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    In this episode of the MGMA Insights podcast, we’re joined by Productive Leaders CEO Mary Kelly, a retired Navy commander, author and keynote speaker on leadership, productivity and business growth. In speaking with many national and state MGMA members, Kelly understands the importance of the change management process, helping myriad practice managers and healthcare professionals embrace change in an industry that’s always evolving.

    You can access Kelly's 5-minute plans at, keyword: dog. 

    Don’t quite have time to listen to the entire episode? No worries. We’ve compiled a handful of highlights for your convenience:
    • (6:23) “Many people today in business are so worried about the war on talent that they are not holding people accountable for their behavior. They’re making excuses for their people: ‘Oh, well, they’re young. Oh, well, they’re old. Oh, well, they’ve been here a long time.’ It doesn’t matter. People make excuses for bad behavior when they don’t want to confront it.”
    • (20:39) “We have to get rid of the hierarchy of obstacles that get in people’s way. Many organizations, well-meaning people put processes and procedures in place. But the problem with those is it stops people from doing what they know they need to do. Or sometime certain procedures make it harder, not easier, for us to take care of our patients — and that’s a problem.”
    • (26:57) “Especially in practice manager situations, we oftentimes are dealing in extreme situations. We’re in crises all day long. So we sometimes just want the noise and the chaos to stop. So we put a Band-Aid on the sucking chest wound, and we hope that it gets better on its own. It will not. That bad behavior when you continue to condone the bad behavior or reward the bad behavior, it does not get better, it gets worse. And not only does it get worse for that person, but it gets worse for the people around that person.”
    • (34:36) “We are creatures of habit. Habits keep us alive, so we’re very protective of those habits that work for us. … Many of my very successful leaders eat exactly the same thing for breakfast every single day because it’s a habit and they don’t have to think about it. Now, because of that, because we’re hardwired to push back against change as a protective mechanism, what’s interesting to me is that once people get into that exploration phase and you break down the obstacles of what gets them to that next level, their brains actually get stimulated by the idea of change. That once we stop pushing against it, we’re fairly quick to adapt, which is an encouraging thing if you’re trying to lead change.”
    • (39:10) “We sometimes as leaders have to figure out what change is meaningful and what change is not. So in the medical world, obviously, if it’s regulated and mandated, we have to do it. It’s how you present it to your people is I think the leader’s challenge.”

    Here are some links and references related to this week’s show:
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    We love hearing from listeners about the show. If you have topics you’d like us to cover or experts you’d like us to interview, email us at or reach out to MGMA Sr. Editor and podcast host Daniel Williams on Twitter at @MGMADaniel

    MGMA Insights is presented by Decklan McGee, Rob Ketcham and Daniel Williams. 

    Additional Resources

    Make staffing your medical practice easier with MGMA’s Simple Guide to Hiring Series. To purchase or preview any of the seven titles in the series, search for “simple guide” at

    Join other healthcare professionals who always keep the bottom line in mind at MGMA20 | The Financial Conference, March 5-7 in Nashville, Tennessee. Click here to learn more or take advantage of early bird registration.

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