“I don’t know.” It’s a response that frustrates parents everywhere but also can be one that, in the right conditions, signals openness. When you learn a new technology, or any new skill, it can be hard to admit that you aren’t sure what the right answer is. As adults, and professionals, stating that you aren’t quite sure — that you don’t know — feels incredibly vulnerable.
After all, the smartest people are the ones who always know the answer, right? Maybe not. Turns out, an openness to new ideas and a willingness to accept them are highly-sought after traits by successful companies as they implement change. Here’s how you can foster learning at your organization when it comes time to make a strategic change, such as implementing new technology.
Prepare Your Team
Even before you have a solution identified, you can begin to prepare your staff for change. Consider that stress, so often a companion of change, complicates learning. One method of mitigating stress may be to begin by training your team on features of current software. It may be easier to establish a process and culture of learning at your organization with a familiar application.
To succeed, focus on the people within your company. For example, at ClarisHealth we’ve seen tremendous growth recently and with that comes new ideas and processes. To prepare our existing team for these changes, we launched a culture initiative called GYB, or Got Your Back. Our goal is to make it clear that our people are what matter and who we will support, even as we evolve and seek to improve. To support a culture of learning, we invite questions. We want to know the “why” behind the solution.
If you’ve already worked with ClarisHealth, you’ve probably seen this culture trickle down into our implementation process. We ask questions to find a better solution, one that lets us offer clients a technology that totally disrupts the typical approach to payment integrity. And while total visibility into your health plan operations may be a radical notion, we understand it’s not always quick or painless. Sometimes disruption starts by simply acknowledging there’s a problem that you don’t know how to fix.
Why “I Don’t Know” Is Powerful
Admitting that you don’t know something feels unnatural, especially in a day and age when we can Google any question and find an answer in seconds. Fear of looking like a failure leads us to shy away from saying we don’t know how to solve something, even if it’s as complex as payment integrity. Furthermore, in a setting where many of us are asked to do more with less, we’re often put in roles where we need to readily have an answer. When faced with lots of demands, consider that saying “I don’t know” is actually a great place to start.
“Knowledge is important. But overestimating the importance of having all the answers (or the belief that you already possess them) can quiet your curiosity to explore all the facets of a topic with a fresh, learning focused mindset.”
We know it’s uncomfortable. But admitting you don’t know isn’t failure. Rather, it’s a sign of progress. As it turns out, openness is a trait that many successful people (and organizations) possess. It signals that they are willing to evolve. We understand that in a climate of seeking interoperability and efficiency, it’s time for payers to change. With technology at the center of that change, health organizations must take a strategic view of implementation, with an eye toward fostering learning. And they might have to admit that there are some problems they don’t readily have the answer to.
“The smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking.”
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, to Jason Fried, founder of Basecamp (source)
We believe getting to the root of a problem is an art, one that’s founded in answering previously unanswerable questions. As healthcare progresses and adapts to change, we have the opportunity to embrace a culture of clarity. Pareo® supports this initiative by solving problems through technology, but at ClarisHealth, we don’t simply unbox a solution for you. We speak with end-users one-on-one to surface problems, then customize Pareo® to solve them.
Are you creating an environment that encourages learning? Build a culture that...
- Acknowledges change can be difficult
- Makes it safe to fail
- Allows the team to ask questions
- Minimizes complexity
- Celebrates accomplishments
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