This is a story about Innovation and how to motivate a group of employees to generate a creative response to a difficult performance situation. You may have encountered a similar challenge within your organization or group.
A CEO had taken up his new post at Lakeland Hospital. Shortly thereafter, he had called a meeting to review patient satisfaction scores. U.S. hospitals have to report this data to the federal government, and if they fall below certain thresholds, they pay a penalty in reduced reimbursement rates. Given that, the CEO was distressed to learn that when it came to patient satisfaction, Lakeland was a laggard — with scores between the 25th and 50th percentile. How could this be?
His senior team told him it wasn’t for lack of trying. Lakeland tracked the things that drove patient satisfaction — response times to call lights, pain management, the quality of the food, the effectiveness of patient communication, and so on.
The CEO wondered how could they reinvent the customer experience?
An idea struck him…..what would happen if the employees brought their hearts to work?
We’re going to raise our scores by touching the hearts of our patients — by making sure they know not only how well we care for them, but how much we care about them. We’re going to learn to be more loving. To do that, he said, I want to challenge you to bring your heart to work in new and creative ways.
i.e. “Every time you interact with a patient, tell them who you are, what you’re there to do, and then share a heartfelt why. For example, ‘I’m Tom, I’m here to change your dressings, ‘cause we want you home in time for your granddaughter’s wedding.’” There was no script….he asked each person to be creative & personal.
First, success required that everyone, every day, opened their hearts to those they were caring for. One person with a bad attitude could undo the heartfelt efforts of a dozen colleagues. Not surprisingly, front line employees and their managers started to become less tolerant of colleagues with crappy attitudes. In the end, more than a few of the curmudgeons were asked to leave.
And second, though the focus of the CEO’s initiative wasn’t on call-light response times, pain management, or discharge planning, patient scores on all these conventional metrics started to climb as the heart-to-heart message took hold. The lesson: love someone better, and they’ll extend you grace on all the less important things.
Before long, Lakeland was reverberating with stories about heartfelt connections. The numbers and performance started to rise…..and over 6000 stories were shared with the team of specific examples of what was working now. Within 90 days they were at the 95th percentile on satisfaction scores.
“The best innovations — both socially and economically — come from the pursuit of ideals that are noble and timeless: joy, wisdom, beauty, truth, equality, community, sustainability and, most of all, love. These are the things we live for, and the innovations that really make a difference are the ones that are life-enhancing. And that’s why the heart of innovation is a desire to re-enchant the world.”
Here is a Link to the actual article
Hope you find it valuable…….Steve Brody
A story by Gary Hamel, visiting Professor at the London Business School, Co-founder of The Management Innovation Exchange.
source: HBR.org Jun 2015