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“1 Interview Question That Cuts Through the BS to Reveal Someone’s True Character” Inc.com

Written by Betsy Mikel | Reviewed by Steve McKenney, PT

Hiring the right staff physical therapist is both a primary goal and a challenge for most private practice owners. The right physical therapist can create a comfortable atmosphere for patients, colleagues, and managers. The wrong physical therapist can be a source of patient dissatisfaction, poor relationships between colleagues, and an overall tense clinic atmosphere.



When was the last time you asked, “Why are we doing it this way?”

By Hal Gregersen | Reviewed by Jean Darling, PT, LAT

As I researched good articles to read on leadership, this one caught my eye. I think all of us in physical therapy who practice within an organization larger than a one-stop shop can ask ourselves this question. Perhaps even if you are a solo practitioner, you may ask yourself this question, but phrase it as, “Why am I doing it this way?” When an organization or an individual experiences success in any manner, it may be difficult to alter the path we have been following. Brian Cornell, CEO of Target, inherited a struggling company a few years ago, stating they were sticking too close to their core and not taking enough risks. He took time to ask questions, seek to understand what was going on, and contemplate his approach. Based on the article, this appears to be the philosophy other leaders utilize when striking off down a new and unchartered path. The three main concepts I garnered from the article were:

  • Create a questioning ecosystem through diverse teams.
  • Stay curious.
  • Challenge the status quo and, when needed, start from scratch.

I believe every one of us would be lying to ourselves if we thought we knew all the answers; a strong point is made to surround yourself with diversity of perspectives. Successful leadership is not just about the leader; it is about the team. Leaders must constantly find new solutions to problems.

Curiosity should not end when you find one solution to the problem. “Why are we doing it that way?” was the guiding question that fueled Guy Wollaert’s curiosity when he first joined the Coca-Cola Company and was designing new factories. “I found those questions were not always as basic as I thought. If you want to design a good factory you have to know what happens before and you have to know what happens after. You put it into the bigger context.”

Organizations can be very good at the “improvement process” with consistent process upgrades. But leaders should not be afraid to erase the chalkboard sometimes and start from scratch, as the end result may be a 180-degree turn from the current process.

In our physical therapy business there may be times we need to throw out the old and bring in a new billing or EMR system, or begin an entirely new “branding” for our current company. In order to avoid complacency, use Gregersen’s 3 concepts and keep refreshing your leadership style.

The article can be found at https://hbr.org/2016/04/when-was-the-last-time-you-asked-why-are-we-doing-it-this-way.


Jean Darling, PT, LAT, is an Impact editorial board member and co-owner and vice president of Advanced Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine, Shawano with six locations in Wisconsin. She can be reached at jean@advancedptsm.com.

“This Trumps Strategy. You Need More of This.”


Does it really?

By Ted Coiné | Reviewed by Sturdy McKee

In Ted Coiné’s article “This Trumps Strategy. You Need More of This” on the “Open for Business” blog, by Meddle, Coiné makes the case that culture is superior and dominant to strategy. This thought comes from the writer and business consultant Peter Drucker who said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Coiné makes a case for culture, in the form of principles, being more important than strategy, tactics, and practices. He acknowledges that all four are important, and that they are all absolutely necessary, yet he also discusses them as if they were rungs on a ladder—putting principles on the top rung. If principles really are more important, we might place them on the first rung as a foundation to the other facets. The way we articulate our principles through our mission, vision, and core values (MVV) can help to define why, how, and where we are going. MVV also defines our business or practice culture. Whether or not we acknowledge and are explicit about the culture we desire, there is a culture in every business. Like values, it exists whether we write it down or not. By being explicit and defining our core values, we define how we want our culture to look and feel—one expresses the other.

There are those, like entrepreneur, educator, and public servant Warren Rustand, who advocate for strategy and hold it as the most important of the four facets of business. Our strategy, or how we choose to pursue and get to our desired outcome or goals, is important and can determine how quickly, slowly, or completely we achieve our desired outcome. However, this strategy is often influenced by our principles or MVV.


Business management and practices writer Tom Peters said, “Execution is the missing 98 percent for success in business.”1 If execution is the doing—referred to in this article as tactics and practices—then is it not as equally important? We can have the best plans and principles—the best of intentions—but intention without action goes nowhere.

I prefer to define successful business as a mix of culture, MVV, strategy, and execution. I consider business as a three-legged stool where MVV, strategy, and execution are the three legs and culture is the seat that ties them all together. The seat is important. Without the seat we have no stool on which to sit, just three sticks. But without even one of the legs to hold up the seat, it is also not a stool.

It is important that we clearly articulate each of these four facets in order to define why we exist, where we are going, how we will get there, and then apply ourselves to the task each day. While thinkers like to ponder the relative importance of each of these four facets, they work in synergy, requiring all to be aligned to achieve the best ability.

So in your business, as you set goals for the coming year and discuss and define how you do what you do, a culture is already being expressed through the behaviors of those on your team. People are living by a set of values, which may be aligned or in conflict. Being explicit about your culture and MVV is just as important as being explicit about your strategy and execution. Defining them can help you achieve alignment, select the right team members in the future, and stay on the right path for your particular business. So maybe, just maybe, you do indeed “need more of this.”


Sturdy McKee, PT, MPT, is a PPS member and the co-founder and chief executive officer of San Francisco Sport and Spine Physical Therapy, SleepSling and ScheduleDoc.co. He can be reached at sturdymckee@gmail.com, www.linkedin.com/in/sturdy or @Sturdy.

Millennials Want to Be Coached at Work


Harvard Business Review

By Karie Willyerd
Reviewed by Ann Wendel, PT, ATC, CMTPT

It is believed that each generation has common traits that give it a specific character. The term “Millennials” refers to the generation born roughly between 1982 and 2004. This generation often demonstrates “pragmatic idealism,” a deep desire to make the world a better place combined with an understanding that doing so requires building new institutions while working inside and outside existing institutions.

In her 2015 article for Harvard Business Review, Karie Willyerd states that the young people in our offices crave—and respond to—a good, positive coach, who can make all the difference in their success. In a global survey conducted by Success Factors in 2014, 1,400 Millennials stated that they wanted more feedback from their managers. Most wanted monthly feedback, whereas non-Millennials are comfortable with feedback less often. Overall, Millennials want feedback 50 percent more often than other employees, and while they stated that their number one source of development is their manager, only 46 percent agreed that their managers delivered on their expectations for feedback.

Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2015


ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal

By Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM
Reviewed By Marilyn Moffat, PT, DPT, PhD, DSc (hon), GCS, CSCS, CEEAA, FAPTA

As physical therapists become more and more involved in prevention, health promotion, and fitness models of service delivery, it is incumbent on each of us to understand the trends occurring in the fitness industry. Physical therapists involved in fitness programs have been aware of both the enduring trends and the transient fads within the industry for years. Thompson reported on the 2015 worldwide fitness trends and initially noted the differences between a trend and a fad.1 A trend was defined as “a general development or change in a situation or in the way that people are behaving,”2 while a fad was defined as “a fashion that is taken up with great enthusiasm for a brief period.”3 These definitions were used by the respondents when they were asked to determine if the item was a trend or not in the survey.

The annual electronic survey of fitness trends that has been taken by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) for the last nine years included responses from the for-profit commercial fitness companies, the clinical medical fitness programs, the not-for-profit community fitness programs, and the corporate community. The purpose of the survey is to identify existing trends and present new trends that influence the fitness industry. There was no intention to introduce fads within the industry. The items on the survey were based on the top 25 trends in 2014 and 2013 and additional emerging trends that were identified by the Journal’s editorial staff. The survey was distributed by Survey Monkey to 28,426 fitness professionals who included all ACSM-certified individuals, nonmember subscribers to ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, and their editorial boards. In addition, the survey was posted on their Journal’s website, on Twitter, and on Facebook. Incentives of ACSM books and a $100 gift card were used to enhance participation in the survey. A 12 percent return (3,404 responses) was similar to returns received during the previous eight years of the survey and included responses from the United States and 24 countries worldwide. The majority of the respondents were individuals involved in the fitness industry, while 5.9 percent identified themselves as either physicians, osteopaths, nurses, physical therapists, or occupational therapists.1

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