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May 2017 • The PCB Magazine 45 I believe these agreements are a roadmap for becoming both a great leader and creating a sustainably great business. Dan: That makes sense. I like that. I understand that your system can apply to any company or or- ganization. Can you give us an example of a suc- cess story? David: I have many. However, the one that stands out for me is Gila Regional Medical Cen- ter, a $30 million hospital. This was the first hos- pital I'd ever consulted for. In 2006, the compa- ny was very optimistically projected to earn ap- proximately $2 million. With the systems and strategy work we did, the hospital earned $3.1 million. Very good results, yes? But that's not the real story. During my 14 months at Gila Regional, I trained mid-manager Brian Cunningham in systems-based leadership and systems optimiza- tion. When I left, I suggested he begin training his peers. We learn the most when we teach. Over time, Brian became a VP at Gila. The CEO I worked with left Gila Regional and was replaced by an autocratic CEO, who, despite supposedly being a Six Sigma advo- cate, turned out to be a micromanager. The new CEO began undoing everything we had done to improve the hospital. Predictably, Gila Regional began experiencing problems. In FY 2013, the hospital imploded, losing $9 million. One month into FY 2014 the Board fired the CEO and the VPs he had brought with him to the job, leaving Brian as the only VP. The Board installed Brian as the interim CEO while a search for a permanent CEO was initiated. Not knowing what else to do, Brian reintro- duced the systems optimization we had created between 2005 and 2010, the year the new CEO was hired. In 11 months Brian was able to take Gila Regional from a $9 million loss to a $1.1 million profit—with no layoffs! This may be unprecedented in healthcare or possibly in any type of bricks and mortar business. Needless to say, the Board made Brian the permanent CEO. Here we see what is possible when we integrate robust systems optimization and systems think- ing in leadership. Dan: Great story. OK, I get it now. So, tell me, what is the coordination of your services? By that I mean, how much time does it involve? Do you offer follow-up or tune-up options? David: Coordination depends upon the com- pany and how fast leadership wants the im- plementation and ROI. Larger companies usu- ally take longer than smaller companies and manufacturing businesses usually take longer than service businesses. A consultancy may be as short as 3−4 months or as long as a year or more. The gating issue we must address is the fact that we have a business to run at the same time we are doing the systems and leadership work. These two issues must be balanced. We offer support services and tune-ups for compa- nies that want ongoing support. Dan: You say this work is now more important than ever before. Why is that? David: I'll start by saying the old leadership model domesticated into the heads of our lead- ers over millennia is simply obsolete. For the most part, we are still leading via the old mili- tary top-down model. The old model also fails to take into account the connectedness of all systems in the physical reality (the business). Nothing we do is done in isolation and there are unintended consequences of focusing only on increasing revenue and profits—which is the preliminary driver of the old model. Finally, the old model doesn't include systems thinking, leaving leaders to do ever more of what is no longer working. DAVID DIBBLE ON THE HIRING PROCESS: GETTING THE MOST FROM SYSTEMS EXCELLENCE

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