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President's corner – Spring 2014
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By Debbie Gleason, FASPR, ASPR President, Physician Development Administrator, The Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE

Debbie GleasonChange. Does it excite you or elicit fear? Are you the innovator and creator of change or do you wait for it to force you into action? How do we prepare to succeed in a culture and industry where change is occurring at, what seems, an exponential pace? Is all change necessary, productive or positive? If you’ll indulge me, here are a few thoughts as it relates to our work both at ASPR and in our individual organizations.

We work in an industry full of complexity. As physician recruitment, on-boarding and retention professionals, we must understand nuances within a myriad of disciplines and specialties. Being adept at crossing between them in order to process the day-to-day work is a combination of art and science. Not only must we cross between them, but we must also understand how they flow together to make the special blend of our profession.

We work in an industry full of technology. Staying abreast of the technology in our offices, computer hardware and software, tablets and smart phones, web resources, tele-communications and places I have yet to venture envelops us continuously. Technology begets data and facilitates its analysis. Accessing and capitalizing on the information available through technology will be a necessary competency. Knowing and expecting constant change and upgrades in this arena are surely part of all our lives.

Consider some of these key elements and give thought to how they contribute to your aptitude for ‘change success’ today and into the future:

  • Attitude, as the adage says, is everything. Contemplate the difference between someone who sees beyond the impediment or frustration of the moment to what ‘can be’ versus the naysayer who dwells in gossip and negativity. It’s not difficult to figure out where the productivity and success lies in the long term.
  • Communication. The power of language in the hands of an articulate communicator (both written and verbal) can motivate and move teams into action. Ideas, creativity and innovation flow through effective communication, regardless of your discipline or skills, and will lead to clarity in our complex, technology-filled yet interpersonal world.
  • Voracious life-long learning. In addition to formal education, there is merit to ongoing education gathered through reading, inquiring, observing and listening. Enhancing your education as you go through life expands opportunity. You’ve all heard of the quintessential ‘renaissance man’ with the concept encompassing a breadth of knowledge and opening new worlds as opposed to finite focus.
  • Sense of adventure and willingness to take risks and (oh yes) perhaps fail. Is this not a sign of leadership? If this is not exemplified and encouraged, how can innovation be realized? However, just as valuable (and possibly more so) is the willingness to use discernment as you consider presented opportunities rather than blindly moving forward.
  • A genuine passion for teamwork and appreciation for the gifts brought to the team by individuals creates a framework for building camaraderie and a shared vision. It’s smart to tap into all resources available within your team to move initiatives forward. Remember, however, that it takes effort to build strong effective interpersonal professional relationships. Here’s the perfect occasion to make work fun!Resilience will be required as we power through the change ahead. Find a personal method of sustaining yourself, mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.
  • Clear your head and refresh your spirit so you are prepared to carry on and revel in the process.
    Strength of character sustains you and your reputation over time. Self-awareness is a crucial part of education and maturity. Understand how your intrinsic value, authenticity and credibility along with mutual trust enhance the solidarity of your team as you anticipate, withstand or pursue change.

I encourage you to consider what other key elements assist you as you embrace change that is inevitable and discern when it simply becomes change for the sake of change alone.

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