What can you learn from a world-class medical center?  Everything!  Apply the lessons from the well-respected Mayo Clinic to your organization to excel across the board.

I have been a patient at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for two procedures. I was so impressed with the manner in which Mayo cares for their patients.  During my stays, I constantly asked my care providers why Mayo was so amazing.  This is what I learned:

1) The Mayo Clinic team constantly asks, “Is there a better way?” They are continually striving to improve on every detail of the patient experience, big and small, right down to the ID bracelet.  During my stay as a patient, I wore one ID bracelet that contained all my vital information.  We recently visited a friend at a different hospital who had given birth. The new mom has issued five ID bracelets and the newborn wore three.  Do you and your team constantly ask, “Is there a better way?”

2) Mayo is physician driven.  Ask any medical facility to cite a big challenge and they will point out their physicians’ stress associated with electronic documentation and dealing with insurance.  Mayo has found a way to allow physicians to do what they do best – caring for their patients.  As a leader, have you identified the challenges your people face and removed the obstacles for them to do their best?

3) Mayo attracts world-class physicians.  It’s not in their literature but everyone at Mayo Clinic knows that one of their points of pride is, “We fix botched surgeries.”  When an organization is comprised of number one draft picks, the best and the brightest raise the expectations and performance for all.  Are you recruiting and supporting your number one draft picks?

4) Staff members constantly comment on “The Mayo Way…it’s just how we do things here.”  People know their role, how things are to be done and strive for consistency.  When you have your first meeting at Mayo, you are scheduled for three to four appointments with different departments.  From my past experiences at medical facilities, I would bring a newspaper, a magazine and War & Peace to read while I waited for an appointment.  During my pre-surgery appointments at Mayo, as I sat in the waiting room I didn’t get past the first page for the newspaper.  Everything ran like clockwork.   At your organization, do you know exactly what you want to do, how you are going to execute and deliver every day?

5) At Mayo, they know your name, it’s personal. Previously when I see a doctor at other medical facilities, the nurse asks me a number of questions, writes it all down and then leaves with, “The doctor will be right with you.” After a 20 minute wait, the doctor appears in the room looking at my chart and says, “Hello Mr… how do you pronounce your name?  What brings you in today?”  At Mayo, the pronunciation of your name is on the chart and the physician reviews your chart before they walk into your room. They greet you “Hello Mr. Sharon-brock, I understand you are here today for….”.  Do you and your team members take the time to know your client before you call on them?

I have just scratched the surface on why Mayo Clinic is so world class.  It’s from just one patient’s experience, however, one raving fan of your business will tell everyone they know about how world class you are.  It’s not complicated: constantly strive for improvement, remove obstacles hampering performance, hire and support the best and brightest, stick to a well thought out plan of action and make it personal.