can't solve this problem on her own. She needs her entire team to work toward their individual goals to reach the company's goal. Lacey knows that profitability today doesn't mean a lot if they aren't delivering on their commitments. If they don't solve this problem, eventually people will get wise and stop coming to Lacey's practice. Soon enough she won't have a practice at all.

The time out ends and the team steps back on the field, still huddled while Lacey calls the play.

“Carter, bring me that waiting list,” she says decisively. While Carter dashes back to his cubical, she turns to Ashley. “Ashley, we need to hire three more providers as soon as possible. Do you have any good candidates?” Ashley bobs her head once and rushes off to go make job offers.

Lacey rolls her neck to pop it and I almost laugh. She stole that move from me. 

“Amber, how’s the billing coming? Any issues?”

“So far so good. I’m almost finished,” Amber replies, looking more focused than I have seen her through the entire game. Lacey nods and Amber returns to her computer to finish posting payments and keep the money coming in.

“I’ve got one,” Ashley hollers from across the field. A new hire can make a good dent in the waiting list.

“Can they start immediately?” Lacey returns.

Ashley nods and Lacey shoots her a thumbs up.

Carter returns with a list of names. Lacey grins, “Start calling these potential clients. We’ve got immediate openings. I want that new provider’s schedule full.”

She turns to Evan in marketing. “Evan, I need you to pitch in with client care. I want you to call all our current providers. Ask if they can make room in their schedules for one or two more clients. Let Carter know if any agree.”

“I’ve got another one!” Ashley yells, phone in hand, from her cubical.

Lacey pumps her fist in the air. Carter and Evan high-five and rush off to start making calls.

Lacey looks up at me. “It’s late in the game,” she says. “Do you think we can still win?”

I point up to the scoreboard where another point has been added to their score. They just need one point to tie. Two points to win. 

“You’ve still got fifteen minutes. You can do it. Go lead your team!”

Lacey grins so widely I could almost count every one of her teeth, including the missing incisor. Without another word, she lopes back onto the field.

It’s going to be a nailbiter, but without a doubt, I know this is a team of winners. At the end of the day, they stared a challenge dead in the face. They thought out the problem and found a solution. They remembered the goal of their business and worked together to meet that goal. As a coach, I can’t ask for anything more.

Backstory: The first week of April, I flew to New Jersey to attend the Next Level Author workshop, hosted by Mike Michalowicz and AJ Harper. I stumbled upon a bookstore in which I got lost for nearly an hour. Not literally lost, but I couldn't stop looking, imagining, and soaking it all in. A journal called 500 Writing Prompts captured my attention, and I bought it. Then I committed to using one random prompt per day to share with my readers. 


This story is inspired by my upcoming release of Fix This Next for Healthcare Providers. If you haven't already, check it out on Amazon. It's available for pre-order. 

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