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Connect Beyond the Dots, Connect the “Why”

By Kelly Pray

It’s the dreaded question outside the office that subsequently always has a well-versed answer. “What do you do for a living?” Most of us give out a job title, followed by the organization we work for. If it’s not explicit in our title, we can expand on it through our job description, or reflect on the day-to-day tasks we do at work. For example, most imaging professionals diagnose, monitor, or treat medical conditions in the human body – it’s what they do.

Expanding further on what we do, is how we do it. Imaging professionals may differ in approaches to how they diagnose or monitor a condition. They may differ in the products used or project team structure to accomplish a set task. Internal variables like team dynamics or leadership style can impact the how. External variables like innovative technologies or groundbreaking research may additionally differentiate how one team does a task compared to another.

Good leaders can anticipate these shifts and engage their teams to effectively adapt to their environment. Good leaders connect the dots for their teams, showing how to optimize doing the work that they do. Great leaders can connect beyond the what and the how. Great leaders can extend these dots to the why.

Why are you reading this article? Hopefully, it’s for a reason beyond just sitting in the waiting room at your radiologist’s office. There’s a reason, a value in why you’re taking the time to engage in this magazine. Why is this value important to you?

Being grounded in defining value, defining purpose and connecting the “why” gets us closer to accomplishing goals with excellence. Good leaders will be able to define why they have chosen the pathway to becoming a leader and why they are working in the role they are currently in. Great leaders will be able to engage their teams to understand why they are executing the work they do. Do you know why your teams show up to work every day? Connecting beyond what they are doing and how they should do it is critical to ensuring engagement and productivity.

Leadership author and organizational consultant Simon Sinek captures value propositioning with his concept of The Golden Circle in his book “Start with Why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action.” Start with why, expand with how and close with what you are trying to accomplish.

Using the Golden Circle, let’s take a look at a few examples of the differentiating factor of an effective value proposition:

I manage the Revenue Cycle Team, who collects on our accounts receivable. They use personal phone calls and require clients a quicker turnaround time than what our billing system requires to ensure timely processing. The organization needs a financial foundation to best serve our customers.

I manage the Revenue Cycle Team, who builds the financial foundation to best serve our customers. They use personal phone calls and require clients a quicker turnaround time than what our billing system requires to ensure timely processing. They collect on our accounts receivable.

I run the front desk at a radiologist’s office. I greet customers, answer phone calls and check-in patients. I exist so that patients have the best possible start to their experience with their visit.

I guarantee patients have the best possible start to their experience with their visit. I do this by greeting customers, answering phone calls, and checking patients into their appointment. I run the front desk at a radiologist’s office.

As leaders, take the time to create a value proposition of your team. Depending on the size of the group you manage, collaborate with the group or individuals you work with to equip them to create their own value propositions. It’s the same saying over and over that “people leave managers not companies.” People don’t leave what they do. They leave because they lose sight of why they do it. It is up to leaders to connect beyond the dots and ground their teams in “why.”

Kelly Pray is the enterprise change management lead at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

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