Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Over the course of the past month, we’ve been discussing the difficulties of the clinician-to-manger career path that occurs in most organizations. OPEN MINDS Circle member James Stewart, executive vice president/chief administrative officer of Grafton, shared these comments on the issue:
Historically it has been both efficient and expedient for management to work its way up through the ranks of service delivery, then take on staff supervision, then departmental oversight, and finally the role in management. […] However, when a person reaches the level of regional or corporate management the focus has to be much different. All of a sudden the job focus is not only about relationships with staff and referral sources but also about the understanding and management of data and how it interacts with those staff and your peers. In other words, not much of what you have learned climbing the ladder necessarily prepares you for the new skills needed to perform you role in management.
This is a deficit that those of us already in management can help alleviate however as we look to the future. We should start focusing our staff on use and interpretation of data at hire. […] Additionally, we in the finance side of things should be interacting with departmental leadership to ensure they understand productivity standards and financial statements. […]
All that said, we do tend to ignore that business management is its own school in almost every university for a reason. […] Having an accounting degree or MBA does not mean you will be successful as a manager of a behavioral health entity, any more than having an LCSW, Psy.D., or LCSW does. It is about fit, knowledge, and experience (notice those are “ands,” not “ors” – it has to be all three). […] Could a manager from the auto industry step into a restaurant chain and be an effective manager right away? Not likely because of the industry-specific knowledge needed to be a good resource to the team.
To sum, management of any business requires industry specific knowledge of both operations and business. In our industry this requires both sides to work together and ensure each side is successful and working in a symbiotic fashion.
If you would like to share your thoughts on this topic, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vice President of Business Operations,
To read more on this topic, you can view: Does an MBA Qualify You To Be a Clinician? all members
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