I am just getting back from the 42nd Educational NAMSS Conference and Exhibition with a lot to consider. You see it’s hard to walk away from a conference with so much to offer without putting any of it to use. That’s the objective. Unlike your usual vacation destination, say Las Vegas, what happens there is not supposed to stay there. Lots of great things happen at conferences like these that you want to put to use. Two of those things are extremely important. One is exposure, and the other is networking.
Let’s talk exposure. I have been in the medical services profession for over 20 years, and at each conference, I learn something new, or I learn to look at something from a different perspective. Both are beneficial when you return to your office. Learning something new is what MSP’s are consistently doing. We have to LEARN to survive. We absorb new things and adapt as quickly as we can to make sure we are always compliant. That’s a given. However, what about that different perspective? Too many times, we get used to doing things a certain way, and oft times, I have found it harder changing that perspective in certain types of work cultures. Too often, we trap ourselves into the ‘we have always done it that way’ mentality or our bureaucracy in the workplace becomes so convoluted that it prohibits change by imposing hard-fast rules or policies. If you find yourself in either of those scenarios, don’t despair, there are ways to initiate the changes you need to implement that new perspective. The first step is in orientation. You must orientate the leaders by exposing them to that new effective way to get things done. How? Through quantitative and qualitative facts-based on your current system that you want to change. Answer questions like, will you be able to produce files quicker? Will you be able to be more compliant with this new product because of these features? How much time can be saved? How much money will be saved? How much labor? How do you perceive your current employee morale? Are you losing people you need to keep because the processes have gone stale, bottlenecking? What can you change by implementing a new process, tweaking or changing an old one? Sometimes you won’t have to affect the organization or your budget by making a change, and sometimes you will just need the buy-in from your staff. How set are they in their ways? Tackle the most difficult staff member first and let them help you sell the change. The one thing we should always keep in mind, especially during your pitch, change is inevitable, and most of the time it’s good for everyone.
What about networking? That, in my opinion, is the most valuable element of any conference and NAMSS is no exception. Meeting like-minded individuals as well as subject matter experts in every area of the medical services field is priceless. My only regret is that I couldn’t take all of the classes offered to get exposure to the top influencers of the industry and then gauge through friendly conversation their effects on what we do. That’s why networking goes hand in hand with exposure.
This trip was special for me because I reconnected with people I knew a nd have worked with from all over the country. Even more interesting was running into people I hadn’t seen in years from my hometown, which is a situation that has to change since I learned something new from each one of them as well. I shouldn’t have had to travel cross country to do that. That was a reminder to myself, and I am reminding you. Don’t wait for a conference to share ideas or to learn something new. Invite an old friend, a former colleague out for coffee, network one on one. Take a few minutes to breathe, get that new perspective. I bet you will begin to appreciate what you do more and who knows maybe you will contribute more to your career and organization, too. Remember, when you experience your next conference or networking event, don’t keep what you have learned or whom you have met a secret. SHARE!