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May
11

What Not to Do When You Launch Medical Initiatives

Shark_Tank_LogoFor many hospitals, clinics and medical practices, this is a time of reinvention.

This week’s episode of Shark Tank offers insights about what NOT to do as you launch new medical initiatives.

A doctor entrepreneur entered the Shark Tank to secure funding to grow his medical device company.  He painted the picture of an ideal investment opportunity, complete with an innovative product, a huge proven market and $10 million in sales.

As I listened, I thought, “He could get a five-Shark deal!”

Things quickly fell apart during Q&A. Here are snippets from the exchange sparked by the Sharks’ inquiries about his sales:

Doctor: “We could be making quite a bit of money if I wanted to.  I’m not all that interested in the money.  It’s a tool I use to hire people.”

Kevin O’Leary: “What about profits?  Do you care about this?”

Doctor: “I will at some point.”

Kevin: “Not encouraging words to an investor.”

By the end of the pitch, four Sharks were out.  One Shark decided to invest.


This entrepreneur’s inability to speak the Sharks’ language and see the world through their eyes cost him the buy-in of four Sharks.   That’s what NOT to do.

Here are the Shark Tank lessons to help you successfully launch new medical initiatives.

White Coats are wired differently than Suits.  The painful exchange in the Shark Tank highlights the fundamentally different priorities of business-minded people (let’s call them Suits) and clinicians (let’s call them White Coats).  For a Suit, profits drive and measure success.  A White Coat measures clinical outcomes.

Medicine is a team sport. Successful medical organizations must deliver quality medical care and generate a profit.  Neither Suits nor White Coats accomplish this in isolation; each must cross the cultural divide and meet on collaborative ground.

Identify who is persuading whom. You are most likely to get buy-in when you speak the language of the buyer.  This is much like World Series in which the use of the designated hitter is determined by the rules of the home team.

Persuade respectfully. The entrepreneur’s dismissive comments about profits—the thing Sharks value most— struck me as disrespectful. Persuade respectfully. Respect in Latin means “to see someone’s actions and hold them in esteem.”  To enhance your powers of persuasion, see the world through the eyes of the person you are trying to influence.

The key to success.  Collaboration is the key to success.  Understand the perspective of the people you want to persuade. These are the keys to help medical organizations make a bigger profit and a bigger impact.

© 2015. Vicki Rackner MD. All rights reserved.

Vicki Rackner MD is an author, speaker and consultant who offers a bridge between the world of medicine and the world of business. She helps businesses acquire physician clients, and she helps physicians run more successful practices. Contact her at (425) 451-3777.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://medicalbridges.com/what-not-to-do-when-you-launch-medical-initiatives/

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