Sunday, July 12, 2020

The PT Treadmill

We get on the Physical Therapy treadmill right out of school, soon to discover an unfortunate reality of feeling wobbly and unsteady for that first patient.  Fumbling with our laptops, asking too many non-relevant questions, not getting to the core of what matters most, we spend energy laterally not forward.  So often we are not sure where to go, we just go.  It’s the price of admission.

Some say it takes 10,000 hours, some say it takes mentoring, some say it takes pro-active self-study and reflection.  Whatever it takes, it ruins some, while others it pushes into a newfound passion. The expensive price of admission is not the seven years of study, it’s gaining clarity that costs us the most.

Managed right, this PT treadmill gives you renewed focus, an endorphin high, or a feeling of balance.  We belong.

The treadmill runs, never stops, needing your constant attention.  Disruptions in our day are the incline, costing you more energy and leaving us short of oxygen at days end.

Discovery is the decline, bringing us momentum of better connections, empathy, the bright light moments that accelerate our skills.  Soon you discover if you push hold to stay in momentum, you lose your legs, it’s too fast.  Life’s balance is disrupted, and you lose footing.

It doesn’t take long to understand how to adjust to the disruptions and discoveries, best by reflecting in the “why” of what you do. 

Blessed to be part of one of the largest Physical Therapy Networks, Ivy Rehabilitation Networks, we often reflect on the “why” in our staff meetings and daily huddles, a review of our values.

  • One Ivy
    • We collaborate with the best and the brightest in the industry
  • Love what you do
    • We are surrounded by others who share a passion for the difference we can make
  • Do the right thing
    • When headwinds and whirlwinds fill our day, we rely on what is right
  • I belong
    • We accept and respect people for who they are, and expect to be accepted
  • Get stuff done
    • When obstacles seem large, we get through it
  • Grow
    • No status quo, we expand our skillets and knowledge base and never sit still

·        Here at PTW, we are lucky to be part of something bigger than us.  It’s been eighteen years of adjustments to the incline or decline that gives us a chance to engage with our market, celebrate victories, and share a common sense of purpose.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Lean on Me

Lean on me
Lean on me

If you like music, you may have hummed words to the song  "Lean on Me" sometime in the past.  As a call out to lean on and support each other, its a reminder to help you gain perspective to connect and help friends in need of help.

Although several other roles I am asked to serve, such as husband, son, brother, and others (equally as important), I can't be more honored to serve as a father to three incredible kids (biased). Our roles with each other are in constant evolution, as we all mature and grow.

A favorite drive home podcaster Chris Hogan speaks in a recent broadcast; "There are four types of people we all have to intentionally have in our lives".       

  • A Mentor to show you the lessons of the roads previously crossed
  • A Friend to be brutally honest with
  • A Coach to help you explore ways to get better, day in and day out, honestly and openly
  • A Cheerleader; giving you optimism in your most difficult times

In our rapidly changing society, I have a hunch, at any giving time, most of us don’t have the perfect four, but must fill the role of any or all of the four on any given day, especially with your kids.

I will lean on you, and you can lean on me, to better understand important matters in your life, in mine, and in community. You can count on it. 

If your view of the future has some challenging times ahead, lean on someone to help round out your foursome.  

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Somebody's rule of 90

 Business books are filled with rules, laws, and bullet points. 

There must be a rule of 90 somewhere.  A 90-day law.  A guide for the first 90 days, maybe the second 90 days.  If there is not, perhaps we call it "Coronachange 90".

The first reported case was 90 days ago.

Those first 90 days rocked our worlds.

Fear filled the air, essential concerns filled our emails, while our self-talk confused even ourselves. During the first days of action, what we didn't do never seemed right, while most of what we did do seemed wrong.  To no one's fault, and out of everyone's control, countrywide confidence waned, and the economy suffered.

Ninety learning days later, it seems most of us are ready to resume a new shared-risk norm.  Though not fully defined, it's not much different from the old norms. We got this; we have the controls in the new norm society.

Our entire team got together this week (virtually) to celebrate, not our climb completed from the bottom, we still have some way to go, but rather the work we have all done together over the past 90 days.  Amazingly, over the course of 55 minutes, many of our teammates spoke from the heart with words that spawned a spontaneous list of lessons, all starting with the letter R:

  • Resolve; It's been tested

  • Restore; We have to change to get us back

  • Resiliency; We worked together to recover quickly, still more to go

  • Resources; We learned of doing more with less

  • Reinvent; We will change personally and professionally to align with the new norms

  • Re-engineer; We have re-engineered our clinics and processes, some permanently

  • Relationships; We have a deeper understanding of each other and our customers

We will lean and reflect often on the 7 "R"s over the next 90 days while thinking with an end in mind to restore our industry, our clinics, and our patients. How we change towards the new norms in the next 90 days may define our industry for 90 years to come, perhaps ourselves, for a career.  

Let's start with doubling down on what we do great already:

  • Delivering industry best one on one healthcare
  • Serving unparalleled service
  • Engaged and Empathetic relationships with referral sources and customers
  • Agility; willing to do whatever it takes for best outcomes

We changed nearly everything for the first 90 days.  We had very little control.  Now we do. What we've been through has shocked our systems, broken us down.  What we now have is a team with a renewed sense of courage and resolve. We had to work through some things together; as a result, team unity has strengthened.  We have a gift of 7 lessons beginning with "R" that has left us filled with optimism for our future.

 We are looking forward to the next 90!

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Work Problem

People say we have work problems.  


  • Customer confidence down, rightly so, there are safety concerns.  
  • A virus that easily spreads, some say the virus is left in the air after a sneeze or loud talk for up to a half-hour.  
  • Folks seeking a better functional lifestyle are limited, with Stay at home mandates restricting access.  

All this happening while most of the world manages staffing furloughs, productivity, and efficiencies in their own industries and businesses.  For our industry and our business, we will never lose focus to continue our work towards exceeding the standards of care, always shooting for industry best delivery for optimal outcomes.

What hasn't changed is our reason for optimism.  


Over 65 million baby boomers, many will need help managing diminished function.  Low back pain will still affect 8 out of 10 of society, while high school, collegiate, and weekend athletes across the country will still need help, guidance, surgery, and advice. 


During a recent zoom conversation with a prominent local Orthopedic Surgeon, he reported a backlog of his cases of 65 surgeries.  This week, they returned to the surgery rooms. Postoperative pent up demands will create unique forces in the Physical Therapy organizations, the most agile clinics will have the most success.


Just recently, our clinics expanded hours and brought back 3 teammates from furlough. Adding to our capabilities of the past are several new programs, more efficient use of technologies, and new job responsibilities that we are still working on daily to fine-tune.


While the airline industry, small retail companies, and restaurants deal with even larger and more consequential decisions and changes, gratitude fills us with unyielding optimism of our future.  We have all worked hard to be here, in a position to prove how agility can fuel our next phase of growth.


All this as a testimony of our team, that although we may have a work problem, we have no problem working at all.