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A Mickey Mouse Operation?

June 27, 2008
by Gary Enos
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Could it be that an addiction treatment center has a lot in common with that Central Florida behemoth that's in the business of making precious family memories? Organizers of this week's State Associations of Addiction Services/Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment conference in Orlando banked on that notion this year. Instead of reserving most plenary sessions for rallying calls on parity or health care reform, the two groups invited representatives from Disney and other corporate entities to discuss their brand of service excellence and how these examples could inform the addiction field's quality improvement efforts. The Disney session was particularly productive in generating easily remembered themes that could guide attendees long after the Florida travel invoices have been submitted. Presenter and Disney Institute trainer Mary Flynn talked of Disney's three-legged stool of "cast" (staff), "guest" (the rest of us) and financial results, and you could see attendees substituting "workforce development" and "client-centered care" for the first two legs. But Flynn saw perhaps the closest analogy with the third: "We are most similar in that we are a business." Whether nonprofit or for-profit, agencies represented at the conference all have to come to grips with business realities, and how a productive staff and satisfied customers are so pivotal to that success in today's market. While scheduling sessions that appear to be so "non-addiction" might carry risks, the best of these at this week's meeting served as an important reminder that learning opportunities are everywhere.

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Gary Enos

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Gary Enos

@apeditor

www.addictionpro.com

Gary A. Enos has been the editor of Addiction Professional since its inception. He...