From the Bottom Up

Over the course of my career, I�ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing folks, and I�m not just talking about my direct reports or folks on my immediate team. Every day I work with compassionate and dedicated professionals from hospital dieticians, to transport staff, to operating room nurses to occupational therapists to world-renowned oncologists. They all give 110 percent to the patients in their care and the organizations in which they work. 
In my current role at Tampa General, as was the case in previous positions, I spend several hours a month shadowing team members throughout the hospital. I get to witness their hard work and dedication first hand. I get to �live� the work of the hospital in a profound and very specific way. I am able to talk in-depth with team members, hear their ideas for improving efficiency, see their problem solving skills in action and witness the challenges they face up close.  
These hours each month are some of the most productive – and certainly the most meaningful – I have had the chance to experience. They also directly inform the work that we are trying to accomplish, particularly in the area of innovation. 
Regardless of the industry in which you work, when you are trying to on-board a new initiative or program, you must harness the experience and knowledge of those who are in the trenches every day. You must ensure that your approach supports and enhances the work that is already being done as you work towards achieving buy-in across the organization. If you take the opposite approach and issue a directive to implement a plan or program that was developed by only a small isolated team, you are sure to experience failure. 
For example, at Tampa General we are currently working with GE Healthcare to implement a command center that will serve as mission control for the hospital. The center will use artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to help improve efficiency and shorten the time patients are in the hospital by better managing their care. However, the center will not achieve success on technology alone. It will rely on the expertise and knowledge of team members who are on the ground doing the work. In order to make this center as effective as possible, we must involve team members from across the hospital in the process as we get the center off the ground. 
By involving folks at all levels of your organization as you build a new program, you will not only gain their knowledge and experience, you will empower them to give everything they have to achieve success. They will be able to spot potential problems and work through them as well as see areas for improvement and make recommendations. They will take pride of ownership, feeling heard and engaged.  
The bottom line is that if you�re going to make real change and do it successfully, it has to be built from the bottom up. 

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