Published On: May 20th, 2022Tags:

About the Author: Dr. Josh D'Angelo, PT

Dr. Josh D’Angelo is a board-certified orthopedic physical therapy specialist in Alexandria, VA and co-founder and CEO of MovementX.

A Better Way

MovementX Exercise Benefits

When Keaton Ray and I founded MovementX, we set out to do something different. Finding ‘a better way’ became a core tenant of who we are as an organization and representative of the ideals we aspire to achieve.

What exactly that ‘better way’ meant took time to figure out, articulate, and express. Now, it’s clearer to me than ever.

When people look at us, they often see mobile physical therapy, but I’ve never thought of where our physical therapy is being delivered differentiates us.

And when people look at us, they also often see out-of-network physical therapy or cash based physical therapy, but that’s not a new or unique model.

Yes, we can provide physical therapy wherever, whenever, and however you’d like, but that’s not what makes us who we are.

Ultimately, I’ve realized one of the factors it boils down to—and part of the core of what distinguishes one organization from another—is the values it chooses to live by and hold dear.

At MovementX, we strive to be a values driven organization. We are by no means perfect and we can always improve, but we treat our values as a guiding light for all of our decisions and actions.

Our four values—empathy, community, kaizen, and passion x purpose—inform the core of who we are and what we do on a day-to-day basis. And we do it through the lens of helping people move and live their best with physical therapy and personal training.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to be a truly values driven organization. I’ve had challenging lessons and been fortunate to experience many proud moments. Here are the top 3 take homes in my journey towards becoming a leader in a values driven organization thus far:

It makes tough decisions easier

In challenging situations, there’s nothing more important than leaning on your values. AirBNB does this well. When the pandemic hit, they quickly moved to institute a blanket refund policy for their customers, helped hosts who experienced canceled stays, housed first responders, and even provided healthcare and job opportunities for staff they were forced to lay off. During the recent crisis in Ukraine, they offered free housing to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees and users have been purchasing AirBNB rentals for Ukrainian hosts, even though they are not staying. 

At MovementX, we were not big enough to respond at that scale during the pandemic. But, at a time when most physical therapy organizations were shutting their doors, we chose to open ours. 

While many physical therapists were getting laid off or furloughed, we opened our doors, brought on new providers, and tried to facilitate creative and safe ways to care for our community. The team channeled their ingenuity to develop online classes, host outdoor physical therapy sessions (when it was clearly safe to do so), fundraise for first responders, and more. It also happened to be one of the quickest periods of growth in our company’s history. 

It may invoke judgment, but communication is key

One of the challenging aspects about putting values upfront is that judgment can come quickly the moment you step out of line with those values. In fact, sometimes you might even think you are taking an action derived from a values system, but it can be interpreted as hypocritical nonetheless. 

Not only are people quicker to judge, but the standards often seem higher. Most corporations are not seen as living up to the values they profess. In a study of over 500 companies, authors recently concluded there is no correlation between official values and company culture. In my interpretation, that means we have to work to do. 

At MovementX, we believe success begins with what and how we communicate. Starting with staff, we have been working towards communication that hits our 3 C’s: concise, consistent, and clear. We often discuss how we communicate internally and how we can do better.

The need for great communication is mirrored in the clinical world. Too often clinicians will work on their clinical skills, but will not look at all factors that impact quality patient care. In the realm of physical therapy care and collaboration with colleagues, we know that what we say—and how we say it—really matters. The better we can communicate, the better our care will be.

We have a team of expert physical therapists, but I also hope we are building towards a team of expert communicators, setting the stage for action that follows suit.

MovementX physical therapist specialized exercise training

Ultimately, it keeps your focus in the right place

While it might be harder and you might be held to a higher standard, being a values driven organization sets the foundation to be a healthy organization. Boldly sharing who you are and what you stand for helps attract the people who agree—and repels those who don’t.

Now four years in, we have heard physical therapists share unprompted words such as “this is the best care I’ve ever provided in my life,” and “this company has been good for every cell in my body.”

Those feelings ripple downstream to patients. We have been fortunate to receive hundreds of raving reviews from our patients, who have shared words such as “my provider has been a truly fine coach for me and… dare I say… healer,” and “he really listens and helps you find solutions.”

The above testimonials are a manifestation of one of our core beliefs—empowered providers will empower their patients. Finding the right tools, resources, and sharing the right culture helps create the environment for great patient care. 

For those that think the purpose of business is to maximize profit, a values driven organization might not be for them. However, for those that think the purpose of business is to maximize impact, leading with values is one of the most important places to start.

About the Author

Dr. Josh D'Angelo Physical Therapist with MovementX in Alexandria, VA

Dr. Josh D’Angelo is a physical therapist in Alexandria, VA and co-founder and CEO of MovementX. As a Board Certified Specialist in Orthopedics, Dr. D’Angelo is passionate about the role that a physical therapist can play in solving some of health care’s biggest challenges. His love of utilizing movement to improve health and quality of life fuels his efforts every day.

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