Value Analysis Team Leadership

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Value Analysis Teams

 Value Analysis Team Leadership

            While we are all looking for leadership in our value analysis team leaders, what do these characteristics really look like in the real world? I think Dr. David G. Javitch, an organizational psychologist, got it right when he identified these nine basic leadership characteristics that are essential for your value analysis team(s) to succeed:

1.                      Mission: Do your VA leaders know what their mission is, or are they making it up as they go along? I know that we have all experienced the frustration of having a team leader who is leading by the seat of their pants instead of taking control of their VA team. This doesn’t happen when a VA team leader understands that their mission is to guide, coach and support their team members in their search for lower cost alternatives to what they are buying now. It doesn’t get any simpler than this!

2.                     Vision:  Vision is the ability to see the big picture and how a value analysis team fits into your healthcare organization and what the team will look like as it fulfills its mission. Without this vision, it will be hard for team members to understand why their VA team is important and to be willing to actively participate in the team’s tasks and activities without any compensation.            

3.                     Competency:  VA leaders must be seen by their members as if they know what they are doing.  They can’t “wing it” and hope nobody notices. They need to understand team dynamics and how to manage by persuasion, influence and example. Otherwise, it will be difficult for team members to respect, admire and follow such a VA leader, no matter what their credentials say they have achieved in their own discipline. 

4.                     Goals:  If a VA leader doesn’t set qualitative and quantitative goals for their VA team, then how do they measure their team’s success? Javitch tells us that “Goals need to be operational; that is specific and measurable.  If your output and results can’t be readily measured, then it will be difficult to know if you have achieved your purpose.”  It would be counterproductive to do otherwise!

5.                     Team Builder:  No leader ever succeeds without a strong team. Therefore, leaders have the rare ability to identify, attract and select outstanding individuals who will make their team stronger. After building their team, they then work on motivating the team to reach the highest level of performance.

6.                     Communication Skills:  Communicating at value analysis team meetings isn’t enough. Team leaders need to keep in touch between meetings by e-mail, voicemail, and in-person meetings to make sure that their team members’ projects are on time, on budget and on target. To do less is a failure to communicate effectively in a just-in-time manner to get your VA team’s important work done.

7.                     Interpersonal Skills:  A team leader who is open, easy-going and accessible is more likely to build rapport with their team members. Those qualities contribute to team members wanting to interact with their leader to resolve issues without fearing retribution or embarrassment. It’s all about feeling comfortable with your team leader, who has your best interest at heart.

8.                     Can Do Attitude:  Nothing builds success, like success! That’s why team leaders need to see every problem as an opportunity, every roadblock as a minor setback and every challenge as just another door to pass through. By doing so, they can build momentum to meet the goals and objectives they have set out for their VA team in a timely manner – over and over again!

9.                     Inspiration: Team leaders need to inspire their team members by their words and actions. They need to be advisors, counselors and even cheerleaders when the situation calls for it. Above all, team leaders must encourage their team members to believe that their projects are doable and manageable to counteract pessimistic thinking about project outcomes. That’s why a team leader’s words and actions can greatly influence the performance of any VA team. 

            The basic message here is that value analysis team leaders need specific skill sets to be successful in managing, maturing and maximizing their value analysis team’s efforts. If the selection of your team leaders is left to chance, then your hospital, system or IDN won’t obtain the highest level of performance that you are looking for in your value analysis teams. So when you are selecting your team leaders, look for these nine essential leadership characteristics that your team leaders must have if they are to succeed in managing your VA teams.

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