Walmart Understands Action. Most Physician Leaders Just Understand Reaction.

May 11, 2020

Your local newspaper and even that national one that claims to print everything that’s fit to be printed is telling you that the world as you know it is over. It probably is.

But have they told you that the world as you can create it might be better? No. That’s not good for selling ad space, especially to drug companies.

As a result, most physician leaders are running scared. They’re too busy correcting the missteps of poor group structure, poor governance, and poor management to think about strategizing for the future. Heck, if you don’t think you’re going to have a future, why strategize for it. Just react to what’s happening, react to what you read, react to what you hear on TV. Problem -> Reaction. Fear -> Reaction. Crisis -> Reaction.

But of course, not everyone thinks that way. Instead, they see opportunity: Problem -> Opportunity. Fear -> Opportunity. Crisis -> Opportunity.

Let’s take Walmart for instance. They are moving ahead with their third “Walmart Health” center, a facility designed to take food off of your plate if you’re a primary care physician, the operator of a clinical lab or of an imaging facility, a radiologist, a psychologist, a dentist, an ophthalmologist, an  otolaryngologist, or dietitian.

Walmart doesn’t think like you. They have a strategy to seize opportunity. They make decisions quickly. They act on those decisions quickly. They are inside of your OODA loop [read about it here]. They will open their third Walmart Health while the primary care doctors they’re about to displace can’t even figure out how to reopen after the “shut down”.

But the interesting thing is that the concept of maneuverability, taking fast action that iterates and iterates so quickly that your competitor cannot predict what will happen next, thereby creating confusion and the inability of your competitor to cope, has nothing at all to do with size. It lies at the core of the key to victory in the Civil War Battle of Missionary Ridge [read about it here] and at the core of the story of the flea that (metaphorically) killed the medical center CEO [read about it here].

And, it also lies at the core of developing and deploying the strategy for your group’s overall existence and for each and every “negotiation” that takes place.

I know it’s a foreign concept for most readers, those who sit back to wait to see what “the hospital will come back with.” But how’s that worked out for you so far?

We’re designing a program for medical group leaders like you who want to understand the secret sauce underlying opportunistic action. If you’d like to be on the invitation list, send a message to one of my assistants, here. And, if you learned anything by reading the above, act fast.

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

Mark F. Weiss

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