Changing Your Mind Constantly is Costly

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A physician’s office was in terrible turmoil. His administrator of 13 years had finally gotten on his last nerve. The doctor called me in to solve the problems.

The administrator gave mismanagement a new meaning. After many weeks of unfruitful meetings, the physician took my advice and we terminated the administrator. The doctor asked me to become the temporary administrator, straighten out the office, get it running efficiently, and then hire a permanent administrator.

I kept discovering expensive long term or noncancellable contracts for such things as the copier, postage machine, FAX, telephone and internet monthly usage, telephone equipment, telephone book advertising, even the water cooler. I renegotiated or canceled as many as I could. I saved the doctor $200,000 per annum.

After several months as the Consulting Administrator, I began to see that my client would change his mind about every issue several times, often within the space of an hour or two.

Then I realized why the administrator locked the doctor into these contracts. It was so hard to get him to stick to a decision, that as soon as he said yes to anything for more than three hours, the administrator sealed the deal. Once the document was signed, there was no need to discuss that again for years. What a relief for the administrator. What a disaster for the bottom line of the practice.

Lesson: Allow time for careful consideration and use your diagnostic skills to make profitable practice management decisions.