Corporate Culture in Decision Making

To the Editor

Dr Horowitz and his colleagues1 have done us all a great service in dissecting what can be for many of us, a complicated, angst-provoking process. I believe that their sage counsel goes beyond mergers and acquisitions. In one form or another, the questions they pose apply to most business strategic and operational decisions, pathology and otherwise. However, it is not always so easy to get physicians to ask themselves, let alone answer, the questions that the authors pose.

I urge readers of this article to dwell on the section entitled “Assessing the Cultures.”?1 In our experience, we find the success with which pathology groups establish a common culture to be the tipping point of strategic planning. Practice cultures must consider the diverse and sometimes conflicting needs of its constituent members. Certainly, the goals, lifestyles, and professional requirements of pathologists who are newly in practice, and perhaps single parents, are likely to differ from those of colleagues who are in mid practice and arranging college tuitions or in late practice planning retirement. Yet, groups often force square pegs into round holes by constructing a single practice model to which they require all members to conform. Unless the group establishes a common cultural platform, one that allows for the diverse needs of all its constituents, it may not be able to process into cogent business decisions the data they are laboring so diligently to collect.

David A. Novis, MD
Novis Consulting, LLC, Lee, NH 03861

1. Horowitz RE, Provizer H, Barry MJ. How to evaluate a potential merger or acquisition. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2013;137(12):1811–1815.