Healthcare leadership and healthcare delivery is a constant, dynamic, learning lab. Learning, relearning and improving is the very nature of our ever-changing, ever-evolving healthcare system. And, just as it should be. After all, we are dealing with the most valuable, precious, priceless gift and factor in the universe… that would be life. Without life, nothing else matters. First and foremost, there must be life… and hopefully healthy life and healthy lives.
The November 14, 2011 issue of Time Magazine features an article entitled “When Will We Learn?” The article makes an excellent case for the fact that education is the engine of personal, professional and organizational success, as well as social mobility in America.
And so it is in our hospitals and throughout all components of our healthcare system. Education and constant learning, with a never-ending focus on improvement, is the engine of a successful healthcare organization as well as the engine of a successful local, regional or national healthcare system.
So how best to advance education, constant learning, relearning and improvement in our healthcare organizations? The Time Magazine article provides interesting food for thought and action. The article states, “Bill Gates has spent about $5 billion” on research and learning from pilot programs and best practices in order to improve education in America. Author Fareed Zakaria writes, “I asked him [Bill Gates] if he were running a school district and could wave a magic wand, what he would do. His response: hire the best teachers. That’s what produces the best results for students, more than class size or money or curriculum. So basic research into great teaching, that’s now become our biggest investment.”
“Hire the best teachers!” Countries and organizations throughout the world that are leading the way in education, effective learning and improvement not only hire the best teachers. They pay them well and treat them with high respect, appreciation and recognition. Teachers in Finland (ranked at or near the top in the world in education scores and learning rankings) are paid well and are treated with the same professional respect that is accorded to doctors and lawyers.
“Hire the best teachers!” When you hire leaders, you are hiring teachers. Be sure they are excellent teachers. When you promote leaders, you are promoting teachers. Be sure they are excellent teachers.
The best leaders are excellent teachers. It is impossible to be an excellent leader without being an excellent teacher. Leading is effectively teaching and influencing others.
Hire, retain, promote, respect and recognize your best teachers. They are indispensable in helping you reach your mission and most effectively pursue your vision.
After a $5 billion charitable investment, Bill Gates advises, “Hire the best teachers!” Advice well worth your thought… and action.
Copyright © 2011 by Dan Nielsen
Founder, National Institute for Healthcare Leadership www.nihcl.com
Founder, America’s Healthcare Leaders www.americashealthcareleaders.com