In Part 1 I described how the Mayo Clinic simultaneously achieved both the highest clinical standards and robust new efficiencies in its heart surgery department.
In looking to the Mayo Clinic for ideas on how to better manage the work that lawyers do for our businesses, I’d like to look in this Part 2 at one of that organization’s hallmarks:
Teamwork medicine rather than a star-performer focus.
Warren Buffett has long used the word “moat” to describe a company’s competitive advantage. In his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders for 2007, Warren Buffett cited teamwork medicine — as contrasted with individual superstar doctors — as the key to the Mayo Clinic’s appeal to patients:
” … If a business requires a superstar to produce great results, the business itself cannot be deemed great. A medical partnership led by your area’s premier brain surgeon may enjoy outsized and growing earnings, but that tells little about its future. The partnership’s moat will go when the surgeon goes. You can count, though, on the moat of the Mayo Clinic to endure, even though you can’t name its CEO.”