Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
No Mission, No Margin

No Mission, No Margin

No Mission, No Margin- image0There is a well-known adage, “no margin, no mission.” It means simply that an entity cannot carry out its mission without necessary financial resources (or margin).

I worked for a person who changed that to “no mission, no margin.” The first time he used that phrase in a leadership meeting there were quite a number of puzzled looks.  What he meant, of course, is if there is no mission—no commitment—no calling, then eventually, the enterprise will not be profitable.  It makes sense.

That is why I was interested in a story on National Public Radio that I heard recently. It seems Ashland Health, a 24-bed hospital and clinic in southwest rural Kansas, was having difficulty recruiting doctors. Therefore, they decided to go after doctors who are "mission-focused" and give them eight weeks off to pursue their mission work. I mean overseas type mission work. And, they say it’s working! They recently hired a physician who will continue missionary work in Haiti and Mexico during his eight weeks off.

An entity would have to give some thought as to how to make this plan work (and it might not be for everyone), but it underscores the importance of meeting people’s need to be a part of something bigger than they are and to think outside the box. Two important lessons. Communities here in West Texas, where they often struggle to recruit doctors, might take note—maybe not this exact approach, but something similar.