How Not Letting Go Leads to Medical Group Management Messes


A few weeks ago on the blog, I wrote about The Medical Group Governance Matrix™.

I have a good friend who says, in the context of a physical skill, that prehistoric humans initially developed the strong, instinctual dominant-hand grip to be able to grab onto tree limbs and quickly climb in order to escape predators like saber-toothed cats. (I didn’t tell him that saber-toothed cats could climb trees, but (i) he reads this blog, so now I have, and (ii) that’s really besides the point.)

The ensuing millennia have honed this instinct, so much so, that we instinctively grab tightly with our dominant hand even when the specific application calls for a much lighter touch.

So, too, goes the vice-like grip that causes many medical group members to hang on to their personal power. They are so unable to let go of their instinctual need to personally control almost all aspects of their financial affairs, that they dash the ability of their medical group to function as a true business. The result is a club. (A club of a different sort would have helped with saber-toothed cats. A physicians’ club does not equal a physicians’ business.)

In order for a medical group to succeed, governance power must shift within the matrix from the lower evolved quadrants toward the upper right:

To do so, each member must let go of the individual control instinctually believed to be required to save him or her from the metaphorical saber-toothed cat.

The reality is that one’s future isn’t protected by completely individual control. In fact, in the business context, it’s almost always hampered in the organizational setting of a medical group of more than a small handful of members.

When the modern saber-toothed tiger, the reality of business, is charging at you, it’s absolutely no time for a vote. It’s absolutely no time for “consensus-getting.” It’s absolutely no time for an “any-member-may-veto.”

Deep down inside, we all have fears, some irrational for sure, but many completely rational. But prehistoric man survived by forming groups. That’s what saved them from the tigers, saber-toothed and otherwise.

The shift required begins inside the mind. It then moves on to your medical group’s governance documents. And finally, because those governance provisions are useless if they’re not followed, it moves from concept to practice.

So, get a grip on reality and loosen your personal grip on your medical group. Show how evolved you’ve become.

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