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What if Your Healthcare Employees Wore a Yellow Tux?

May 31, 2023

In our last episode part of this 4 episode series, as well as last for Season 2, Jason Crosby and Aaron Higgins discuss the leadership style of the Yellow Tux himself, Jesse Cole, and how his passion and energy is shared across Banana Land.

In continuing of the series highlights, they recall case studies by their very first guest last season, Scott Regan, and how the leader can directly walk in the shoes of their patients. With the detailed insight into the game experience, further discussion on the culture comparisons highlight this last episode.

So, put on your yellow tux, grab a Slippery Banana, and listen in as they wrap up the season with highlights of the differences in culture and opportunities in creating fans of the provider setting.


Speaker 1: 0:05
Welcome to Beyond the Stethoscope, vital Conversations with S h P . I’m your host, Aaron Higgins , and I’m here with my co-host Jason Crosby. How are you doing, Jason? Hey

Speaker 2: 0:16
Aaron , I’m doing well. How are you?

Speaker 1: 0:18
I’m doing pretty good. I’m pretty excited. So I’m a little sad, you know, this, this is the last episode of our season and the last episode of our series about if your practice went bananas. So Jason, can you kinda recap where we’ve been, not, not the whole season, but over the last three episodes?

Speaker 2: 0:37
Yeah, so we, we tried something a little different, right? We didn’t wanna be stagnant and just interview folks different topics and wanted to see if maybe get a little creative. And so we started off with just a highlight of who exactly are the Savannah Bananas, right? Because some are not familiar with it. But then to try and have that crossover of how could a organization and their purposely not a baseball team is , he’ll say at times, but he being Jesse Cole . But how can , uh, a team like the bananas with how they put fans first translate to our industry, specifically kind of that physician practice setting. And so from there, I, I like how we sort of dove into the, well, this is the process when you buy your ticket to where you schedule your visit and followed those comparisons along side by side and identified those differences. And from there, and going into last week’s episode was about some of the success being tied to , uh, staff engagement, right? And so we touched on the triple aim , those in the industry obviously know of that. And the three pillars of triple aim . And we talked about how patient engagement on our side compared to the staff or team engagement on the Savannah Banana side. And lastly how that translates into quality, right? The other, one of the other pillars of aaa . And so the crossover of how we might be able to learn from another industry and how they do things differently. Cuz our industry certainly could use a shake up now and then, and I know this last episode we’re going to touch a little bit more on the yellow Tucks himself and how the leadership perspective can cascade down to the staff and have that change in engagement that affects us all, whether we’re a patient or a fan in that case.

Speaker 1: 2:33
Yeah, I, I’m really looking forward to our conversation that we’re going to have. So thank thanks for recapping. You know, it’s, it’s been a few weeks since , uh, we first started this series, so I, I know I needed a a little bit of a reminder. I , um, you know, I turned 40 this this last week here, and so my memory’s not quite what it used to be, so , okay . . Okay , Jason, well let , let’s jump in. Let’s put on that yellow tux and, and let’s talk about how, how leadership plays such a, a critical role in making your, your practice, your hospital, your healthcare provider. Go bananas.

Speaker 2: 3:13
Yeah. You know, and, and to touch on some of the recap as well, you know, our very first episode, which we’ve mentioned a couple times during this series, includes Scott Regan , in fact that was a two-part series. And Scott did a lot of case study type discussion around how he himself with some of his , uh, clients, physician administrative clients, he had to engage them to go sit in your lobby and observe, see what you think from the patient’s perspective, right? Because we’re all too busy to do that at times. And I found that that still carries even over to this discussion about Jesse Cole , this case, right? He, he’s very active online. He, and for those that don’t know , he just released his third book called Banana Ball , and we’ll talk about that here in a second as well, but

Speaker 1: 4:01
I , I don’t know how he finds the time.

Speaker 2: 4:03
Yeah, I , it doesn’t make any sense . And with child as well, right? And so , right ? Um, his, his passion is actually, I think part of the success. He, as he says, he, he loved playing the game he played in college , uh, but he has a passion towards making folks happy, seeing smiles, engaging folks, and, and more specifically, I think as you put it, what the game could be. And so I find that interesting. If you’re an administrator, what could that engagement in the waiting room or the visit or the scheduling, what could that be? Just as he’s put it. And again, to go back to Scott Regan’s point about sitting in the lobby , uh, one of my favorite stories about Jesse Coles and that first couple of seasons you would sit in the stands disguised and he purposely would go dry to the stadium in the parking lot, just like we all do as fans, walk up, buy the ticket, blah, blah , et cetera , et cetera , sit in the stands and observe it from that perspective, not in his yellow tux . And he always took a lot away from that. And so it’s, it’s interesting to hear that was his approach. And at the same time, Scott Regan , who we all , uh, have great respect for in his , uh, experience, also highlighted that same perspective as sort of a starting point to how the leader themselves are engaged.

Speaker 1: 5:26
You know, there there is that really popular and I, I think it’s still on the air, you know, undercover boss. So I I take it, you’re not saying they should put on a fake beard and wig and pretend they’re a, a patient, but how, how could a , uh, a practice or a hospital, you know, go undercover or how could they actually truly have an experience? Cuz I, I think the staff would know who they were and that’s going to taint some of the experience. So how, how would you recommend a practice or hospital figure out how to do that?

Speaker 2: 6:03
Yeah, it’s, it’s certainly a different perspective on the practice side. You know, in the hospital setting, we always knew that , um, and this is going back to my is days where Disney characters, if I saw that Disney character patient name, then we knew that there was probably a V I P test or perhaps a V I P patient. Um, but that at least allowed them to go from the medical record patient flow from a data perspective, right? But you’re exactly right. We’ve, we had some executives also through the facility that would try and disguise themselves and simply walk through the process. Uh, another example is what we call rapid action teams. And these were very time sensitive budget , uh, outlined teams from different departments that were authorized to make changes on the fly from moving a wall in the ER to moving the Pixus machine in the er, whatever they felt while walking through at the moment needed to happen, make it happen. So that way, as you mentioned, you know, yes, we are recognized, but at the same time we’re gonna make this change now. And you know, back to Jesse Cole , he has translated that in some of his work is sometimes you gotta work on the fly and make adjustments, right? He, for example, just a couple weeks ago, lost his voice while they were in Kansas City for two games. And so they had to make adjustments that they haven’t done in the six seasons. They have been the Savannah Bananas, but they made the adjustments on the fly and were very successful at doing so. And so I think that adaptability to your point, whether you recognize or not, is just as important.

Speaker 1: 7:44
Yeah. So, so let’s talk about the, those rapid action teams as, as you described. You know , I I think from a leader’s perspective, that’s, that’s a little scary cuz that’s, that’s a lot of risks there. You know, what if, what if that wall, you know, what if you’ve liked that wall as the c e o and you’ve empowered other people to, to potentially knock a wall down? And what if it doesn’t work? And I , I think as a leader you start doing those what ifs. Well, what if these ideas don’t work? How do folks like Jesse , how, how do the Savannah of bananas in particular, how do they adjust I if something doesn’t work?

Speaker 2: 8:22
What I always find interesting, his perspective is first he’s got the daily 10 ideas sort of perspective that he writes down. They do have the , as I think we touched on it the last episode, while they do have rehearsals, but there are , I believe it’s every game there is a one new thing that’s tossed in there. And they recap at the end of every game and they realize what mistakes were possibly made and whether they needed to be scratched, revised, or whatever the case may be. But they acknowledge the fact that they tried something. And I , I always take away his positivity that it, no matter the outcome in particular, if it’s a failure, they learn something in order that allows them to get better, right? And then the staff is engaged simply because he allowed them to go out there and try something. If somebody’s got a good idea, they implement it and it gives that staff member empowerment that they hadn’t had before. And he’s willing to take that risk cuz he understands there’s more benefit than simply the one skit that may be presented during the game. The longer gain is the fans you’re gonna get and the staff member engaged. And so he is got that perspective. To your point about maybe some of our administrators are too fearful to take that on. Well that might be part of the problem, right? Sometimes you gotta take those risks that empowers your, your staff.

Speaker 1: 9:48
Well , I think I , I think back to some of the, the great people I have worked for in my career and o one of one of the folks that I, I worked with, he, he gave me this little nugget, you can fail as long as your failure isn’t fatal. And what, what he meant by that is he gave me a lot of leeway in the choices I made and the, the direction I was going with the organization. And the only time he would really step in, cause I would ask him all the time, like , oh , oh , should I do this? Should I do that? And what he was saying is, is try it. If it doesn’t work, oh, well you’ve learned something. And he , he would only step in if he felt my failure was going to be fatal. Meaning, meaning that it was gonna be so colos, colossally, bad for the organization that it could cause harm either to the organization or, or to people. And I think that’s, that’s where a good leader really thrives. And where Jesse Cole will thrive. Yeah, he may think, oh, that little skit, that’s silly. Or, you know, this idea, eh , but if he trusts his team enough and he, he has safeguards in place to make sure no failures are fatal, then that, that allows creativity to run wild.

Speaker 2: 11:14
You know, it, it does. Now you remind me, just in terms of the administrator of having some creativity , um, o one that, that popped in my head that one of our administrators , uh, a client of ours took a different perspective in this hiring. And it was a front desk person , uh, front desk scheduler. And as he was walking through, he overheard them on the phone with a patient and he made the comment that he was so taken back with this overwhelmed feeling of how she was presenting herself from a service perspective. He had , he had no idea who she was. So he, he engaged her and talked and learned, she had just come from employed for four years at Chick-fil-A.

Speaker 1: 11:58
Mm . .

Speaker 2: 11:59
And so he just thought, well, look at there . You know, there’s not this, you have to be stuck on. We need to hire somebody within our industry or somebody that was, you know, engaged in customer service from this perspective or that perspective. Whoever hired that person realized okay, they came from that atmosphere, right? That that sort of customer service obviously comes first sort of atmosphere. That was Chick-fil-A and this administrator who’s got tons of experience, big staff, this one person caught his attention more than the others and she was very new. He made that comment. And I found that kind of enlightening that they took that perspective of let’s look at from this skillset or atmosphere, experience, not, you know, industry skillset type of perspective. And that’s just , uh, to me, that’s another way of a leader being creative in taking an approach that this person, a front desk scheduler, that’s the first person you call , right? We’ve talked about that I think in the second episode where that, that is your first interaction with a practice when you called a to schedule your appointment.

Speaker 1: 13:07
I have a friend who worked for Chick-fil-a fresh outta high school, which you do. The math was about 20 some odd years ago for me. And , uh, to this day we, we still tease him cuz we’ll, we’ll just randomly say thank you. And he impulsively says, my pleasure, . And but that goes to training, right? It , it points to that training and , uh, almost for lack of a better term, the indoctrination that, that occurs. If, if a fast food place that slings a really good chicken sandwich can do it, surely your healthcare organization that has millions of dollars behind it that changes people’s lives can can’t afford to, to do that sort of level of training.

Speaker 2: 13:51
It’s just the, you know, part of this last book that Jesse Coles released , um, I call him excerpt of it, and he emphasized one of the, the things he picked up from Disney. That’s, that’s of course what he tries to pattern his behavior after, right? Is all the Disney look kinda like we’re doing here with this podcast, the power of Plusing and how basically he has put as part of the culture how they’re always looking to plus the show. And when I heard you just now for example, how Chick-fil-A does, it’s my pleasure, that’s a small plus and that’s kind of Jesse Cole’s point of always look to plus every show or in their , you know , and that’s interesting. He says show and not game. Cuz that’s how he looks at it. And I just found that very interesting. He looks at himself as the, you know, chief storyteller I think is how he put himself one time. So taking that sort of different perspective and little increments goes a long ways the power of plusing. So just another, just another little nugget he tossed out there in how to kind of approach things.

Speaker 1: 15:00
Yeah, no doubt. I think the, the plusing is certainly a, it , it to pardon the pun, it it adds up, right? It , it’s the little things. It doesn’t take much to take a , to make a bad experience, right? It just takes one thing and it doesn’t matter what all your pluses are. And that , that’s why it’s so important that you do have a lot of pluses and you work really hard to make sure there, there is never that one thing that, that ruins the experience. Okay, so Jason, let , let’s kinda sum things up and, and wrap up today’s episode. Um , bring , bring us home , let’s land this plane.

Speaker 2: 15:39
Yeah. So hopefully, you know, we’ve tried to make the comparisons between the industry. We, we can’t control reimbursement models and that complexity, right? We don’t want to touch that, so we don’t wanna make that comparison between the different industries, but we hope that these different parts touched on the face, the first contact you make and how valuable that front desk scheduler is. Just like when you buy your ticket or, you know, meet the players outside the stadium all the way through the staff engagement and how, if you take that yellow Tuck’s perspective and you go out there and, and take yourself through the process, how valuable that is to create what should be a fan. It’s one of our three pillars, right? It’s part of the triple A . And I think if we look at from the same perspective as a Jesse Cole where you put the fans first, you’ll just naturally, I would say ace, that patient engagement portion of the triple Aim . And so we’ll continue to watch Jesse , it’s a fun , uh, if you’re not familiar with the , uh, Savannah Bananas, hopefully this , uh, four part series was able to open up some eyes. And I would, I would encourage you to follow him. He’s very active on LinkedIn, obviously. He’s got three books and if you’re ever in the area, I would check out a game

Speaker 1: 16:52
If you can get tickets that is . You know,

Speaker 2: 16:56
I , he just had articles past week. They have over 600,000 now on the waiting list for tickets. Wow. 600,000 with, and he made the comparison, you know , we’ve made the comparison as well about comparing it to the Harlem Globe Trotters, well his cast as he puts it now is up to 110 folks. And so

Speaker 1: 17:17
It’s , that’s amazing.

Speaker 2: 17:18
It’s blowing up, isn’t it? But yeah , that

Speaker 1: 17:20

Speaker 2: 17:20
Maybe someday we can be the , uh, part of the Man Na us

Speaker 1: 17:25

Speaker 2: 17:27
And we’ll leave that, we’ll leave that out there for people to research what that is and as a scary sight as that could be.

Speaker 1: 17:32
. Oh boy. Well, thank you Jason . This has been a , a great , uh, mini-series within our , uh, season. So again, folks, this is the, the last episode of season two and of course part four and the last part of our mini-series on, on if your healthcare provider went bananas. Uh, thank you to Jason for , uh, recording all these and, and one of them without me as I was , uh, recovering. But , um, we do wanna invite you to , uh, go to our website, s p l l and take a survey. We’re really curious as to what you think worked well this season, what maybe you think didn’t work well this season and what you might want to hear about in season three. We’ll be picking up season three later this year. We’re gonna take the summer off, maybe retool a few things based off of your feedback, but we sure would love to hear from you. So it’s hp . And , uh, yeah, the survey , uh, will be up by the time , uh, this episode airs. And with that, Jason, anything to share?

Speaker 2: 18:39
Nope . We appreciate everyone’s , uh, listening and look forward to your input and everybody have a great summer and we’ll catch back up in the fall.

Speaker 1: 18:48
That sounds good. Have a good summer. Y’all. You’ve been listening to Beyond This Stethoscope Vital Conversations with S H P A production of Strategic Healthcare Partners.

Speaker 2: 18:58
For more information by our podcast, including back episodes, show notes, transcripts and more, visit our website at h .

Speaker 1: 19:07
And I know you’ve heard it before, but please consider rating our podcast and your favorite podcast out. It helps make others aware of the show

Speaker 2: 19:15
And our podcast wouldn’t be possible without our wonderful team of folks

Speaker 1: 19:19
Editing and production assistance by Nila Weave and myself, Erin Hank Higgins.

Speaker 2: 19:24
In your episode host are Aaron Higgins and myself, Jason Crosby.

Speaker 1: 19:27
Our social media coordinator is Jeremy Miller.

Speaker 2: 19:31
Our executive producers are also our principals, Mike Scribner and John Crew .

Speaker 1: 19:36
For more from shp , consider following us on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Speaker 2: 19:42
As always, thank you for listening and have a great, wonderful day.


Production Assistance & Editing: Nyla Wiebe
Scripting by: Aaron C Higgins
Show Notes: Aaron C Higgins
Social Media Management: Jeremy Miller & Nyla Wiebe
Co-Hosts: Aaron C Higgins & Jason Crosby
Show Producers: Mike Scribner & John Crew

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