By Kim Commins-Tzoumakas | September 27, 2018
“Coming together is the beginning. Staying together is progress. Working together is success.”
– Henry Ford
“One Dream Team” means if I were to choose from all the physicians, radiation therapists, dosimetrists, clinical and operational team members in the world, I’d choose the exact team we have right now. This is the team I want us to be. We offer the most sophisticated radiation therapy treatment planning and delivery systems, worldwide. We have specialists who perform procedures, surgeries and administer chemotherapy to save lives every day. And we didn’t accomplish this with just one or two stars — it takes an army.
I read in an article on Fortune.com about just how important this idea of teamwork is to business. The article pointed out that while everyone acknowledges the impact Henry Ford or Steve Jobs has had on our lives, it might be tempting to think of them as being the entire force behind Ford Motor Company or Apple, but you’d be wrong. Those leaders would be nothing without the many team members who worked together to design, manufacture and market their products.
The article went on to explain that while teamwork is essential to a business’ success, it comes in many forms. Some great companies do well because the owners have known each other forever and have built a solid rapport. One such example is Whole Foods. The top executives are very close. As Co-CEO John Mackey put it, “We just like hanging out together.” And he went on to say that a “… high degree of trust means better communication and a willingness to work things out when problems and disagreements arise.”
Other companies encourage dissent to get the discussion going and solve differences.
Dale Carnegie said, “When two partners always agree, one of them is not necessary. If there is some point you haven’t thought about, be thankful if it is brought to your attention.”
Google did a decade-long study of teamwork for their employees, according to an article on scoro.com. The project was called Project Aristotle. It included hundreds of Google employees. And after all the data were collected, they came to the same conclusion that many good managers are already aware of: “In the best teams, members show sensitivity and, most importantly, listen to one another.” It’s this atmosphere of “psychological safety” that helps the best ideas and efforts shine.
That’s what I want for us here at 21C.
We can think of the “Dream” part of “Dream Team” a different way. As Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” I want us all to make dreams come true. What do you want to see for 21st Century Oncology? Let’s work together to make positive changes as we head into the future. A common quote among athletes is, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” And it’s true.
But it requires us all working toward the same goal. This weekend, I was reading the book Measure What Matters. It resonated with me that we need to have a team with discrete focuses to improve patient experience and advance clinical medicine. The book notes that teams with too many goals fail.
Think of it this way. Let’s say there is a very heavy stone with cables attached to it. Each person grabs a cable and starts pulling. They are giving it their full force. Really pulling. “Putting their backs into it,” as they say. But the rock stays in the same place. It doesn’t budge. How come? Well, it turns out, each person is pulling in a different direction. So, instead, they all start pulling in the same direction, and the stone begins to move. That is the essence of teamwork.
I am honored to have a place on this Dream Team because I didn’t earn it with clinical training. My son asked me this weekend, “Why do you like your job? It seems like a lot of work.” I responded that it’s because I have a chance to be part of changing people’s lives in meaningful ways. And we do. Think of the amazing differences we make in the lives of our patients. We are giving people their lives back after a cancer diagnosis. That is huge! With every hug and every win, I am so proud to be a part of 21st Century Oncology. And our One Dream Team.
The Hug Every Day blog will offer periodic insights and guidance from the 21st Century CEO, Kim Commins-Tzoumakas. Kim is no-nonsense, but also very caring. And she is excited to have this opportunity to share her vision for 21C with you.