With medals for India in the Olympics, the cynics are quiet. The achievements are being considered as India’s first step towards being a better sporting nation.
Excellence in business, as in sports, depends upon many common factors. Having been a full time sportsperson for almost a decade, I can see many similarities as far as critical success factors in both these fields are concerned.
Whether you are preparing for an Olympic medal or for dominating a market segment, you always start by sticking to the basics. If the basics are strong, you will go a long way. Finding facts about the market segment, doing a research, doing a SWOT analysis, matching your competencies with the market demands, studying the competitors are some basics for the winning in a segment.
In business, as in sports, you focus on the ‘Karma’ or doing things correctly with full commitment when it comes to execution. You do not focus on the end result. If you play the game by looking at the scoreboard all the time, you become too attached with the result. Fear of failure starts to haunt you and you lose focus. Ask any good surgeon. When he is doing a critical surgery, he is fully engrossed in the surgery. He does not let the attachment to the end result shadow his current act. So create a great operational system, follow the standard operating procedures, deliver on your core competencies, and do not focus on the result. Doing a reality check every now and then is ok, but being obsessed with the result and emotionally attached to it all the time is no good.
A team sport is about making your mate win. If everyone makes everyone win, the game is won. In healthcare, the nurse makes the doctor win, the management makes the staff win, your marketing team makes the management’s investment decisions win. When the game becomes about winning at your team mate’s loss, the game is lost. Yet so many hospitals are all about organizational politics. Doctors against doctors, workers against management, clinical staff against non clinical staff, etc. Where will the medal of success come from?
You win in a game by attacking the weakness of the opponent. If you play to the strength of the opponent, your chances are diminished. There is no point opening the multi million cancer department if the competitor already has a strong cancer department. Yes, if the competitors are struggling with long waiting times, you can engineer a system which ensures faster delivery of services. This alone can deliver the knockout punch if executed well.
Equipment in sports and facilities for staff in an organization can spell the difference between a winner and a loser. A hospital sending its representative to a corporate in a suit, with a lap top to present the importance of preventive health checks is more likely to win the deal than a hospital sending in a person in street clothes with a couple of ill designed brochures.
Lastly, it is all about practice. The endeavor to minimize errors in pursuit of perfection is what everyone should be up to. So practice your conversations with the patients and their relatives in critical conditions, practice the flow of the next camp or CME, on goingly practice all those protocols and measure results. Remember the old saying?- ‘Practice makes a hospital perfect.’
So let play the game as it is supposed to be played. Let us make a name for the Indian healthcare delivery system in the world and win laurels just as our athletes did in Beijing did.
Healthcare Marketing Consultant