Breaking Out of a Rut
At the start of a new job, I'm full of excitement and vision. As time passes, I settle into a comfortable routine. When routine turns to rut, I'm in trouble
Last week we looked at how a lack of context lessened the impact of an initiative meant to inspire a team to action. This week we'll consider the message behind that initiative as one solution to a rut.
When you find yourself maintaining the status quo, look at your position from a fresh perspective. To help you do this, try asking, "What would my replacement do?"
Imagine you win the lottery and leave your post to travel the world for the next year. As long as we're pretending, we might as well have fun! Now, put yourself in the shoes of the person hired for your position.
What would he see on his first week of work?
What would he do differently with your clients?
What would he change about the leadership methods in place with your team?
What policies and practices would he question?
Working as a traveling therapist and an independent contractor allowed me to operate from a different vantage point. In both of these positions, I worked in facilities for short durations -- from a few days to three months. I was able to observe a myriad of practices in a variety of settings. In each clinic, some policies worked well, while others were problematic. I continued some clients' plans of care unchanged. Other clients required new goals, different treatment strategies or discharge from therapy.
Short-term assignments offer the benefit of a fresh perspective. When you change to a new facility every few months, there's no time to fall into a rut. Unfortunately, a downside to that perpetual change can be job instability and financial insecurity.
Can you get the best of both worlds? Maybe. One way to incorporate this temporary staffing mentality is to initiate a "What would my replacement do?" program with another local clinic. Team members from each clinic swap for a few days to step away from their own rut and observe another clinic's daily operations.
How do you break out of a rut?