Saturday, April 30, 2016

"Assembling A Great Team Of Strategic Partners"

For the past three days, the NFL (National Football League) has been holding its annual draft of college football players. The 32 teams have taken turns, according to a very complex and involved system, in making 253 picks from among the top eligible players - not totally unlike choosing up sides on the playground but with a whole lot more at stake and huge salaries and bonuses involved.

Some teams got only a few picks while others had significantly more. Sometimes the best available player was selected from all of those remaining, and sometimes a team had a specific need for a player with a certain skill set.

So, as entertaining as this exercise might have been to watch and follow, how does this relate to our aging-in-place businesses? They is a very close parallel actually.

We need to assemble the very best team of professionals so that we can offer our clients what they need - and what they can't experience with any other team of providers in the marketplace. We need to draft our team.

Just as a football team has certain skill positions on it, regardless of the name of the team or what part of the country it's from, we have a need for a core group of professionals.

Each successful aging-in-place team of providers will have a contractor or remodeler that can do the construction and installation work (or perhaps someone with a different title such as a handyman that fits this general description), a designer in some form (interior designer, kitchen and bath designer, architect, space planner, or decorator), a health care professional (an occupational therapist, physical therapist, nurse, physician, or similar background) to provide assessments and see that any health-related matters are adequately taken into account, and a durable medical equipment (DME) provider that can identify and supply items required to accommodate the special needs of the client.

Depending on which one we are - or perhaps we wear another type of hat such as a consultant or marketer - we need to "draft" the remaining team players - our strategic partners. In most cases - like the football teams - we need more than one talented person or company to fill each designated slot to accommodate heavy workloads and scheduling conflicts.

There are many other specialties that we want to have on our team, but this is the core group - the first team.

Just like the NFL teams who have scouts and coaches spending literally the entire preceding 12 months leading up to past 3 days, we will be reviewing, evaluating, comparing, and assembling an assessment on the top players in our respective marketplaces that we want to have on our teams. Then we invite them to work with us. All will be CAPS trained at a minimum and will have the other professional credentials that we look for and expect in the position by training or licensing requirements.

The NFL Draft is a great model and reminder of how to go about assembling the team that we want and need to help us provide a comprehensive aging-in-place services program for our clients. regardless of whether we focus on people without urgent needs or have a business that delivers solutions for those with progressive conditions or traumatic injury needs.

We aren't hiring people but rather assembling a team of strategic partners who will work together on a project-by-project basis to be the best, and most successful, providers in our respective market areas - beginning with the core group of four and expanding as far as we feel we need to go.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.