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About Philippa Kennealy

 

Philippa Kennealy MD MPH CPCC PCC is The Entrepreneurial MD Business Coach who wants to help you build your business!
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Friday
Oct132006

Are YOU Ready to Succeed?

Are you ready to succeed.jpgCreativity is a mysterious and intriguing force - one that I believe resides in all of us. And one that I am adamant is latent or even suppressed in many physicians.

Just how original and inventive can you really be in your routine of caring for patients? Perhaps if you are another Patch Adams, you can get away with it. But the majority of physicians spend their days adhering to a fairly well-prescribed set of "rules" that must be observed in order to generate a predictable outcome for patients. Physicians can't afford to play around with these rules.

It's therefore refreshing to encounter the voice of a well-respected business professor, whose goal is to foster creativity under even the most "restrictive" and regimented of circumstances.

Professor Srikumar S. Rao is a professor at Columbia Business School and the London Business School, who teaches a wildly popular and oversubscribed course on "Creativity and Personal Mastery". To MBA students! - what was he thinking??

After years of obtaining remarkable results with his course, he sat down to "write down the principles so that anyone who applies the tools can be transformed and live a life of creativity and personal mastery".

The result is his life-affirming and thoughtful 2006 book Are You Ready to Succeed?: Unconventional Strategies for achieving personal mastery in business and life, that have I just finished reading. I was so stirred up by the book that I want to share some of its ideas with you.

Here are just a few of the unconventional strategies that he writes about (in the book, the strategies have accompanying exercises):

  • let go of fixed notions of how things should be
  • examine the mental models under which you operate, and test to see if different mental models can produce different more satisfying results
  • uncouple your sense of well-being from the anticipated outcome, by decreasing your emotional involvement in the result (translation: be less concerned about the results and have more fun being involved)
  • let happiness find you instead of engaging in the relentless pursuit of finding it
  • separate your sense of self from your behavior (translation: if you don't hit a target you set, this does NOT make you inept or stupid or lazy. It simply means you didn't hit the target, and instead of beating up on yourself, you'd derive more value from understanding what is needed to hit the target next time.

There is plenty more to slake the thirst of a seeker who's keen to live a more creative and meaningful life! And who'd like to learn ways to cope with all the change that starting a business encompasses.

Yes, these strategies are MUCH easier to read about than to implement. While this may sound almost "woo woo", the exercises are some of the most rigorous personal development challenges to take on. I know how my coaching clients struggle with change - as do I!

Dr. Rao urges you to take the time and give the attention to the exercises he offers - the ideas and theory will never amount to much in your life unless they are accompanied by the learning that comes from practice and real life experience.

In my research on the Web, I was thrilled to discover a recorded interview of Dr. Rao by Patricia Wheeler of Leading News . Carve out some quiet time to listen to it - by clicking on the mp3 file link (just follow the instructions on the page to figure out how to listen to it or download it).

Let me know what you think!

Wednesday
Oct112006

Want to walk in the steps of physician entrepreneur "giants"?

10-11-06footsteps.jpgOne of the fun parts of my business is to play detective!

I track down the names of established physician entrepreneurs, using a combination of scanning health news digests (such as Health Leaders Media), Google alerts and weekly searches done through my HighBeam Library subscription.

The next step usually is to google the names I come up with, using all my available ingenuity, to sniff out their contact information. Sometimes this even involves e-mailing a journalist or writer.

My communication with them has to be sufficiently compelling to induce them to give up thirty minutes of their precious time for a good cause - inspiring people like you and me! 

Most times, because these are generous people who want other physicians to succeed as entrepreneurs, I prevail in uncovering the prize........ a coveted recorded interview with them!

I engage in this detective work to unearth these "stars" for a few reasons:

  1. It is a sheer delight to interview these talented and driven people.
  2. I feel as if I am forging a new set of relationships that I value a great deal. Occasionally, I am able to hook some of them up with each other....which feels good. 
  3. I am privileged to learn from them, and plan in turn share those insights with you.
  4. I am struck by the common themes I hear in the interviews - the most prevalent being, "I want to feel as if I can make a genuine contribution to the world, and it felt as though this business has become a better way to do it than practicing medicine full time".
  5. I am equally struck by all the different ways these physicians have chosen to express their creativity and talents
  6. All the interviewees seem to enjoy stopping briefly to reflect on their accomplishments - they tell me they had fun doing the interview. And that feels really good!

This week, I shall be interviewing Dr Tom Lee, co-founder of ePocrates. As you can imagine, I am excited to hear his story.

And in a few weeks, I shall be making available the first volume of Conversations with Trailblazers, a compilation of six audio interviews, with transcripts - so stayed tuned to hear more.

If you know of another successful physician entrepreneur for me to contact, please e-mail me with his or her name at philippa@entrepreneurialMD.com. Thanks.

Monday
Oct092006

A Beautiful Perspective to share with you

10-9-06earth.jpgEvery now and again, something comes into my Inbox that makes me smile, groan, or pause to reflect with awe and gratitude. This video falls into the latter category.

Even though I've been sent versions in the past, I've never seen this one, with the power of its imagery - I guess a picture is worth a thousand emotions!

It is worth 3 minutes of your time. I hope it moves you too.

Keep Things in Perspective:  This Miniature Earth

Monday
Oct092006

Delivering health to the workers - at work.

10-9-06healthprevention.jpgA Washington Post article today examines the trend of opening clinics in the workplace to provide handy quick access to medical care. At no or minimum cost to the employee!

Here's an excerpt from the article:

A quarter of Fortune 1000 companies are expected to have on-site clinics by the end of next year, up from the 15 percent or so that have them now, according to David Beech, a health-care consultant at Watson Wyatt Worldwide Inc., a benefits consulting firm. The trend has caught on so quickly that there is little comparative data: Watson Wyatt didn't even ask the question until this year.

Higher health premiums have helped nourish the trend: Employer health premiums rose 7.7 percent in 2006, according to the 2006 Kaiser Foundation Employer Health Benefits Survey. That is slightly lower than previous years but still feels burdensome to companies and employees alike.

Companies are discovering that not only are direct health care costs reduced (less $s spent on premiums as their employees tend to get treated earlier and take preventive steps like getting flu shots, fewer resources used as there can be greater oversight of the use of clinical guidelines for uncomplicated illnesses). Indirect costs of lost work time have dropped dramatically as well.

Seems like some smart healthcare providers have figured out that if the Mountain won't come to Moses, then Moses must go to the Mountain. For those employees who keep putting off their checkups and routine preventive care, to avoid taking that half day (getting to the doctor, being kept waiting 40 minutes, being seen, following up with labs/tests etc, and driving back to work), having a clinic they can walk to during their lunch hour must be a godsend. Now if only they'd take advantage of it regularly......

What's neat is that employees are encouraged to continue a relationship with their primary care doctors and specialists, as there seems to be no pretence that these clinics are substitutes for replacing the insights of a physician into the medical and psychosocial needs of a long-standing patient.

I loved the comment from one company representative: "They are not treating their body like a car where it gets constant care and checkups", she said. "That's what we're trying to do."

Can you just see the billboard or posted in the employee workplace?

"Get your quarterly tune-up at the Human Body Shop - quick lube job, realignment and exhaust check, to keep that engine ticking over smoothly. No co-pays, no wait, no outdated copies of People to bore you"

Whatcha think?

Joking aside, with an emerging trend such as this, what entrepreneurial opportunities do you sense for physician business start-up, or for your practice?

Friday
Oct062006

Entrepreneurship starts with attention to the small details

10-06-06organized.jpgIn the early stages of my coaching relationships with several physician entrepreneur wanna-be's, these clients have realized that they had some basics to attend to before considering opening for business. Yes, - they may have had the good idea, and even the business plan, but they were NOT READY.

They have not cleared enough physical and mental space to get to work. They need to clean house!

I wrote an article for my Oya Consulting newsletter a couple of years ago, and it bears repeating and expanding, as it addresses exactly what first steps my clients realized they need to take.

Think of all the little things that sidetrack you from time to time during the day. Disorder on your bookshelves, clutter on your desk, too much “stuff’ in your closets, items you spend time hunting down, half-finished projects or books, incomplete tasks, broken household appliances, leaky faucets, unfulfilling relationships, to name a few.

It is difficult to maintain a clear focus on your goals when your energy is pulled away by distractions. There is a lot of truth to the expression: A cluttered environment = a cluttered mind.

Here is how the "cleaning house" process works:

  • List the items in your personal and business lives you want to 1. clear out, 2. clean up, 3. complete or 4. delete.

    When I coach my clients, I ask them to make “Walk the Talk” lists of all the stuff they have been promising themselves they'll do. They then categorize each item into one of the above four categories.
    Now, coaching isn't about making unnecessary busy work for already-overloaded people, so there is a modifier to this request: if they can handle the item once and for all BEFORE putting it on the list, they are asked do that instead of creating extra work to add it to one of the lists.
     
  • Make a list of what you want to clean, clear, complete and delete in your personal life over the next month

  • Make a list of what you want to clean, clear, complete and delete in your job or business life over the next month

  • Block specific times on your calendar that are devoted to accomplishing these tasks

  • Find ways to make the chore as pleasant as possible - play music, sip a glass of wine or a mug of tea, tune in to a favorite radio station
     
  • Get started right away
     
  • Aim for “Relief!” – that feeling you get of a burden being lifted from you, as the task lists get shorter. This enables you later to turn your energies to creating “Joy!”, which comes from tackling and completing the goals that excite you.

A physician client of mine who completed this exercise was amazed to discover an unopened life insurance policy she had forgotten she had purchased, and she realized that her net worth was way higher than she had appreciated once she finished the assignment to organize ALL her financial documents before meeting with the financial advisor she had committed to contacting.

After a huge cleanup, another physician client was able to donate 24 bags of unused clothes and household items to a shelter, realizing a tax deduction of over $900, that the shelter itemized for her!

Now, if this seems like an insurmountable task, given your burdened schedule, there are wonderful skilled people who will come into your home, and create order and workable systems out of your worst messes. Imagine being able to turn over your littered study and desk, your jumbled closets and even your overflowing computer and e-mail inbox to someone who can make order from chaos. These hard-working angels are called professional organizers - to find one near you and learn more about how they work, go to NAPO.

My final tip for anyone hell-bent on getting some control in their lives - invest in a collection of plastic storage boxes from stores like Target or the Container Store and then go out and buy a label maker. My second favorite gizmo for personal and professional effectiveness (see my first) is my Brother Label Maker!

Do you have any stories to share about your "cleaning house" efforts?