Group Culture

Is Your Medical Group Being Governed or Governed?

November 24, 2014
Image of Watts_governor
James Watt’s governor. Does your medical group have a governor holding back its future?

Is your group being governed or governed? Yes, it’s a trick question. But the answer might just be a joke on you.

The Greek language root of the word govern means to direct, rule, guide or steer.

James Watt, the Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer and industrialist, modernized the steam engine, developing a way for it to produce rotary movement. But for the engine to operate in that fashion, its speed had to be kept relatively constant. The solution: a governor, a device that controls or limits an engine’s speed.

Most modern cars have governors to cap their top speed.

Many medical groups have governors on them, too:

  1. Their governance structures are bloated. I’ve run across groups with 26 board members. Think how long a meeting must last and how difficult it is to come to a decision.
  2. Their governance structure is consensus based. Need to take action quickly? Forget about it!
  3. Their governance structure is anchored on maintaining the status quo. The managing members just want everything to remain the same even though the world is changing around them.

These groups have governed away their ability to be able to act proactively, to act decisively, to act quickly in order to create a bigger future.
Is your group governing away your own future?

Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.

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