The Leadership Walk: Reflections After R!SE 2019

By Nicole Klutz, Phonak Audiology Manager

As we face a future of non-traditional service models in the hearing care industry — like eAudiology and managed care — the Phonak R!SE 2019 Symposium workshop, “The Leadership Walk,”led by the Disney Institute, has never been more important than perhaps right now.

“Exceptional experience is where People, Process and Place meet and overlap.”people-place-process-image

Do you recall the Venn diagram with the three circles in which each of these overlapped in the middle? This part of the session particularly resonated with me, and I believe it will as well with many hearing care providers in our industry.

In a profession and market where we are looking for every way to set ourselves apart from each other, differentiate our services and demonstrate value in the services we provide, it has never been so clear until now that the execution and attention to detail in these three areas ultimately drives the ultimate experience we are aiming to deliver.


It is important to remember that intentionality (being intentional where others may be unintentional) applies to every aspect of our business and across every individual within our teams.

We are not just small businesses acting as large companies or corporations where there are more people and roles and responsibilities than we can count. Rather, we are small businesses with strong, connected teams that rely on one another to show up for work, to put our best foot forward, and to play the very important role that we know we have. We all impact each other, and we all impact the experience our patients have at the end of the day.


From Very Important Person to Very Individual Person, our patients’ expectations from the first time they enter the doors of our offices necessitate that our team members all work cohesively and have the same goals in mind: to ensure our patients’ experience is what we are working to deliver upon and which they are expecting to experience.

However, we also have an opportunity here as business people, leaders of our companies and members of a team, to recognize that the people as described above aren’t necessarily exclusively our patients, but also perhaps our own employees — our team members.

As we all work together to deliver on our “who we are” — our brand promise as the Disney Institute referred to — our own people are the ambassadors to represent who we are as a company and what we stand for.

Therefore, it has never been more important than now to create and ensure we have a cohesive team — but also to recognize that VIP may be relevant to all of the people within our companies as well as the patients we serve.


Does it all then come down to the (perhaps) cliché of “the right place at the right time”  for all of these aspects to align and create the ultimate experience?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Does it give us the opportunity to reflect upon all of these aspects and recognize that, when a patient walks into our offices, that is the moment in time that for them — all of the aspects align and they feel that they are the ones that are in the right place and the right time.

From the front office to the evaluation and treatment room, our offices are the physical spaces in which all of these three areas align and overlap. These are the opportunities to ensure that the work, time and energy we have spent training our teams, discussing the business goals, and agreeing upon the experience we will deliver to our patients, come to fruition and happen.

The Ultimate Experience

At the end of the day, what did you take away from your time spent with the Disney Institute and their Leadership Walk workshop? Was it that…

  • you needed to review your business or service practice to ensure that you are as clinically efficient as you can be for your busy, growing patient database?
  • you needed to bring your team together to ensure everyone feels recognized and appreciated as well as understands how very important they are as an individual to the success of the company and the patients?
  • Or the experience in the front of your office is perhaps different than the back treatment area, and you’d like to align those more cohesively for the ultimate patient experience?

Yes? Good!

No matter what area may have resonated with you or you may have taken action items away from during the Disney Institute experience, the fact that you recognize the opportunities in front of you, and in front of our profession, is the right answer and direction to move in.

We face a future of uncertainty and change in the hearing care landscape. And by differentiate yourself, your business and the experience you provide your patients, you are guaranteeing yourself a spot at the head of the industry. More importantly, you are providing your patients the ultimate experience, giving them the ultimate gift.