{a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bohman/210977249/"}Photo courtesy of Bohman via Flickr.{/a}

The winds of change in healthcare are increasing.  Before many of the Baby Boomer CEOs and members of senior leadership teams retire, our industry will be in a virtual hurricane of challenge and change.

New ideas, new regulations, less money and, ultimately, a whole new way of doing business, will characterize this perfect storm.  Dramatic change will be the norm. 

Successful communication will be the single most important key to success.

The irony is that the whole concept of what constitutes an effective communication strategy is changing as well; what works for the Baby Boomer employees will not work for the newest generation—the Millennials—who are rapidly becoming the heart and soul of the front-line personnel who will deliver the service to our customers.

An overarching theme of this transformation is that communication for our customers and our workforce must become more anticipatory rather than reactive.  It can no longer be a low priority tactic that is allowed to just happen.  On the other hand, those who embrace the new communications technology must recognize the risk of digital isolation—giving a CEO a false belief that they no longer have to be personally accessible to their most important corporate asset: those doing the actual work and delivering the service.

This is an important conversation.  Here are some of my ideas:

  1. Organizations without a strategic communication plan that is operationalized down to a weekly action plan will lose in the battle to recruit and retain the best talent, including physicians.
  2. The successful CEO must understand and master all platforms—verbal, written, video, and the innovations of digital.
  3. New communication strategies cannot replace the visible and accessible CEO.
  4. Aggressive communication is not cheap.  It must be seen as an important investment in a strategy to empower workers and reduce expenses by recruiting and retaining the top workers.
  5. CEOs must remember that successful communication cannot be about burnishing their image. Workers want to work for an authentic leader, not a self-serving egomaniac.  They can see through the BS. 

What do you think? 

© 2012 John Gregory Self