Jay Holmes: Welcome to the Medical Management Podcast. A podcast focused on helping you level up your practice. Through interviews with some of the most successful leaders in the industry, we help uncover resources, tools, and ideas to help you level up your practice. Thanks for tuning in and we hope you enjoy today's program.
Jesse Arnoldson: Hello and welcome to Medical Management Podcast, I'm your host Jesse Arnoldson. I'm joined by my good friend, Jay Holmes, also of MedMan. Jay, welcome to the show!
Jay Holmes: Hey man, thanks. Glad to be on.
Jesse Arnoldson: All right. And for those tuning in, you know, we've been covering some ground on MedMan's values, both to kind of demonstrate who MedMan is, but also to set it as an example for other companies, not necessarily for the value, like you should have these same values, but this is how you should be thinking about them. This is how you should be integrating them into your organization. This is how you should be using them to create, coach, and maneuver your team. So we're going to keep doing it. We're going to focus on one of our other six values and one of my favorites, sharing. This is when we bought the company, one of the values that carried over from old MedMan to new MedMan. And so, Jay, you know, let's jump in. Tell me a little bit about what it means to us at MedMan, this sharing value, and maybe why it stuck through the transition when we bought the company back in 2018.
Jay Holmes: You bet. You bet. Sharing has always been a value, a core value, and it continues to be, and to reflect on that, you think about the strength of MedMan and the strength of MedMan is really the network of our administrators, of our knowledge. And the challenge we have as administrators and practice managers in the field is that we're generally, we're at the top of the food chain as far as the knowledge inside of a clinic, and that's limiting in the sense of actual performance and growth, right, when you're in the clinic and you're the top, you're at the top of that mountain and you're.
Jesse Arnoldson: It's lonely.
Jay Holmes: Not at the top.
Jesse Arnoldson: It's very lonely.
Jay Holmes: Yeah. Absolutely. It's super lonely. And you're certainly not at the top of Mt. Everest. You're at the top of your own mountain. But it's harder to have the support to grow that mountain and to advance. And so when we think about sharing, what we're really doing is we're talking about the main driver in growing and strengthening the network that we have, which in terms, is the tide that rises and raises all ships, right? That's what it is, is saying that if we can give what I know, if I can give what I know to everyone else, everyone else is going to be better for it. And if we continue to do that, then as a company and as a group of administrators, we're going to be, well, better than we ever were. And that takes a bit of humility, and so it's a wonderful value that we look for and we're really required because it is a fundamental piece to our network and our, and who we are. And so I'm going to tell you a story about, one of my favorite stories, about this place called Route 128. And that's, it's a highway on the outskirts of Boston that kind of spans the northwest kind of quarter of outside of Boston. Anyways, much too much description on where it actually is. But Route 128 back in the 50s and 60s was the leading, United States' leading technology. And that was the hub, that was the epicenter. And you had places like Bell Laboratories that flourished. And then through the 70s and then moving into 80s, there was disruption. And there's also this little place called Silicon Valley that started to pop up and then had two hubs. But Boston was always, and was the front runner, but something really amazing happened is that in Silicon Valley, there was a different environment. Environment was this, and one, you know, it was an open environment. It was an environment where sharing was not only allowed, but it was expected and people thrived off of it. So there's a couple of points to that that scholars have looked at to try to analyze why Boston's prominence in the tech world slowly decline while Silicon Valley rose. And there's some of it that points to in California, non-competes for very, very difficult to enforce. In Boston, if you work for a company, you're going to work for that company for as long as that company wants. And there was not only it was, was it legally there, but there was this loyalty that I'm this company's, like I'm part of this company, this company is part of me. So I'm going to stick around forever so that the knowledge that was created inside companies stayed inside companies, right, and then the thought processes was, well, of course, that's right, pass, because me as a company, I want all that institutional knowledge. And so thinking about the individual, certainly detracted from the industry or at least the locality, right? Boston as a whole lost because everyone thought about themselves and saying, I need my knowledge and I needed inside protected by these walls, or else me as a company is less, will be less, right? There were pride issues of not wanting to be vulnerable, not wanting to fail, in Boston. A lot of, you know, just history and people living there, while you have Silicon Valley, where you had a lot of influx and outflux and people willing to take risks, maybe they're taking risk because their families and their families' families and all of their community wasn't around them to say, how could you take a risk and fail? That's not what we do. We want to build and we want to have stability and structure. And so it's so fascinating that through the little hubs and Silicon Valley, through the coffee shops, through the Italian restaurants, where the, these heads of these tech companies came and just said, these are the problems I'm having, or this is, look how amazing what I, what we were able to do here and how, you know, what, I mean, what, was it Jobs basically stole the mouse from, was it Adobe or something like that?
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah.
Jay Holmes: Right. You know, it was all this stuff happened. But it wasn't that Adobe was any less off. It was the fact of the matter is that the industry as a whole, in us as a whole, as consumers, our lives significantly benefited from the cross-contamination, which all came down to sharing, right? And so if we held everything tight, we would not have technology like we do today. And so that's squarely as we see it. It's unselfishness, not for ourselves, but for the network as a whole. And that's not just our administrators, right? That's our clients. That's our patients of our clients. That's everybody is risen by this rising tide. And so that's the best story I can illustrate, really, the impact of sharing.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah, I love that. And it makes me, it kind of reinforces this. We each have a different image of what it means to MedManm mine's always been flowers and bumblebees, right? You know, it's just that cross-pollination, you know, bees don't just benefit from the flower, the flower benefits from the bee and bringing stuff over from a different flower. Here, there, there, there, that's the only way flowers survive. If we lost these bumblebees that we're taking stuff from all over and helping each of these flowers to thrive, we lose all our plants. And so to me, it is about us, our survival, our thrival. We have to share to do better. And we want to be a part of that, that network that cross-pollinates, like you demonstrated with the story between Boston and Silicon Valley. And, yeah, that's how I've always envisioned, is just a bunch of bumblebees moving stuff around.
Jay Holmes: Yeah. Well, I mean, you think about it, it's really about the pie analogy, where you can have situations where you're fighting over how much of the pie you get or you can have situations where you're all fighting to figure out ways to grow that pie and so that your slice actually gets bigger, but not at the detriment of someone else. And I think that's, really illustrates the two mindsets of I want more of the predetermined pie rather than saying no, if we work together, this pie can get so big that I can hold on to my 10 percent and grow beyond my wildest dreams. And as the industry and health care, that is absolutely where we have to be.
Jesse Arnoldson: Absolutely.
Jay Holmes: And so let's dive in just a little bit more. I think there's really two sides to sharing. It's one side is striving to share the knowledge we have with other people. That's one side. But the other side is really sharing our shortcomings. And I think that's, that's really important to understand that it's not just the smartest people, the most experienced people saying, hey, this is how I do it. It also takes the other side to say I'm vulnerable. I don't know this. And those, like that aspect is almost as important as having those people that know everything or know a lot. No one knows everything, but because you have to have someone step up and say, yeah, tell me about that, like, educate me, I'm ignorant in this and have the confidence to say it's not because I'm not smart enough to understand it or I should feel any lesser. It's just I haven't had the opportunity or the right way of learning this.
Jesse Arnoldson: Hold on. Before you go off of that, there's just, one of the people that worked for MedMan forever, Peter Berger, he took it even one step further of, I do have an answer for this, but I'm going to ask and see what other people think and I'm going to take ideas. So this guy had been in the industry for 30+ years, probably could have done everything by himself, but he chose not to. He put himself out there saying, hey, I think I know how to handle this situation, but I'd love to know what other people are thinking. That's huge.
Jay Holmes: Absolutely. That's, that's humility to the next level, of saying, I've got a pretty good map of the land here, but I'm sure it's missing something. So everyone that's had different experiences fill it in, helped me fill in and help me, show me what I might not be saying.
Jesse Arnoldson: And he gave other people a chance to share with him and it allowed them to then reciprocate the vulnerability and ask when they needed something.
Jay Holmes: Hundred percent.
Jesse Arnoldson: OK, I think that it's interesting when multiple values in your organization play off of each other because one of ours is confident humility. I think that we talked about that one already, but you have to have some confident humility to enter into this kind of sharing arrangement with others. So it's cool to see these values play off of each other. But for us, Jay, how do we at MedMan encourage this value? How do we try and foster this sharing mentality amongst our people?
Jay Holmes: You bet. It's certainly not just a pretty poster on a wall. It's a.
Jesse Arnoldson: It's a team rowing, rowing the boat together.
Jay Holmes: Yeah, exactly, right, exactly. You know, it's intentional and leadership takes it very, very seriously, and we certainly walk the walk. We just don't talk to talk. So that means is that we share furiously and we ask questions and expose our vulnerabilities and to set an example to say it's OK, it's safe to do that here. And it's expectedly, we have a, we have a weekly management meeting on the leadership team and we actively spend time recommending, really recommending. But we spend time going over those incidences, those interactions that we've all experienced in the prior week of those people that have, that have lived our values. And so we spent time talking about it and say, hey, you know, how John did this, and he helped out and he stepped way above and beyond what normally would have been expected. He got on the phone with an administrator that needed help, that reached out, said hey, I don't know this and spent a good half hour walking through it and really diving in and making sure that that administrator knew what what they were lacking at the end of the call and unprovoked, no, no requirement there. But we bring it up and then we circle back afterwards, either in a more like broadcasted individually or company wide where we have channels that we say, hey, good job. And sometimes we do it in front of everybody. Sometimes we just send a direct email and say, hey, we're thinking about you, we're talking about you, and we really are appreciative of you living our values. And here's an example of that.
Jesse Arnoldson: That's awesome. What else do we do, Jay? What else do we do to foster sharing?
Jay Holmes: We've created communication channels or opportunities to communicate. One of those being we've had for a long, long time, a listserv where we bounce around ideas and questions and have the opportunity for all administrators to share, insert certain themes. And so we have that, that's fairly active on a day-to-day basis where each of our administrators are asking questions and getting answers. We also have a weekly call, really a zoom, zoom meeting where all of our administrators get together for 30 minutes, 60 minutes, depending on the pressing issues, that there's opportunities for each of them to participate, each of them to say, hey, you know, here's an issue I'm working on or I'm struggling with, give me input, help me work through this. And so we have that. And then, of course, we have our MedMan University that really is, intentionally focuses on the relationships so that then we feel better. Once we know someone, once we trust them, then those offline communications happen much more frequently. And so that's really what we're trying to do here, is we're trying to say, hey, this is a really trusted network. We expect you to reach out. It's OK to reach out. It's OK to say I have no idea what that means or, and say it's OK. Well, I'm not going to think that you're less of an administrator or less of a human being. We actually say that's required to think that, you know, everything is probably the funniest joke on the planet. So let's get past that.
Jesse Arnoldson: Absolutely is.
Jay Holmes: And then let's really work on getting stuff done. And then on top of all this, we do our best to hire for it and we can get into to why I say we do our best, in a moment.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah, let's go, right. That's perfect. That's a perfect segue because that's where my head was going. How do we identify people that we think are going to be good sharing members of our community?
Jay Holmes: So there's an asterisk behind the hire for it in the values conversation is that it's really difficult and we are certainly a learning organization and this is a pathway that we are OK. And we certainly need to get better and better and better because values are really, really hard to hire for.
Jesse Arnoldson: Right!
Jay Holmes: You know, what, in the interview process, it's a less than ideal process to really, truly get an understanding of how an individual is going to work and really be in real life work setting. So with that asterisk, with that caveat, here are the things that we do and we're building upon. We have a pretty structured interview process where we'll ask specific questions that and this is really where we're working through, how can we better, either through questions or through more interactive processes, how can we pull out the values? Certainly sharing. And so the specific questions we ask, there's a scorecard that we use in the interview process that has a section for our values. And what that does in the scorecard is is the same for each candidate and not just through a position, but really everything in the sections on our values really emphasize and give us some autonomy to figure out how we individually for the five or six individuals that are involved in that interview process, because that's about what it is. Each administrator we hire, we have quite a few people involved in that. But what that does is that it really says that even though you don't have a specific question in your list of questions to ask for it, we do need to each assess it on our own and come up with ways to do that. And so really, that's how we build it into the interview process. And there's also times where and this is where I need to get better, we all need to get better, is just reflecting on just certain situations and picking up on how people say things and not necessarily the interview process, like, you know, specific interview, but maybe walking down the street, when you're walking from a from lunch back to an office or whatnot, to really just pick up on how people look at life and how certain things what we're learning is vulnerability is a gigantic. Use of sharing, and so if we can pick apart the vulnerability a little bit, then that's going to lead us to understand how good a share and how committed they are to this idea that the more I give, the pie will grow, and the growing pie benefits me greatly. And so, just a story about that. We had actually already hired an administrator, but in the onboarding, we had a dinner where some of us were there and I think this had been about a week into it and where the administrator was shocked at the, and I forget the words exactly, but he was shocked at the level of questions that were being asked in our listserv and the level of question, meaning that how vulnerable someone would be to ask a question that exposed their perceived brilliance. And at the time, I kind of brushed it off like, yeah, sure know. That's that's all good. That's really what we do. But in reflection, I certainly, if I had to do it over, would have paused and dug so far deep into that comment and turned out that this individual wasn't a good sharer, saw himself as the most knowledgeable person and had no desire to raise his hand and say, I don't know something. And then ultimately what the outcome of that was had no, didn't attach any value to the network that we have. And so it was a short-term game and the client and this administrator didn't have a long, long-term relationship with us.
Jesse Arnoldson: Absolutely. I remember that specific one. It is such a bummer because we wish we could have figured that out earlier on. And I think that for me, one of the lessons I've learned since then in other interviews is that vulnerability piece. Maybe it it is really hard to gauge whether this person is going to share, but I can gauge whether this person is willing to be vulnerable with me. And so maybe the questions that I asked to gauge confidence, humility, pair nicely with what I'm seeking to figure out on sharing. Something else I've wanted to experiment with Jay in our interview process is maybe we introduce them to a sort of peer forum, like we do on our weekly calls with just a couple of us. And we spend a half an hour, an hour troubleshooting with them and just see how they react in something that is absolutely core to MedMan is our peer forums and see if they're willing to be vulnerable, see if they're willing to offer up ideas, see if they're willing to ask questions and engage in it. Maybe to your point earlier, we don't have this figured out by any means. And so we're experimenting and we're seeking out new ideas and we're trying to, so, for our listeners, hopefully, maybe if you're sitting there screaming some awesome idea, you should reach out to us and let us know, because that would be an incredible addition to us. But there's different things that I know that the two of us want to try and experiment with to get after this value a little bit more in our hiring process. Any idea, any other ideas, Jay, that come top of mind for you that you want to try?
Jay Holmes: Well, let's just before I do that, just emphasize the, whenever we've had administrators that don't work out, it's always because of the values, it's always the value set.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yes.
Jay Holmes: It's not because they weren't competent in this or that. It's that they don't deliver on our values. And so that's why, you know, we're coming back to that, I said sure, I can go and say, hey, can you add two plus two and we can get an answer of that and we can see your competetent in this, but ultimately, the world we live in changes so much and so fast that what we knew yesterday isn't always applicable to the world of tomorrow. And that's where the values come in because it allows you to be adaptable. So Darwin is one of my, favorite quotes, Darwin says that the species that survives isn't the most intelligent or isn't the strongest, it's the one that's most adaptable, the one that can remove the attachment of what they were and then adapt and change for tomorrow. And that's what we're building here, administrators that do that. I've always wanted to have a kind of impromptu game of charades.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah!
Jay Holmes: And there's another game and I forget the name of it, but it's almost like.
Jesse Arnoldson: It's a mind game or characters.
Jay Holmes: Yeah, right, growing up just terrified by that. Me, personally. And through that, I think it's really helped me think on my feet but be vulnerable and say like it's OK, it's OK to look funny, look silly, it's OK to fail. I certainly have a drive to compete and win, but I've always thought that would be pretty fun, this impromptu, OK, you know, the next 30 minutes we're in do little charades and you're going to be on this team. And let's just jump into it and just see the shock of having to stand up in more of a public speaking-ish fashion and just be full on, exposed, vulnerable. And what are you going to do? You're going to roll with it or you're going to really shrivel up and really expose the shortcomings that would eventually be exposed down the road.
Jesse Arnoldson: Oh, I love it. I love it. And I think that that's the lesson for our our people joining us on this podcast, our listeners, is that there are a million different ways to engage a candidate and to measure them against your values. You've got to experiment. You got to come up with different things, but all for the sake of finding this person that lives your values naturally. I think that if we can adjust our interview processes to seek our values out more, we'll end up with people that not only fit better, but that help catapult our organizations forward. That's the power of finding somebody that matches your values. That's why we focus so much on them. And that's why we're doing these episodes, not to show how cool we are and what great values MedMan has, but to demonstrate the amount of thinking and investment into these values that each organization, each clinic should have. So that's the whole enchilada. Jay, thank you for focusing on this. Thanks for being willing to talk about it with us.
Jay Holmes: My pleasure, man. It's always fun to hang out, tell you what.
Jesse Arnoldson: And for our listeners, I hope that you're inspired a little bit by our sharing value. You know, we're all better for this if we're in it together. Don't be an island to yourself. Get out there. Find people that are willing to share back and forth with you, because that is the way that we, to the way Jay put it, we raise all of our ships. Before you get too far, make sure that you subscribe to our Medical Management Podcast so you can stay up to date with all the latest information that we're putting out. And for anything, podcasts or services related to MedMan does, please visit us at MedMan.com. We'll see you next time.
Jay Holmes: Thanks for tuning in to the Medical Management Podcast. We hope you enjoyed today's featured guest. For the show notes, transcripts, resources, and everything else MedMan does to help you level up. Be sure to visit us at MedMan.com.
Welcome back to the Living your Values series. In this episode, Jay and Jesse discuss Sharing inside MedMan. This value transferred from the old owners of the company to the new when MedMan was purchased in 2018. This value is based on strengthening and growing the network they work with. Jesse thinks about sharing as cross-pollination occurs with bees and flowers: we all benefit from it. Jay thinks of it through the pie analogy, where you can keep a slice of it, but when shared, it can get bigger each time. For Jay, sharing has two sides: knowledge and shortcomings. This value comes with vulnerability and curiosity.
Jay and Jesse have a really heartfelt conversation about how they live this value inside a company like MedMan and how they take it to a personal context.
MedMan follows the saying, “all ships rise with the tide.”
Before Silicon Valley in California, Route 128 existed in Boston.
Route 128 was the US’s prime hub for technology development.
Sharing is like the cross-pollination process with bumblebees and flowers.
Sharing as a value requires vulnerability to say “I don’t have an answer for this” and the strength to say “let’s find it together.”
Open communication channels for people to share what they think or ask for help.
When an employee lives your values, express gratitude either individually or collectively.
Finding people that match your values will catapult your company.