Healthcare Leaders: Is Your BHAG as Humbling as El Capitan?

shutterstock_66127849At the recent Healthcare Analytics conference in Salt Lake City, Good to Great author and leadership guru Jim Collins, who coined the term Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG), inspired us with an amazing story of grit and determination. He recounted how seven years earlier, big wall rock climber Tommy Caldwell asked him, “What if your BHAG is not actually attainable?”

Caldwell wanted to free climb El Capitan’s Dawn Wall, a steep rock face with extreme pitches and hardly any vertical cracks (which climbers wedge hands and feet into to help them ascend). Read more

Improving Performance with the Balanced Scorecard (and the King)

2015-02-03_17-02-18It’s been said that frameworks are a dime a dozen… but you have to have one. Prior to 1990, many businesses focused their measurement on finance alone, which tended to discourage continuous improvement and innovation. These companies lacked a systemic model.

In 1992, the Harvard Business School devised the four quadrant Balanced Scorecard, “a fast but comprehensive view.” Instead of isolating a single issue to the potential detriment of other important factors, the Balanced Scorecard sought to integrate four key perspectives: Read more

Avoid Crisis Not Top Ten… Join #NatCon15

In the last few years, nearly a dozen US states have determined it was time to end the “Not Top Ten.” This decision is leading to an investment of hundreds of millions with a new level of expectation for psychiatric crisis services; crisis stabilization facilities, crisis respite, mobile crisis and high-tech crisis call centers.

What is the “Not Top Ten?” On Super Bowl Sunday, it’s easy to think about the plays that made SportsCenter for the wrong reasons. Read more

Spreading a Different Courage

CourageThink back to this time last year. A little story was lurking somewhere behind Kim Kardashian breaking the internet. We simply weren’t paying it much attention.

In fact, the “little story” was only the largest Ebola epidemic in human history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. More than 25,000 individuals were diagnosed with the disease, and more than 10,000 succumbed to the scourge, including many healthcare workers. Read more

Can Clinical Match the Power of Peer Supports?

David W. Covington, Clinical Versus Peer Supports, Recovery, Behavioral Health Version 3.0Generally, people ask the opposite question looking to researchers to examine the outcomes of peer supports and comparing them with established clinical best practices. Consider, though, the school shooting that was averted due to the actions of a peer. How would we clinicians have done in her shoes? Read more

Robin Williams & #Standupfor Cancer

David W. Covington, Recovery, Robin Williams, Stand Up For Cancer, Behavioral Health Version 3.0
Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com

As national leaders in suicide prevention, we can say with all urgency that our field can learn a lot from the fight against cancer.

A bittersweet irony of Robin Williams’ death by suicide was the support he gave to the fight against cancer, which, like suicide, takes millions of lives. He was a strong backer of St. Jude’s Research Center and Stand Up to Cancer, and he visited patients and brought joy into lives that would be cut short as unfairly as his was.

We once whispered about cancer, but the movement to Read more

Why “Jumpers” is the Wrong Word

David W. Covington, Gap Park, Suicide as Choice, Recovery, Behavioral Health Version 3.0I just returned from a whistle-stop speaking tour in New Zealand and Australia. While it was only a brief week-long trip, I brought back so many amazing memories of the people and places. The most indelible by far was Gap Park, just five miles outside Sydney. The park sits atop cliffs that outline the coast for miles on the city’s eastern side. Read more