By Bette Drescher, CRA
“Change” has several meanings: to become different/to make something different/to become something else. I have recently experienced change within the RACC and in my own leadership team and would like to share some thoughts, observations, and ideas.
The first experience is regarding the RACC Nominations Committee work I recently had the opportunity to be a part of. Commission Chair Rick Perez will be ending his term at the end of the year and Jacqui Rose has already left to become an AHRA board member. I served as the Nominations Committee chair and was joined by fellow RACC commissioner Brenda DeBastiani and Billie McKee, a CRA who is not on the RACC. As part of the process, we interviewed each potential commissioner by phone and selected the candidates who we felt would best represent CRAs. We hope the energy and enthusiasm felt by the selection committee will translate to you as you make your choice. We will miss Rick and Jacqui, but the existing RACC will transform into “something different” with new talent and fresh ideas to re-energize us. The ballot is open until November 22. Click here to meet the three candidates and cast your vote.
Earlier this year, I found myself with three vacant leadership positions on my team. One was a new position, and the other two were open unexpectedly. My first thoughts were of panic and anxiety about getting the work done without a full team, but after meeting with the remaining managers we were able to get creative and implement an interim structure to see us through as we sought appropriate candidates. The request of the team was not to rush the decision, not to fill vacancies with bodies, but to wait for the “perfect fit” candidates. Creating a new and engaged team was the goal.
After posting positions for candidates (all posted as CRA preferred), we interviewed and selected new team members. They all started within three weeks of one another, two on the same day. I wanted to create an opportunity for them to get to know the organization and their new team as quickly as possible. As they all came from varied geographic locations and backgrounds, a “one size fits all” approach was not the best tactic. We paired each new manager up with a “buddy” and I tried to make myself as available as possible.I want to share with you how our team approached the orientation process and created a sense of camaraderie.
One of the managers offered the following: “New colleagues bring a new set of personalities with different experiences to share with the team. Our challenge as leaders will be to keep the words ‘it’s always been done that way’ out of our vocabulary. That doesn’t mean having to reinvent the wheel, but this provides us with the opportunity to look at our processes with fresh eyes and to take advantage of our new colleagues for fresh ideas that will improve services and workflow.”
The new team members have appreciated the larger team for allowing direct and timely access to leadership and other members of the on-boarding team. This was important and helpful as issues come up during daily operations that will be out of the norm, especially to new staff without organizational history.
Two weeks ago, we spent the day together giving back to the community, painting fences, and other small jobs at a local non-profit that provides for children with special needs. This gave us a full day to get to know each other outside of work, talking about favorite movies, vacations, families, all while providing a much needed service. It was a great day.
Just this past week, we had a leadership meeting which included the service line chief and assistant chief. At the end, we all agreed that it was one of the best meetings we have attended in some time, and it was because the team came prepared, took action as needed, was engaged with the work, and we HAD FUN and LAUGHED together. We have a fabulous new team, created in less than three months. We are still learning from one another, and we are looking ahead to continued growth and success.
Remember that change can be a good thing. Embrace and rejoice in it.
Better Drescher, CRA is the director of radiology services at Group Health-Bellevue Medical Center in Bellevue, WA. She can be reached at email@example.com.