“Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.” – Galileo Galilei
Let me share with you one of the few, precious lessons I learned from my father. It’s the lesson of a negative chest. You may not think that a tax and corporate and securities attorney and a radiologist may not have a lot in common, but since I come from a long line of bad employees, I also come from a long line of owners of small businesses. And all small businesses have something in common.
The need for efficiencies to compete.
The most impressionable nugget of wisdom dropped on me from the early 1980s actually revolved around my father’s programmable typewriter. My father, a doctor, spent a couple of hundred or thousand dollars on one. I watched as he programmed as many codes as he could.
He’d read an x-ray and make his diagnosis. The best example was Code 01: Negative Chest.
The thinking behind it was that if it was negative — meaning the patient’s x-ray showed no abnormalities — then the chest report would be the same every time.
So he set up a template that he made as applicable as possible to each different type of diagnosis. It saved him a ton of valuable time. He expended little effort on the blanket details so he could focus on the particulars of each patient whose films weren’t negative.
When I opened my practice he reminded me of the wisdom of the Code O1: Negative Chest. My firm carries on this tradition of what we now call the Cult of Negative Chest.
Automate as much as you can, sure. Automation is a part of the bigger picture, which in this case is the pipeline.
I assume you have an IT department or specialist and maybe even a Chief Operating Officer. Collaborate with both of them to establish your pipeline and automatic processes. I have one for sales and for all manners of production. We use this automated step and checklist and we never skip a step or miss a beat.
Though I’d never admit this in court or to my dad, which are practically the same arenas, I’m fallible. I welcome the feedback from staff if there’s a way to expedite or save a step. We try to build them up and improve them each time.
I believe in taking the time to do this because it’s important and the basis for any successful business.
This is an area that we’ll soon explore pretty regularly. So if you’ve hit some workflow roadblocks or dead ends, stay tuned and we’ll try to steer you back on the right path. You’ll ultimately have my father to thank.
Contact us to discuss your business pipelines or leave a comment to share successful ones you’ve implemented.