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How do you convince your senior management group to move into a more sophisticated management approach?

The Cali Clinic

Javier Perez Ornalez has called a meeting of his five partners. As one of the largest gastroenterology groups in Cali, Colombia, Javier and his partners have always been viewed as leaders in the medical community. For the past two years, Javier took a leave of absence and studied in the United States at a very well respected Business School where he received an MBA with a concentration in Health Care Management. Now, returning to Cali, he wants to move his group into a more sophisticated management approach. "We need to be more sophisticated in our management strategy," he says, "we have always just gotten patients to our clinic as a function of the fact that we exist and our good doctors. I am not sure that strategy will continue to work. We need to change our approach."

Senior Marquez, one of the founding partners interrupts, "Javier, it is great that you have been to the United States, but to come back now and want to change what we have built seems loco. Why? What are we doing wrong? In fact, more Americans are finding their way to Cali for care. Just last week, I did bariatric surgery on five Americans right here in the clinic. I am not sure ten years ago I saw any American patients. Yes, you are right, the world is changing, but in my thirty years of being a doctor, the world has always spun, the world has always, changed. You too will learn this."

"I think we cannot assume patients will just come to us, they can also go to Medellin and Bogota if they even come to Colombia." Javier says," Yes we are growing, but so too is everyone else. We need to recognize that in the past three years in Cali as in all of Colombia. The environment has changed. Look at our neighbors in Brazil and elsewhere in South America. Medical tourism is on the rise. Can we assume that we will just get business because we are good?"

"It has worked in the past," says Don Marquez a specialist in reflux diseases, "why should we assume that now because you have seen the light it should not continue. The endoscopy business has steadily grown. I think we will continue to ride this curve of growth into the future by being good."

"Please Javier," says Maria, "the most recent partner who trained at A U.S. medical facility and also practiced with a large multi-specialty group in the United States for several years before returning home for family reasons. What do you think we should do if we were to be more sophisticated, as you say, can you lay out some of those tactics. Maybe that could help us all and then we could respond more specifically."

"That is a good suggestion, thank you Maria, I have thought about it," Javier said. "Let me tell you what I think we need to consider. Foremost, of course we need to develop a far more sophisticated web site where patients can see our surgi-center and take a virtual tour. We should get the Surgical review Corporation (http://www.surgicalreview.org/pcoe/tertiary/tertiary.aspx) to give us their stamp of approval. This will help our quality positioning. As doctors we should all become members of the American Society of Bariatric Surgery and we can then display that on our web site as another indicator of our excellence. I wonder if we should mount a promotional campaign on You Tube. And, should we hire a salesperson to give talks in Miami and the southeastern part of the United States for us with a targeted strategy."

"This is absurd!" says Dr. Echiverra, the most senior partner in the group. "You will bankrupt us and there is no need to change what we have always done. See patients, do our procedures and provide good care. The patients will come. I have heard enough. I have patients to see."

How do you convince your senior management group to move into a more sophisticated management approach?

Solution Preview

Convincing Senior Management that what is currently working well may not work well in the
future is a major undertaking. To fully understand the issue the Senior Manager must realize what the
competition is like, the direction the competition is headed, and understand what the options are for
future growth and maintaining competitive advantage. According to Don Maquez being good gives the
organization a competitive advantage. However, when facilities in neighboring countries develop their
gastroenterology practices and begin to improve in quality and efficiency, being good will no longer be
enough. Rather than wait until the organization finds other facilities becoming more competitive, it is
better to develop a strategic plan in advance, so the organization can continue to maintain its
competitive advantage in the future.
The ideas of highlighting the facilities and procedures without making any actual written claims
of being the best is a good idea for the organization. It is a more ethical approach to medical ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses how do you convince your senior management group to move into a more sophisticated management approach.

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