View From the Board
How Many Squares?
Written By: Lane Summerhays
Med One Group brings its employees together each year to celebrate successes and review future plans and opportunities. Outside guest speakers add to meaningful thought and discussion in the meetings. The group participation creates much better results than individual thinking. An example of this is in solving the included graphic. How many squares do you see? The answer most often given by an individual is either 16 or 17. But neither of those is correct. When a group of people join in to solve the problem, the possible answers expand to—21, 22, 26, or 30, but ultimately the group arrives at the correct answer, which is 30. The combined power of the group is always better than that of one person.
In 2019 an outside speaker asked Med One’s employees what the “Mission Statement” for the company should be. The initial response was, "Med One helps hospitals acquire medical equipment." It was accurate but only the equivalent of 17 squares above. A long and meaningful discussion ensued, and the final statement read, “Med One provides critical medical equipment to hospitals to help them save lives.” I believe that Med One’s employees already felt this "higher purpose" in why their jobs are important, and it has historically inspired them to go “above and beyond” to help our customers and each other. We continually hear stories of heroic efforts in delivering needed equipment to hospitals, finding practical solutions in leasing transactions with hospitals and co-operative solutions to customers facing temporary financial difficulties. It is a “can do” approach in every situation. Employees like these are found in all great companies that have a "business purpose" that inspires them and a culture that encourages extraordinary behavior. Thanks to Larry and Brent, Med One has both.
I have had the privilege of participating on Med One’s board of directors since its organization five years ago. I have seen the company's core leasing operations expand while biomedical services and rental and sales of used equipment have become an integral part of the company's operations. The senior management team has assumed more responsibility and is preparing well for a future time when Larry and Brent step away from full-time involvement. I am proud to be a part of this great organization.
Over the course of my career, I have observed many different management styles and corporate cultures. I have identified three key attributes of great companies: 1. Do the right thing, 2. Treat people the way you want to be treated, and 3. Give back to the community. All three are present in Med One’s culture.
Do the Right Thing
Organizational integrity creates trust and loyalty in both employees and customers. When an organization is driven to do the right thing, and employees are empowered to perform, decision making at all levels becomes easier. If there has been a mistake, you admit to the error and fix it. The only people who don't make mistakes are those who don't do anything. You learn from the mistakes and move forward a smarter and better organization. You don't make the same mistakes over and over because you know what is happening in the organization and can provide training to help everyone learn from the mistake of one person.
Treat People the Way You Would Like to Be Treated
Great organizations value their employees. They treat everyone with respect and courtesy. They provide effective training. They recognize excellence and celebrate successes. Ultimately, employees treat a company’s customers the way the company treats them. We have all had experiences that build loyalty or drive us away from doing business with an entity. Even small encounters matter.
I had shoulder surgery a few months ago and have been doing physical therapy with a group associated with my surgeon. After several visits, my therapist asked how many visits my insurance company authorizes? Not knowing the answer, I called the insurance company. After a brief automated phone tree (which I hate), I was routed to a customer service representative. I explained that I had had surgery and asked how many physical therapy visits were authorized. The person’s response surprised me. She didn’t go directly to the answer to my question but instead expressed concern for me and how I was recovering. She asked a couple of genuine questions about me. She then answered my question and wished me well in my continued recovery and asked if there was anything else she could help me with. When I hung up, I smiled. This person had made me feel important and valued. It took her perhaps two minutes longer to handle my call, but I understood that people matter to this company. My coverage will stay with them! I believe this is the way Med One interacts with its own employees and customers.
Give Back to the Community
Brent and Larry are committed to sharing their success with both employees and the community. They give generously to several worthy entities, including Choice Humanitarian, Salt Lake City Kids Night, For Families of Active Military, Sleep Smart. Drive Smart, Salt Lake Bees Prevention Dimensions Kids Day, and Utah Jazz Be a Team Player—READ! Additionally, the company provides paid time off for employees to volunteer in the community.
In conclusion, great companies have a business purpose that inspires and a culture that encourages excellence. These companies all seem to have come to the important realization that “people matter.” Each policy and decision is driven by this principle. As a board member, I thank Med One's employees, vendors, suppliers, financial partners, and customers who each play an essential role in the company's quest to provide critical medical equipment to hospitals to help them save lives.Prev Article Next Article