Leadership During Times of Transformation

Embed Your Mission and People in the Process

Every organization must go through periods of readjustment to stay relevant and ensure a strong future. ThedaCare is no different. Our mission is to improve the health of the communities we serve. And as we chart our course for the future, we are staying focused on our mission and people.

Over the years, the teams I have worked with have taught me valuable lessons about how to help guide these complex, transformative processes. The key is to ensure the people of your organization understand and embrace the reasons for change and discover ways they can individually contribute the success of your mission. Together you can come out stronger, more resilient and prepared to deftly address future opportunities and pressures.

Be present where the work happens. Executive presence builds trust and credibility with staff. Employees have compelling stories to share, equipment to demonstrate, and rightful pride in their expert work. To be present where boots are on the ground is both invigorating and instructive.

Stay focused. When you come upon a fork in the road, choose the direction that fits your mission. If someone asks you to make a choice between quality and cost, remember the time-tested truth that both can be achieved: as quality goes up, costs go down, ultimately leading to a better customer experience. In times of question, return to your touchstone — your mission.

Over-communicate. Part of this communication is being present and accessible where the real work is being done. Other avenues can be electronic communications, in-person Q&A opportunities, and well-informed and communicative managers. Your choices and your messages should consistently demonstrate your continued investment in why-you-do-what-you-do.

Facilitate the process. Help people in their individual roles know and understand how they fit in and can take action to reach larger organizational goals. Reiterate every person has a key part in the success of the organization, and every role is different for distinct and important reasons; no one has all the expertise.

Evolving into a stronger, better organization will unleash potential, increase the ability to attract and retain talented employees, and nimbly address changes in community and business climates. Transition takes time; it will not happen overnight. When you keep your eye on your mission and involve your people in the process, it’s all possible.

Imran Andrabi, MD, is president and chief executive officer of ThedaCare. To contact him, you can email askus@thedacare.org