How to Profit From Problems


They set out to develop a high grip glue. But it completely failed. They eventually made hundreds of millions.

Problems. We all wish we didn’t have them. But we all seem to have a lot.

Problems arise all the time in respect of the relationship between hospitals and physicians with contracts of any kind, from exclusives to co-management contracts. Someone finds a partially used vial of drugs that was not properly disposed of. Or there’s a complaint about responsiveness in terms of responding to referring physicians. Or tussles with hospital staff about getting an add-on case on the O.R. schedule.

It’s what you do about a problem that makes the difference. Ignoring it is a fools game; the problem will fester. Solving the problem is neutral — you think you’re back on an even keel, but chances are there’s still lingering anger.

Most groups view problems tactically: They happened. Now what? Accept responsibility? Ignore it and hope it goes away? Blame it on someone else?

But when viewed strategically, most problems are opportunities. I’m not talking simply frame of mind, as in “every problem is an opportunity in disguise.”

Rather, problems are the fuel for opportunity. I’m talking actual opportunity – a situation that can be flipped and made, through very fast filtering through your group’s overall strategy followed by very fast deployment of a conforming tactic back to the source or relevant third party: The partially used vial leads to your development of a new disposal protocol. The lack of responsiveness leads to co-development of new tools for closer collaboration. And so on.

When a problem of this sort next occurs for your practice, think what advantage can be gained. I call this strategy The Situation Transformer™. To do this effectively requires that the advantage be viewed through the lens of overall group strategy — which means you must have one — and that you have the ability to respond quickly,

It’s making lemons into lemonade.

Or, in the case of the glue that didn’t grip, into Post-it Brand notes.

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