AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 65

Who? This question requires you
to assess the individuals within the
practice based not only on their
current strengths and assignments
but in regard to their potential.
For example, if Sam has shown
excellent communication skills and
judgment while serving as a frontdesk receptionist, to what extent
might those skills be applied in
encouraging and managing others?
Meanwhile, if Dylan has shown an
uncanny aptitude for taking the
initiative to get things done when
critical deadlines arise, how well
might those skills work within a
management capacity? Your best
candidates will likely rest among
those individuals who show the
ability to learn quickly, are flexible
in their approach to challenges,
communicate well, and work well
with others. Staff members who are
slow to learn, stubborn, resistant to
change, or in constant conflict with
others will have limited potential
for managerial roles.
What? This question deals with
the nature of your practice and the
best ways for optimizing available
talent. This means objectively
evaluating the practice's managerial needs and the extent to which
those priorities are being addressed.
In the process, you'll likely find
yourself differentiating between
abilities that are "nice to have" and
those you "need to have." If you can
cover those "must-have" needs with
in-house talent, that's great! Other
needs will require recruitment externally. Since practices usually can't
afford an army of mid-level managers, your decisions will be tempered
by budgetary considerations.
When? This question focuses on
the timing of needs and solutions.
Some needs are pressing and
require an immediate solution,

while others evolve over time, allowing the luxury of a more casual approach to finding solutions.
This is why a focused assessment
of staff potential is so valuable.
Rather than responding to the
panic of an imminent crisis, a
long-term view of staff potential
allows you to establish a game
plan well in advance and provide
the training and experience your
staff members need to step into
those roles when the time comes.
Your timeline will change frequently as various practice needs
rise and fall in priority. You may
find that someone expected to fill
one role ends up being a better
fit for another as circumstances change. Be sure to maintain
flexibility in your assessment of
these variables.
Where? This question addresses
the link between organizational
needs and the level of in-house
talent available. Based on the inventory of skills, you can consider
the possibility of certain individuals as solutions for your organizational needs. Keep in mind that
skills can be applied laterally and
horizontally, meaning that you
may find an individual's skill set
can be applied in managerial and
non-managerial ways. Granted,
if Sam is your best receptionist,
a move to management means
you'll need to find another receptionist. The issue here is whether
Sam is more valuable in one role
than another. In some cases, a
full-time supervisory position
may be needed but other situations may call for a "working
manager" who does much of what
others do but assumes responsibility for the overall work effort
in that area. Alternately, you may
need someone who can manage

several somewhat different departments or processes. The skills
and flexibility of the individual
will help determine the best fit for
the practice.
Why? This final question critically examines the rationale for
creating these mid-level managerial positions within your practice.
New management positions may
be justified by the need for greater
attentiveness over certain practice functions, retention of key
staff members who need greater
challenge, the need for you to
devote more time to those tasks
truly requiring your experience
and expertise, or other reasons.
The fact that you're too busy to
keep up with everything doesn't
necessarily justify an organizational change, especially if you
have ways to improve your own
personal efficiency and prioritization. Wisdom is a key element in
these decisions.
RATIONAL PLAN
A successive development strategy
for your potential managers will
require dedicated time, a logical
assessment of resources, a realistic
action plan, and patience. Under
your leadership, a rational plan
for internal development of practice managers can relieve some
of your burdens, retain valuable
staff, and provide optimal value
for the practice. AE

"

Practice
administrators
are finding
increased
challenges in
managing dayto-day needs of
their practices.
In many cases,
existing staff
can provide
needed relief
as part of a
comprehensive
strategy to
identify and
develop
in-house
managerial
talent.

Richard C. Koval, MPA,
CMPE (775-832-0600,
rkoval@bsmconsulting.
com), is a principal and
senior consultant for
BSM Consulting,
headquartered in Incline
Village, Nev.

www.asoa.org // AE

65


http://www.asoa.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4

AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - Cover1
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - Cover2
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 1
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AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - Cover3
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae_may_jun_20
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_mayjune2015
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_novdec14
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_sepoct14_AE
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_julaug14
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ASOA_MayJunAE
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ASOA_JanFebAE
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ASOA_no4eZine
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