Facing Disruptors Head On

By Jim Nash posted 20 days ago


I’m a few weeks back from the VHMA’s annual Strategic Planning Meeting. For three long, but productive days, the leadership team reviewed and discussed industry, education and association trends, and reviewed and updated the VHMA’s Strategic Plan.

We focused quite a bit on disruptors, the forces that have the potential to change the way we do business. We discussed over 45 of them and among those mentioned were nichification, fast data, microlearning, generational differences, declining trust, and work redefined.

While disruptors alter business operations and trigger changes in many areas of society, they also create opportunities for innovation, whether it is at the practice, association, or industry level. Like anything that threatens the status quo, it’s annoying, and we gripe about it because we think the change will negatively impact the way we do business.

One disruptor we’ve all had to deal with are the work habits and values of recent and emerging generational colleagues in the workplace. Millennials are the largest cohort in the workforce, and generation Z is right behind them. Millennials have been characterized as having high expectations of their employers and are more likely to search for new challenges at work and question authority. Generation Z employees are technologically advanced, perceive information visually, and have shorter attention spans. I don’t know about you, but I have already been changing our recruiting efforts, employment offers, and work schedules to adjust to the new demands and expectations.

Generational differences have the potential to create turmoil due to differences in communication styles and mindsets, varying degrees of comfort adapting to new technologies and work styles, which can impact employee health, retention, productivity and satisfaction. Understanding these disrupting factors and adjusting our business practices can be instrumental in creating a stronger, more engaged staff.

Working through the strategic planning process, the group carefully considered how generational differences, as well as other disruptors will impact the future of practice management. Although we performed this analysis on an organizational level, I encourage all managers to keep an eye to the future and stay informed about how macro level trends will trickle down to the practice level.

Disruptors are not necessarily good or bad; they are developments that must be understood and addressed so managers are not blindsided.

The first step toward confronting change is awareness.

Jim Nash, MHA, CVPM
VHMA President