Sharon Benjamin, Senior Principal, The Clearing “Curiosity. It keeps us moving forward, exploring, experimenting, opening new doors.” – Walt Disney
Curiosity is the foundation for some of the greatest inventions and innovations. Likewise, for The Clearing, a management consulting firm, curiosity— along with the right context—has always been the compass that led them to fuel inquiry and discover new paths for its clients, especially toward growth and innovation.
The secret sauce behind this: The Clearing is always able to ask the right questions when it comes to understanding what makes an organization successful.
“We believe the answer lies in shared perspective, mutual intent, and coordinated actions,” says Sharon Benjamin (Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior), Senior Principal at The Clearing. According to her, these three factors formed the groundwork for The Clearing’s problem-solving and success scripting streak in the healthcare sector. Today, by anchoring its people-centered approach in curiosity and context, The Clearing is driving introspection and propelling business growth for its clients.
“Our company is all about making extraordinary contributions to causes that matter—and healthcare is a big one,” remarks Sharon. She believes that there are a number of different approaches to address the complexities in healthcare, and the concept of ‘one size fits all’ is not one of them. “Healthcare organizations have spent a great deal of the last two decades working to eliminate errors,” she says. And Lean and Six Sigma have offered valuable methodologies for gaining efficiencies in the system. Now, it is time for the care providers to find next-generation solutions that foster shared perspective and intent while facilitating coordinated action. Driven by this notion, The Clearing develops pragmatic, innovative, and actionable solutions to enable federal and private healthcare organizations to overcome complex challenges by bringing every stakeholder on the same page.
One such application of The Clearing’s unique offering has been helping organizations practice resilience during the ongoing pandemic. The team uses its change management tools to assess a client’s current environment and diagnose underlying issues. Sharon says, “The present COVID-19 fatigue is taking an enormous toll on healthcare workers as the pandemic has gone on longer than people had anticipated.”
In medical emergencies such as COVID-19, healthcare organizations are forced to make rapid innovations to flatten the curve. This is where The Clearing is utilizing the extensive experience of its workforce in strategy development and execution; the company is enabling organizations to develop and test next-generation solutions. The company pushes healthcare leaders to be ‘curious,’ identifying pockets of innovation within their organizations, resourcing that for scale, and updating policies to make innovation a new normal. “Also, in times of rapid change like we are in right now, it is important to cut back longstanding or duplicative policies to achieve speed and scale,” mentions Sharon.
To facilitate rapid innovation in today’s disruptive environment, Sharon also recognizes that adaption and agility are incredibly critical. Therefore, to succeed, the organizations have to respond to disruptions in real-time. In this regard, The Clearing is helping leaders transform their organizations through the insights based on the ground-breaking book, ‘Adaptive Space,’ written by Michael Arena (a colleague of Sharon’s). Named one of the best business books of 2018 by Forbes, ‘AdaptiveSpace’ equips leaders and organizational consultants with the necessary understandings to operate in today’s complex and unpredictable world.
The Clearing team has unique experience applying Adaptive Space principles to client projects where leaders are steering their organizations through disruption. A healthy blend of understanding ‘context’ at the right level of detail, along with ‘curiosity’ for where pockets of innovation exist, is helping leaders create new connections among people thinking on edge and those managing the business ecosystems.
The Clearing develops pragmatic, innovative, and actionable solutions to enable federal and private healthcare organizations to overcome complex challenges by bringing every stakeholder on the same page
What makes The Clearing a cut above the rest is their approach to blend the business strategy with rapid innovation and the critically-important voice of the customers to drive growth and innovation. Today, according to PwC research, 59 percent of the surveyed customers feel that companies have lost touch with the human element of customer experience. Even though most companies claim to be customer-centric, their customers don’t seem to agree with them. To address this gap, The Clearing is helping its clients develop robust strategies that anticipate end-customer demands while adapting their processes to ensure the intended customer experience.
In addition to facilitating superior customer experience, The Clearing also recognizes that effective leadership is a key driver for organizational success. This is why leadership development, team performance, and executive coaching are at the core of everything the company does. The Clearing’s leadership development program and executive coaching enable leaders to align the team’s behaviors and actions with strategic and customer priorities. In this way, The Clearing’s clients achieve a coordinated action whose results are essential for near- and long-term success.
Another differentiating factor for The Clearing is its training programs that help participants from an organization become better peer-to-peer coaches. These programs allow leaders to drive organizational growth by supporting each other in managing complex and competing priorities and dynamic context, guiding teams towards success, shifting high performers toward leadership roles, and more. Through the training programs, participants become clearer about what it takes to operate as a peak-performance culture with a clear social contract about how to achieve business goals and keep their customers at the center of their organizational purpose.
As a testament to The Clearing’s services, Sharon shares a client success story that emphasizes the effectiveness of their training programs. A leading federal infection control agency had approached The Clearing, seeking to design a robust post-doctoral fellowship program for its mentors and mentees to create a more robust and integrated community of practice. The Clearing’s experienced healthcare consultants developed a post-doctoral fellowship program with their unique approach that stands apart from the traditional model. As a result, the mentors that emerged from the program were better equipped to provide real-time feedback to the mentees. On the other hand, the mentees were able to internalize the feedback and deliver success. “The client was delighted by the outcome as it helped them build a robust community of practice, both within and across the departments,” informs Sharon.
Today, The Clearing is helping the federal government reap maximum benefits from its newly-released patient safety research agenda that encompasses 17 harm areas and 47 practice areas. The strategies being designed by The Clearing will guide the community of senior-level federal employees, health care delivery personnel, and researchers to focus on the critical areas that drive success. With such measures and a commitment to walking hand-in-hand with organizations for solving their burgeoning management needs and functional gaps, “The Clearing is poised to bring a progressive change to the way healthcare leaders operate in the future,” Sharon concludes.