Why organizational leadership theories fail…

Three managers walked into a bar last Friday during happy hour…


The first manager, Mr. PhD, said, “organizational change requires clear definitions of terms and adoption of a theoretical model for our success.” The second manager, Mr. Charisma, said, “That’s B.S. We just need common sense to get these people moving toward a common goal.” The third manager, Mr. Technical, said, “Until we adopt better IT and process deliverables we cannot achieve our intended outcomes.”


The bartender leaned forward and asked, “So, where do you three managers work?”


The implication is that these three perspectives represent three different organizations or work groups. But these perspectives represent three conflicting voices within one manager’s head. Or your head. Or my head. And we process these conflicting voices in a millisecond.


Whatever you think (your theoretical construct or mental model) determines how you interpret the world (external stimuli or stresses) and make decisions (internal adaptation).


You may turn to the bartender and say, “We all work on the same team at Company ABC.” And the wise bartender will ask, “How’s it going for you?”


There is a gap between those models with venn diagrams of Technology, Process, and People. Technology can be bought and sold, and used by competing organizations. Processes can be adopted or improved, and used by competing organizations. But the social capital from people determines the unique success of your organization. Or your failure.


That is why we provide the necessary theories and systems for managers to make sound decisions. Then we coach and consult people to make smarter decisions based on their expertise and judgment. Necessary and sufficient conditions.


Some coaching questions include:

  1. Do any of these perspectives sound familiar?
  2. What do you need, individually and at your organization?
  3. How are you investing in your top people?
  4. What can you do to retain your desired employees?


We know that 80% of your revenue and value comes from the top 15-20% of your employees.  If you do not invest in them today, then you will lose the tomorrow.


So what are you waiting for?  Call Doug Gray, PCC, today at 615.905.1892.  

We all need coaching at times.

Improving Healthcare Begins with Taking Care of Our Doctors & Nurses

“How are you feeling, doc?

What do you need, nurse?

I think that Healthcare Innovation starts when we ask questions like these. We need to take care of those who are providing our care.

Frustration young female doctor sitting in her consulting room and looking at document.

Too often we get distracted by shiny technology, or efficient processes, when we need to stay focused on the quality of relationships between caring people. Here is a quick example.

Today I shared a panel with 3 brilliant people at an Interactive Case Study led by Mark Kenny (a client) and his team of professional actors at Hippo Solutions in Nashville, TN (see the link here). The theme was “Hospitality in Healthcare,” and this conference/ showcase occurred at Vanderbilt University. Imagine 3 scenes, 6 actors, 50+ in the audience, 2 skillful facilitators, seamless integration of the audience and the actors and the panelists, and you get a picture of how well this case study entertained and educated everyone.

My co-panelists included Paul Sternberg, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Patient Experience Officer, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Darren Hodgdon, National VP of Strategy and Innovation at United HealthCare, and Connie Schroyer, PhD, VP at the Hay Group, based in Arlington, VA. And me. The expert on physician burnout, resilience, positive psychology and executive coaching. We focused on the emotions below the surface of behavior, and concluded that the simplest way to improve the quality of hospitality in healthcare is to ask for feedback, listen well, then support constructive changes.

Years ago we had buttons stating “Hug a Nurse” and “Hug your Doctor.” What happened to those buttons?


If you or someone you know is a healthcare professional and would like to know more about burnout and what can be done to help and prevent this Contact Us Here or Call Us: 1-615-905-1892