I have this guy I hired about a year ago named Max. Max is awesome not only because of the work that he does on our marketing team, but also for things like his family (his mom is the super-woman Judy whom I love), his bow-ties, his ability to handle strange travel delays and his stories and wise sayings. In honor of Max, and to make up for, in some small way, that his whole family is in London and he had to stay home because he has a JOB, this is a blog post about one of those bits of wisdom. Somehow his single sentences hold clarity and meaning in a way that only Max can convey. Why is it number 501? Because it can’t be his first (it's way to insightful) and I know it is one of many.
Recently we were working with a client and we had trouble getting them to be in the present. There was all this talk and focus around what their system USED to do. No one wanted to think about what it was STILL doing or needed to do in the future. No one was able to see that the goals of the retiring system were different now that it has been replaced by Epic. It was quite frustrating.
Then Max says:
it's like looking in the rear view mirror to drive forward
And that is EXACTLY what it was. When you put it like that, everyone lights up because THEY GET IT. While looking in the rear view adds value, and lets you reflect on where you have been (which is important), you CANNOT look in the rear view to drive forward. You have to be looking at the front window in order to move on and get to where you eventually need to be. You HAVE to face the reality of the road in front of you. You have to remember that you have an ultimate destination and place you need to be. Everyone needs to put away the map of what the old system used to do and get out the Archive Strategy Map. It can hold some of the same sights, back roads, and detours of the original map, but it needs to be one that is driving your archive strategy forward.
If you are reading my blog, you know what my company does. Being the guys that are handling the “go dead” of an application, we are dealing with what is, agreeably, the most difficult and disappointing time for the vendor being retired.
I get it. The customers have passed you over. Putting you out to pasture. Picked someone younger, fresher, nicer, better suited to their business. Your revenues are impacted. Your market position is threatened. It makes a statement about where you are in your product lifecycle.
What I DON’T get is the attitude that comes along with it. Most HIT vendors today sell more than one product for more than one solution. Why would you treat a customer badly just because they are choosing to de-install ONE of your products at their work site? Raising their support fees? Refusing to help them? NOT GIVING THEM THEIR DATA? I just don’t get it. Its like you are 12 years old and breaking up with your first girlfriend.
Do you actually think this is the right way to treat these customers? That this WON’T come back to haunt you later? Do you know how much these customers talk to each other? Have you READ HISTalk?
Think about the bigger picture here. If you are a vendor that plans to stay in business, you had better treat each and every customer or potential customer like you would want to be treated. The good old Golden Rule applies here.
The decisions have been made. You were or were not asked to present or even attend the party. Suck it up. Do the right thing. Help your customer transition to the other vendor in a positive and supportive way. Make their data accessible and understandable. Help them through technical issues. Use the opportunity to find out what you can do differently next time to be the vendor that is chosen. MAYBE, just maybe, you will get a chance to present or sell something to this customer again. And MAYBE, just maybe, they will remember the positive and professional way you handled the prior system “end of life” and take that into consideration.
Because I can promise you this – the way some of these vendors are acting – they won’t even get in the parking lot, much less a ticket to the dance, even if they are the very best at what they do or sell. They are not only burning those bridges, they are nuking them.
1. I am loyal to a fault. You want me on your side. Even if you are wrong.
2. Don’t Wrong Me. That loyalty thing being said, don’t do me wrong. You don’t want to deal with that.
3. I take it to heart. All of it. I have a tremendous sense of right and wrong, and if I have Wronged You, I am devastated. I will do anything to make it up to you. If I am Right, you better be ready to convince me why you might be too.
4. That being said, don’t take advantage. See #2.
5. You can trust me. But be able to handle the truth, because I am going to give it to you.
6. I love my dog. She is a Cavalier king Charles Spaniel and she is fat and I love her.
7. I love my kids. More than my dog, most of the time.
8. I love life and adventure and change and the next thing. I am always looking to learn more, do more, be better. And there is nothing wrong with that.
9. I worry. All the time. You can stop worrying, I have you covered.
10. I love Prosecco.
I have been thinking lately about comfort zones. I went camping with my daughter’s Venture Crew a few weeks ago – hiking (which I do often) and putting up a tent and eating freeze-dried camping food (which I have NEVER done). Everyone that knows me was extremely shocked that I was going camping. This was definitely outside my comfort zone – I am more of a Ritz Carlton/Oxford Castle kind of girl.
We all know that going outside your comfort zone has benefits that outweigh the fear-factor. The opportunities for personal growth when you push yourself to have new experiences spill over into all aspects of your life. Despite the fact that my plate is very full lately and taking time out to spend 30 hours in the woods added more stress to my schedule, I found the camping trip relaxing and rewarding. I came back to a jam-packed week that I was able to coordinate, shuffle, and actually manage well, mainly because I had taken a mental break.
It is no secret that I am finishing my second year at GSU’s Executive Doctorate program. It is a challenging, rigorous, lock-step program that I am privileged to be part of. We are a tight-knit group of 16 experienced executives with various backgrounds and origins but we have a common work ethic and perspective on engaged scholarship. As we break for the summer, I am reminded how we all constantly push each other beyond our comfort zones. We are all physically and mentally at our limit but we have the last, and most difficult, year ahead of us as we are all working on our final dissertation. Still, we forge ahead together, and are forming a bond that will last well beyond our graduation date. I am grateful to this group for not only having my back but also encouraging me to strive to be the best student, manager, and person that I can be.
The culture at Legacy is a bit like this as well. We are constantly pushing our comfort zones around how much we can produce with the resources we have. We know that our customer’s quality standards are very high – the data HAS to be right. Workflow and high data availability are close seconds. We are constantly working together on solutions to improve our implementation process, our tool kit, our build process, and our testing and documentation process. Each time we are challenged in one of these areas, we feel the pressure of our comfort zone being expanded but we look back and see that the resulting product enhancement or process improvement was well worth it.
I am sure I will be doing lots of comfort-zone pushing this summer. I plan to travel a bit, make some personal changes and set some goals. I plan to push my self to make my dissertation timeline goals and keep that work on schedule. I know it will be hard but rewarding in the end.
Knowing where you are headed.
Not confusing the HOW with the WHAT.
Clearly stating your goals and how to measure their accomplishment.
A plan that can be changed as you execute.
Something your customers and your employees can get behind.
Obviously missing when it isn’t there.
Trusting your gut and experience and knowing that it feels right.
Facing what has to be said even if you know it is not politically correct.
Keeping the main thing the main thing.
Rising above the pettiness and going for the greater good.
Not something invented by management but something conceptualized and then lived by every employee.
Something you have to get right so you keep trying until you do.
You tell yourself over and over – it should never be silent.
The rock solid foundation that we know is there even if our execution feels crazy at times.
HIMSS 2013 was a success as always. A shout out to Secure Information Systems and our other partners for a great show and some great networking. We accomplished what we set out to do – used the conference to pre-schedule and meet with potential customers, networked with old friends and vendors, made new friends, and educated some new potential customers about our product offering. New Orleans is a great city and had lots of options for playing as hard as we were working, but rest assured we were all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed each morning for our day on the show floor.
We are excited as we look to the year ahead. Our new relationship with HIStalk, our recent announcement regarding LegacyCompleteClinicalView, and our new vendor partners all work together to get our message out. Our honesty, integrity, and professionalism and how we treat our customers, our employees, and other vendors permeate everything we do. Look for some original and relevant updates to our products and services as well as a bit of fun from us in the coming months.
Now that we are an official HIStalk sponsor, I can admit that I love their style. Bloggers that get content from an awesome readership is brilliant. I used to get a paper newsletter mailed to me years ago and I often wonder if this was the predecessor to what we all know and love as HIStalk… I will have to dig in my packrat files and see if I have an old newsletter….
Speaking of HIStalk sponsorship, I have to provide a link:
If you didn't know about this site, you’re welcome.
I want to say THANKS to the gang there for a great sponsorship introduction. It was much appreciated over here. My follow-on comment to Mr. HIStalk and Inga is another “You’re Welcome”, however, as imitation is flattery and with our sponsorship, they got a double dip…. I don’t plan on sending you any new tunes to try out though, sorry. If you heard me sing, you would retract your nice words. It is nice to see others using their original talents.
I do enjoy listening to a good tune as well as a fine set of high heels, so the group at HIStalk and I will get along just fine. Inga will be proud as to the quantity of shoes I was able to cram in my suitcase…
The usual suspects here are headed out to HIMSS this weekend to do our setup and preparation and, as always, would love to have visitors. We have a great partner in a large booth at 4611 with Secure Information Systems: www.secureinfosys.com. They are an awesome mix of clinical and technical people that can tackle just about any problem you have with your Epic install, your infrastructure, databases, and interfaces, and of course your legacy system migration.
We took the partnership theme into our 1621 booth as well, and there we feature some other companies that provide niche services that complement ours and with whom we share customers and projects. This group believes in “keeping the main thing the main thing”, and we all bring various strengths to our customers with a focus on quality, return on investment, and integrity. Of course you can learn about Legacy’s solutions in that booth and get your yearly dose of the green elephant! He is camo’ed out this year to represent our fine team of experts that can come in and tackle just about any situation, just like a team of Navy Seals.
Under the category of trying something different, I am taking the train to New Orleans. I LOVE taking the train when I am in Europe. I have high expectations. We shall see how Amtrak delivers. I may find that I have to plan another European vacation to really get my train fix – I keep threatening, don’t I??
See you all in NOLA!
HIMSS 2013 is less than a week away. Legacy would not be where it is without the many partnerships, formal and informal, that we have formed over the years.
One of those key “partnerships” is with HIMSS. We have exhibited or attended HIMSS every year but one in this history of our company. No matter how you feel about it, everyone has to admit that HIMSS is the single most efficient opportunity to bring together vendors and customers, clients and consultants, thought leaders and entrepreneurs, innovators and institutions.
This year, Legacy Data is celebrating this spirit of partnership and cooperation. Stop by our booth 1622 and meet some of the companies whose services complement our own. Companies without which we could not have provided the level of customer service excellence that we are known for.
“It takes a village” is applicable to more than just raising children. Even though you may not feel this way when you look out on the HIMSS show flow, this industry is relatively small and close knit. While it’s the American way to foster competition and we will all still be protecting our own personal customer base, its good to remember that we are all working together to improve the delivery of health care and the efficiency of healthcare delivery in this country.
We all had to, at one time or another read a book from what is generally considered the list of “classics” when we were in high school or college. Recently I have been reflecting on the fact that although I got out of those assignments relatively unscathed and with a decent grade, I don’t remember reading any of them. That is unfortunate, as I have come to realize that as I reflect on much of the popular writing today that tries to pass as literature (“50 shades” anyone??), I have missed out on, or at least forgotten, some truly great writing.
I first got convicted of this after actually reading (skimming? wading through?) “50 shades” – the main character’s favorite book is Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. A friend recommended that reading this might actually redeem us from our jaunt into the world of “50 shades”. Thus my classical literary journey over the summer began.
Other classics I read were Great Expectations and Anna Karenina (which I just finished).
Not only am I enjoying the writing, but also I love how these classics are reminding me of the legacy that literature provides for us. We can immerse ourselves into another culture, time, style of dress, society, country…it is really fascinating to not only enjoy the story but enjoy it from the perspective of the author that wrote it and the people he or she wrote it for and find that the stories and the messages are timeless.
Even though this is fictional writing for the most part, there is a lesson here about the information and learning preserved in these books. The context of the story, the context of the writing, the perspective of the creators and users of the writing are all important to understanding, appreciating, and getting value from it. That is much like LDA’s approach to data archiving. Your data has context, meaning, and perspective that are all important and the needs to be preserved in order to fully leverage the value of that information. If we cut it up, extracted it, mapped it, moved it to a new data model and context, we would lose some of that value.
SO take some time to enjoy some literary classics, and at the same time appreciate the fact that in your organization, you have collected data and information that needs to be preserved classically. There is a great deal of value there and learning that can be leveraged into the future.
I am getting ready to walk into the movie of Anna Karenina. I am a bit skeptical about how it can do the story justice but the sheer coincidence alone that this was one of my summer novels and it was released as a movie just as I finished it up was motivation enough to get me to the theater.
Very appropriate - it came in an email on my birthday. Enjoy!
Courtesy of realsimple.com