Mission and values are enduring and should not change from year to year. Infinity Rehab’s haven’t changed for over 13 years and we have no intention of doing so in the coming years. No matter what is going on in the environment around you, mission and values should always serve as true north to an organization. However, vision can, and should, change with the times and environmental circumstances. Going into 2015, I felt that health care reform was at a point that required us to have a unifying statement, or vision, that would adequately capture the urgency of why Infinity Rehab needed to change and what our role would look like in this changing environment. Realizing the importance of crafting a compelling vision statement, I knew it would be important to involve many stakeholders in the process.
Leading up to Infinity Rehab’s 2015 strategic planning retreat in August 2015, I assembled the retreat participants, which included managers, directors of rehab, and therapists, into small groups and tasked them each with developing a dynamic, compelling vision statement that would inspire every Infinity employee to want to be a part of. This was not going to be a simple task. They were asked to justify every word in their vision statements and then present their final versions at retreat. Each group responded to the challenge with professionally assembled presentations and extremely well thought out vision statements. It was obvious that they took this assignment seriously and believed in the importance of what they were doing.
I left the retreat that year with several really strong vision statements. The next challenge would be combining them into one final vision statement. Therefore, I assembled a smaller group consisting of 1-2 representatives from each of the groups that had presented and we met several times over the remaining few months of 2015. There was a lot of healthy debate during these meetings as the representatives felt strongly about the statements their groups had developed. Ultimately, the collaborative effort that involved many people and a lot of work before the retreat, presentations and discussions during the retreat and small group debate afterwards, resulted in a powerful vision statement that I hope resonates with every Infinity employee. Vision Statement – Infinity Rehab will lead a post-acute care revolution by relentlessly pursuing unparalleled quality, value, and patient, customer, and employee experience. We will create an irresistible culture that inspires individuals to grow as leaders, clinicians, and innovators.
For me, the purpose of the vision statement is to explain the why behind why we need to rethink how we deliver post-acute care rehabilitation. Why are we standardizing our outcomes and practice? Why are we asking people to deliver therapy in a different way? The vision statement answers these questions.
A vision statement should be used to align company initiatives. As we develop our 2017 initiatives, I am challenging every Infinity Rehab leader to be able to link their projects and goals to our vision statement. Does the project serve to advance us towards our vision? If not, it gets removed from the strategic map. We cannot afford to waste time and energy on projects that do not serve the vision.
You will notice that the vision statement contains words like revolution, relentlessly, and unparalleled. This is intentional. Mission statements, while important, tend to be bland. However, a vision statement is supposed to be bold and a little bit out there, because it has to inspire. The intent is to make people say, “wow, I want to be a part of that!” I see Infinity Rehab on the forefront of this changing health care environment, which is why you see the word leadin the statement. Leading can be realized in many ways. I am a strong believer in Clinical Leadership. Clinical leaders are clinicians who are experts in their field, and who, because they are approachable, effective communicators and empowered, are able to act as role models, motivating others by matching their values and beliefs about therapy and care to their practice. I think that every clinician at Infinity is a clinical leader. You don’t need the word manager or director after your name at Infinity to be a leader. Leaders come from throughout the organization, and this is critical, as I believe we have less chance of realizing our vision if we fail to bring the leader out of every Infinity clinician.
Delivery of post-acute rehabilitation is changing, and not just in small, incremental ways, but completely new ways. The revolution we speak of in the vision statement reflects a completely new way of thinking about how we measure and analyze what we do as therapists with an openness to accepting that there are better ways to deliver therapy. To me, that is revolutionary. In 1991, I started out as a rehab aide in a post-acute care unit before attending physical therapy school and how we delivered therapy back then doesn’t look much different from today. Sure, there have been policy and reimbursement changes and advances in equipment, but the actual delivery of care is relatively unchanged. The way Infinity is now approaching how we measure our care and use the data for quality improvement is a revolutionary change compared to how post-acute therapy has traditionally been delivered. In this new delivery model, I envision therapists’ primary function will be individualizing therapies based on data collected and analyzed through business intelligence using predictive analytics and the unique characteristics of patients’ diseases and patients’ preferences to determine a patient’s potential to rehabilitate. Uniform best practices will be a thing of the past. Relentlessly to me means being a continuously learning organization. In other words, we are constantly looking for ways to improve the quality and value of our services to our patients and customers. Today’s health care environment demands that we demonstrate our value to the hospital and payer, with value meaning better outcomes at lower costs.
I strive for Infinity Rehab to have a culture that speaks for itself. People would hear about it, know about it, and want to be a part of it. That is an irresistible culture. This is also where the aforementioned clinical leadership comes into play again. A culture of leaders attracts like-minded talent and becomes self-perpetuating.
The change vision will require a slight redefining of what it means to be a professional – the New Professional, if you will. The new professional will use validated algorithmic-based recommendations, and their role will shift to providing oversight, mapping out therapeutic and preventive strategies, and tapping into one’s knowledge base, experience, and wisdom. The new professional will embrace a shift to data collection and interpretation by artificial intelligence. He or she will be skilled at establishing trust and support through extraordinary communicative skills. The new professional will require the ability to think critically and to collaborate and work in non-siloed environments. Productivity and efficiency will be measured by clinical outcomes, rate of recovery, and value provided. It is our intention to get everyone involved in their own professional development towards this new professional model. This will mean sitting down with your supervisor and/or mentor and forming a professional development roadmap. Annual performance reviews are important, but I believe a proactive professional development plan and ongoing dialogue with your supervisor has even greater value.
I see Infinity Rehab embracing this new change vision for many years to come. It is my hope that you not only detect the urgency for change in the statement, but that the vision of what we want Infinity to do and become as a response to the need for change makes you want to take this journey with us and be part of the change vision. As you may have gleaned, I am very passionate about this topic. However, I will stop writing now. You’ve heard my interpretation of Infinity Rehab’s change vision. I would love to hear what it means to you.
Mike Billings, PT, DHSc, CEEAA
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