Ep. 116: Developing and Maintaining A Competitive Edge

Feb 28, 2024 |

Michele Holleran, CEO of Holleran Consulting and DeArment Consulting, talks about strategic planning and leadership development in aging services.

In this episode, we interview Michele Holleran, the founder and CEO of two firms: Holleran Consulting and DeArment Consulting. Michele is an expert in strategic planning and executive coaching and has been recognized by various organizations in the aging services sector for her ability to improve organizational culture and leadership effectiveness.

Best Practices in Strategic Planning [7:32]
Michele has observed a decline in strategic planning among organizations due to daily operational pressures and leadership fatigue. She believes in mindset shift, viewing strategic planning as an ongoing process of strategic thinking involving multiple stakeholders beyond the executive team.

[10:00] She emphasizes the importance of including residents in the strategic planning conversation, acknowledging their concerns and insights, and using systems such as the traffic light system to assess plan progress and team reviews.

Governance and Leadership Practices [18:14] 
Michele expresses a keen interest in innovation. She explains the idea of integrative thinking and Roger Martin's concept of the "opposable mind."

[19:37] She encourages involving frontline workers in the innovation process, noting its positive impact on engagement and retention. Additionally, she shares examples of organizations adopting disruptive models, showcasing strategic approaches to ensure long-term success in the evolving senior living landscape.

[23:40] There is potential in serving the middle market and exploring home- and community-based services. She introduces the concept of a "future search," encouraging senior living operators to gather diverse perspectives for innovative brainstorming sessions. Michele thinks the senior living industry needs to overcome its risk aversion by integrating innovation skills into leadership education.

Board Renewal [31:22]
Michele talks about the need for term limits on senior living boards to make sure there are new ideas and to avoid getting stuck in old ways. It's important to have a mix of people on the board, including younger members who know about technology, and changing what we expect from board members.

[34:53] For Michele, a shift towards ad hoc committees over standing committees, as well as external evaluations, is good for more engaging and productive board work.

Board Discipline and Transparency in Decision-Making [38:19]
Michele advises boards to prioritize discipline, transparency, and expert input in decision-making. She recommends bringing in experts for education, facilitating conversations around strategic plans, and forming ad hoc committees to study specific issues and provide recommendations, prioritizing the importance of proactive communication from the executive team about potential challenges.

Support for Supervisors: Balancing Engagement and Burnout [42:43]
Supervisors play a vital role in keeping employees and should have a good support system. Michele mentions the problem of supervisors being highly engaged but also experiencing burnout.

[45:58] She points out that supervisors are loyal and make a valuable contribution to reducing turnover among frontline workers. Michele highlights the impact of supporting supervisors in areas like maintaining a work-life balance and managing their workload.

Visit https://www.holleranconsult.com/ to learn more about resident and employee engagement and satisfaction studies.
You can reach Michele through her online profile on LinkedIn.

About Our Guest:

Michele, founder and CEO of two firms: Holleran Consulting and DeArment Consulting, holds a PhD in organization and management from Capella University and an MBA from The Pennsylvania State University. Specializing in resident and employee engagement studies, strategic planning, and leadership development, Michele has led board retreats and strategic planning for aging services organizations nationwide. A frequent columnist for McKnight’s Magazine, she is currently the chair of The Center for Innovation, overseeing The Green House Project and The Pioneer Network. Michele was the first chairperson and co-facilitator of the Larry Minnix LeadingAge Leadership Academy and created The Senior Living Women’s Leadership Retreat.

View her recent article featured in McKnights Senior Living

About the Show:

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Categories: : Growth, Leadership, Mindset, Podcast, Strategy, Vision