Ken Bratz Consulting at Heart of Leadership Development in Plano
Ken Bratz Consulting Helps Bring Leadership to M.D. Anderson CCU
HOUSTON, TX – When Laura Espinosa first took over as nurse manager in the Critical Care Unit at M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital in Houston, one of her initial goals was to ease the workload among the units’ 160 nurses by combining the medical and surgical departments. She also faced another dilemma — how to introduce leadership and discipline into a department where there had been very little before.
“We had a lot of tenured staff in the ICU, and I could see very quickly that they were very much set in their ways,” Espinosa said. “I had to set a tone for a group of people that had no leadership in place, and had been operating with no standards and without any core values.”
To do that would take time. So for help, Espinosa turned to Ken Bratz and his training and management-consulting group.
“My core values are attitude, customer service, teamwork and professional courtesy,” Espinosa said. “None of that existed here. As a facilitator, Ken could understand where I was coming from and where I was trying to go. He gave me the tools to do what I needed to do and allowed me to get there a lot faster than it would have taken without his help.”
To get the ICU on track, Bratz employed strategies from The Impact Process, a system that seeks solutions to organizational problems by addressing the behavior of its employees.
“One of the biggest problems in most organizations, aside from lack of communication, is a lack of trust,” said Bratz, who formed the Palestine, Texas-based group 30 years ago. “Trust can only be increased with dialogue — people talking with each other and attempting to understand each other's viewpoint.”
“In most cases, like with M.D. Anderson, trust gaps are wide and have usually existed for long periods of time,” he said.
“Because they had such poor management under previous leadership, they were breaking all kinds of rules and regulations,” Bratz said. “That happened so often that they had created a system that had no structure. It was equal to the inmates running the asylum.”
The Impact Process helped reveal to Espinosa and her team what needed to happen.
“First, we look at the problems they’re having, find out where they want to go and what they want to do,” Bratz said. “Then we get people to talk or communicate through what we call a ‘team approach’. That way we can find out what the problems are, where the root of the problems is and what needs to happen to get it fixed.”
Using hands-on, one-on-one exercises, management and employees find themselves working together to solve problems.
The results from working with Ken Bratz Consulting were just what Espinosa had hoped for. “The turnover rate decreased drastically,” she said, “and the ICU even received national recognition by winning the Premiere ICU Excellence Award.”
“I believe that some of our teambuilding early on helped us get to where we are now,” Espinosa said. “We needed a quick process and I needed a facilitator. Ken Bratz was what we needed.”
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