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Scaling Up Excellence Book Synopsis

Scaling Up Excellence is a book by bestselling authors Robert Sutton and Huggy Rao. This book tackles a crucial aspect of an organization’s success - how to scale up quickly and efficiently. As a company becomes bigger and has more parts involved, the quality of their work tends to suffer, as they inevitably stray further from their vision. Companies have pockets of excellence” where their employees are able to provide peak performance for prolonged periods of time. Increasing the presences of these "pockets of excellence" is critical to the overall company performance. Rao and Sutton share a few techniques to help scale up this success. Let’s apply them to our practice as physiotherapists.

1. Eliminate the Bad and the Ugly

The authors note that destructive beliefs can end up having a far greater impact on an organization than the positive actions. Some of the destructive beliefs can include jealousy or feelings of superiority that prevent cohesive teamwork and stall reaching company's goals. In a clinical setting, this can manifest itself through toxic attitudes among physiotherapists about the way patient referrals are allocated to each professional. This negative perception could even extend towards management and front desk staff. Thus, it is imperative to eliminate these negative attitudes and beliefs as soon as possible. The key to scaling is to first identify the negative attitudes and then to come up with instantaneous solutions to prevent the beliefs from permeating throughout the entire organization. Building a positive outlook within a team will eliminate friction that slows down performance and allow the company to scale up faster.

2. Ensure Employees Propel Scaling

Propelling scaling is a phrase the authors use which relies on having the right people with the right skills doing the right things for the business. This seems like a simple notion. However, it goes far beyond simply hiring the appropriate personnel. Many clinic owners mention hiring superstar physiotherapists who were unable to drive the clinic to greater success. This highlights the key for scaling. It is not just the talent of the individuals that is required for scaling, but the importance of holding them accountable. It’s up to the clinic owner to use key performance indicators to measure their outcomes. This would be a collaboration between the clinic owner and the clinician to ensure that each patient completes their treatment plan. While a cultural fit is important to have, you still need a clinician who will be able to bring in patients and retain them to ensure the success of your business. Without these employees, you simply won’t be able to scale your organization to reach new levels of performance.

Scaling Up Excellence uses hundreds of case studies, academic papers and specific interviews with key personnel to help you obtain success as an organization. We, at PT Business Corner, hope you are able to enjoy all this wonderful book has to offer!


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