'You want to balance effectiveness and efficiency'

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

With 25 years in the healthcare industry, including a stint as CEO and COO at a national home infusion company, David Franklin says he can teach others a thing or too. The owner and president of Advanced Care Consulting Services in Shelby Township, Mich., recently published “Guerrilla Leadership: 70 Things They Don’t Teach in School about Running a Health Care Organization,” currently available as an e-book on Amazon. Franklin spoke with HME News about leadership strategies, baby boomers and the “holy grail.”

HME News: There are tons of leadership books. How is yours different?

David Franklin: I have read just about every book on leadership and I find they tend to be stuffy and cover the same areas. This is meant to be politically incorrect and honest about what you really need to know if you are going to be good at this business.

HME: What is the biggest challenge of managing a healthcare company?

Franklin: I think balancing margin with mission is probably the most significant element. People tell me, “I want to be the most efficient or the most effective,” and I tell them, “No, you want to balance effectiveness and efficiency.” That’s the holy grail.

HME: How does a good leader find that balance?

Franklin: Somebody that is shrewd and understands both sides of it. I see business people that don’t respect the clinical side. And I see clinicians that reject the bean counters. I think the most effective leader is one who recognizes the legitimacy of both of those inherently competing positions.

HME: What skills are important for business leaders?

Franklin: A strong grasp of strategy. People tend to see one move ahead, whereas a master chess player sees 12 moves ahead. If you can anticipate three or four moves you are probably ahead of the game.