Year Established: 1978
Business/Organization Name: Creative Nursing Management (originally), Creative Health Care Management (since 1988)
Ownership/Management: Organization is employee-owned and team-managed. Current Management team: Jayne Felgen, President; Brano Stankovsky and Mary Koloroutis, Vice Presidents. Founder: Marie Manthey, labeled in a newspaper article years ago the ‘fiesty former Chicagoan’, and life-long Nurse Visionary.
Product/Service: Support and Facilitation of Nursing Delivery Systems that promote healing and caring of patients and their families.
Unique Features/Competitive Advantage: CHCM is unique in that it is clinical practice-based, while also incorporating cutting-edge management theories and techniques from across the board. Grounded in real-world implementation, CHCM has been on the forefront of transformational change in hospital practice both nationally and internationally.
Organizational history summarized: Marie Manthey formed CNM after leaving an executive role at Yale-New Haven hospital in 1978, in order to support the practice of Primary Nursing. In this delivery system, nurses have a primary relationship with their patients, and are empowered to coordinate their care.
In the first full year of the business, starting in September 1978, Marie contacted hospitals who had been interested in hearing her, and told them she was available, booked those trips, made all her own arrangements, went out to those hospitals and spoke and consulted, traveled nearly every week; and also wrote a book containing that same content she was speaking about, and got it published.
Marie continued to travel constantly,speaking and consulting, throughout those early years. In 1982 she moved back to Minneapolis where her daughter was, continued the business out of her home still, and added one full-time employee. In 1986 a neighbor complained about her business to the city. It had grown substantially, and there were 3-5 cars parked on the street in relation to it every day. So she and her staff started looking for an alternate space. Eventually, after a few earlier sites that were stymied by neighbor resistance, she found a building on Grant and 10th near downtown (next to Eden House). CHCM had a home of its own for the first time!
That building had been built by a photographer, and then its second owner had been a company that makes tv commercials. It had that sloping wall so necessary to commercial photography, and a dock in that area, and so on. So for several years CHCM rented out that studio portion to the prior owner and others in that industry. Employees would (early on especially) sneak on to the balcony looking over the studio to watch. It was fascinating. But completely unrelated to CHCM’s work, and eventually that ceased. CHCM used that space for their classes instead, drawing folks in from around the country as its educational service offering really took off.
In the early 80’s, she created the first coordinated curriculum for nurse managers, in which they could learn all the necessary management & team techniques to be successful.
Currently a multi-million dollar company with dozens of employees and full-time top-level consultants with various specialties, CHCM presents a range of programs and consultative services, as well as books and manuals and other media.
Contact Information: http://www.chcm.com
Notes from the Field: when asked for her current thinking on lessons learned and what she would share with others in business for themselves, here are her thoughts:
One of the most important things is to put yourself in the shoes of the client. When you listen to the content of your client’s situation and their challenges and goals, and you have experience that is relevant, you are able to imagine how you can best help them. You can imagine what you would need if you were them. That empathy-based viewpoint is crucial to creating long-range client relationships.
Regarding rates, it is all very tricky. We have found that it almost always is in our best interest to set the rate based on market conditions and our costs, and to not go below that. Of course, when market conditions change, it is crucial to be sensitive to those changes, and adjust accordingly. If the only way to work is to lower your rates, and you need to work, then you need to lower your rates.
Common sense is also important. That goes beyond simply understanding the language of accounting and business principles and ratios and so on. It all has to make sense, as well. Like your checkbook makes sense. That is the bottom line as far as finances.
And, seek help when you need it. Early on, the organization SCORE was a huge help, they were actually instrumental in our survival and growth in our first few organizational years.
Additional References: http://www.score.org/index.html