HHT #167 - Visioning the Future of Home Health
Visioning The Future Of Home Health & Hospice
What will tomorrow look like in your agency?
August 19, 2009
In this issue...
-- Visioning the Future of Home Health Care
-- Visioning the Future of Your Home Health and Hospice Agency
-- Four Weeks To Build Your Business
-- Meet The People Who Have Been There
-- About the Author
-- Permission to Reproduce
Welcome to this issue of Home Health Care Today, the leading electronic newsletter for home health care and hospice executives who want to grow their business and get ready for the future. Every other Wednesday, we bring you strategies and insights that will help you take your agency to new heights.
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Visioning the Future of Home Health Care
What will your home health agency or hospice look like in the future? What will it be like next year? Five years from now? Ten years into the future?
We don't know for sure. But one of the things we know for sure is that there are four factors that will determine your future:
- The forces and trends shaping the future of home health and hospice
- Your desired future (your vision)
- Competitive advantage (this is what makes you different from your competitors)
- Leadership (that's YOU)
As I've worked with hundreds of home health and hospice agencies over the past 27 years, and with thousands of home care executives, I've come to the conclusion that most executives don't spend enough time visioning the future.
How much time have you spent in the last year sitting with a yellow legal pad, gazing into the distance, and thinking about the future of your agency? How much time have you spent imagining the future and writing notes to yourself about what that future might look like? How many legal pad pages do you have with notes to yourself describing that ideal future, and what you would like to do to get there?
On the work table in my office, I have a three ring binder with an accumulation of these old note pages over the past 20 years. It's interesting to go back many years and look at the things I wrote as I was doing one of those individual visioning sessions. I have notes of my own, and notes from company strategy sessions with my wife and business partner, Elizabeth and with my son, Jason. I have tracking sheets showing the goals we set, the actions we have taken, and the results we have achieved.
What's most amazing when I go back and look at these past note sheets is to realize how much of what we envisioned has come true.
One of my favorite experiences with visioning goes back to 1990 when Elizabeth and I first met at the annual convention of the National Speakers Association. She was speaking in a breakout session, and I was in the audience. We talked after, and I asked if we might have lunch the next time I came to Louisville to work with a hospital client there.
Fast forward three months, and we are sitting in Elizabeth's office doing a visioning session for her speaking and coaching business. We used storyboards and index cards to paint a word picture of her business and her life ten years in the future. The future vision was so compelling, that I got down on my knees in her office and proposed marriage so I could share the vision with her.
Fast forward 19 years and we're living the vision. We've been married for 17 years, started two successful businesses, carved out a solid position in the home health industry, and we're loving our lives. As a matter of fact, I'm writing to you today from Cape May, New Jersey, where we are spending four weeks writing new books, visioning the future, and strategizing our businesses. With the internet and cell phones we can work from anywhere, and this is where we choose to work from in August and September.
On the dresser in our bedroom, we have a framed picture of the two of us in front of that original vision storyboard in January of 1991. If you look closely, you can see the key elements of our vision for the future. We are living that vision today. It's amazing!
Visioning the Future of Your Home Health and Hospice Agency
You, too, can have a clear vision for the future of your agency, and for your life. Set aside some uninterrupted time to dream the dream, and to capture a clear picture of what it will look like when that dream comes true.
For many of the highly successful home health and hospice agencies we have worked with, the vision comes as a "gift from the founder." The person who started the agency left behind a legacy that includes a vision for the future.
In other cases, we have successful home health and hospice clients who are on a clear path to the future because the executive team has gotten together and crafted their vision. They have taken time away from the day to day busyness of running the agency to think and dream about the future.
With all of the discussion of health care reform and changing reimbursement, it is more important than ever to take time to craft your vision. You've heard the old cliche', "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there."
In a time of change and uncertainty, lack of a clear vision means it's easy to get lost in the hubbub of changing rules and regulations. You end up being a victim of whatever happens, rather than a leader who is ready to adapt to the changes that are coming.
Here are ten steps you can take right now to craft a vision for the future of your agency:
- Set aside some time for your leadership team to get away.
- Select an experienced facilitator to lead the process.
- Get some storyboards, a white board and Post-It notes, or a flip chart.
- Begin with the question, "If we could wave our magic wand, what would our agency look like in the future?"
- Capture the ideas of your leadership team members without judgement.
- Make visible all of the ideas. Sort them out into categories.
- Put on your critical thinking hat and sort out the best ideas.
- Use red sticky dots to vote on the very best ideas for the future.
- Create a summary document that describes your vision for the future.
- Decide how you will communicate your vision to the rest of your home health and hospice team.
Now the hard part begins.
Implementation. What do you and your team need to DO to make this vision become a reality? This is the strategic planning piece, developing specific goals, strategies, and action steps to turn your vision into a real world home health and hospice agency that is unique in your marketplace.
If we can help you, let us know. Call Leading Home Care at 502-339-0653, and ask for Julie Raque to set up a telephone time with Stephen Tweed to discuss the process for visioning your future.
Four Weeks To Build Your Business
Mark your calendar for September 16, 17, and 18 to come to Louisville, KY for the 2009 Home Health and Hospice Business Builders Workshop. Four weeks from today, this highly interactive workshop will kick off to help you develop the sales, marketing, and public relations skills you need to grow your agency and get ready for the future. With our 100% Money-Back-Guarantee that we are offering with this conference, you can't lose!
The program will begin with Dr. Tray Dunaway, MD, CSP, a physician and surgeon from Camden, South Carolina who will help you connect the dots of home health care and hospice. Then Dr. Dunaway will guide you through the process of building relationships with physicians and penetrating the doctors' office staff.
A new face to many of you will be Elizabeth Jeffries, RN, CSP, CPAE. A former home health care nurse, Elizabeth is an award winning professional speaker, author, and executive coach who works with health care leaders who want to maximize their potential. Elizabeth will present the key elements of selling in style, and will describe the critical behavioral styles of highly effective home health and hospice sales professionals. Elizabeth will also give you tips on selecting and coaching high impact sales professionals.
Stephen Tweed, CSP, will be there to describe in detail the seven sources of competitive advantage in home health care and hospice, and to apply the top ten techniques of highly effective home health care marketers. Stephen will also guide you through the seven step relationships selling process and describe how to turn referrals into admissions.
You won't want to miss this exciting opportunity to gain new sales and marketing skills that will enable you to be more competitive in your marketplace.
<brToday is the last day for Early Bird registration. You will save $200 per attendee and there are additional discounts for groups of 5 or more, so register today!
Meet The People Who Have Been There
While we continue to build the content and approach of our business builders workshops, we always learn from the past successes of previous programs. We asked past participants to tell us what they found most important or most useful from participating in our workshops. Here are the viewpoints of some people who have been there:
"When I read about the training on Stephen Tweed's website, the course outline immediately piqued my interest. Having worked for 20 years on the operational side of home care, this program appeared to be exactly what I needed to transition out of my comfort zone.
After attending the program, the information proved to be extremely valuable in providing insights as to how to approach various selling situations within the home care industry. Moreover, as a team leader, the training helped me provide better guidance to those on my sales force.
In particular, I found Dr. Tray Dunaway to deliver superb and entertaining anecdotes which truly remain in the forefront of my mind while talking with doctors. His message as to how to communicate with MDs proved extremely useful resulting in direct referrals from targeted doctors."
Sarah J. Sullivan
"I think the presentation that helped me the most was Dr. Dunaway's. His presentation really helped me to understand how the doctors think and how to persuade them better. Altering the message so that it appeals to the doctor has really helped me to converse with them better. Now, I have better ways to talk to them and educate the doctors about how and when home care referrals could be made.
We offer many services, so now I can change the message to highlight a different service and how that service could help a specific type of patient. The practice sessions with the feedback really did help."
Joplin Regional Marketing Manager
Integrity Home Care
"WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR CAN MAKE! As a result of your training and our marketing and sales efforts, we have tripled our business! Marketing efforts have more than doubled our Medicare admissions over the last year. Thanks to the intense marketing training, our referral sources have more then doubled in key target areas.
My background is in sales and marketing training and yet I still learned so much from Stephen Tweed, and Dr Dunaway! As a result I was able to fine tune my own craft. Your tools provide a great foundation for a beginner or seasoned sales professional! We employed these tools and the management of the sales team accountability and productivity reports to produce more referrals, more admissions and better outcomes - everybody on the team gets it and our agency is finding that because everyone is involved everyone benefits. "
"I wanted to write to thank you so much for the Sales Professional Conference in San Antonio. I learned a great deal. The conference really helped build my confidence during sales calls. I found it especially exciting to come back home, put the things I learned in action and watch the resulting success! In the 2 months following the conference, I had 267 referrals and 175 admissions! I was also promoted to marketing director for our company, Home Bound Healthcare. I now oversee the marketing staff for 7 locations. I look forward to attending your conferences again. I feel it helps even those who have previously attended to serve as a reminder and motivator. Thank you again."
Home Bound Healthcare
About the Author
Stephen Tweed, CSP, is Chairman and CEO of Leading Home Care ... a Tweed Jeffries company. For over 25 years he has been a recognized leader in strategy and leadership development for home health care & hospice companies and associations. He is the author or co-author of seven books, five of which were written specifically for the home care industry. He has served on the boards of directors of three not-for-profit home care agencies, and has served as interim President & CEO of a $25 million home care company.
Stephen is a past-President of the National Speakers Association, a 3500 member international society of experts who speak professionally. He is also the father of a 38 year-old son who is physically disabled and uses the services of home care on a daily basis.
Permission to Reproduce
Permission is granted to healthcare publications, associations and companies to reproduce this article in your publication, or to distribute copies to your leaders, on the condition that you reproduce the credits and contact information as follows: "Reprinted with permission from Home Health Care Today. Copyright 2009 Stephen C. Tweed. To receive a FREE subscription to this newsletter, log on to www.leadinghomecare.com."
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