When I worked on the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System business with Welch Nehlen Groome, system CEO Michael Dowling would meet every Monday morning with new employees and welcome them. The system employed about 30,000 people so Mr. Dowling had an opportunity to go really viral with his mission.
At face value the mission, embodied in the tagline “Setting New Standards in Healthcare,” didn’t sound like much. Operationalized, it was a brand game-changer.
The brand planks supporting the strategy were unassailable and uniquely North Shore – creating tremendous wealth for the brand. Yet what was missing from the equation and where I didn’t do a good job as brand planner was getting senior management to acculturate the brand plan through the employee world. Had every Monday morning Mr. Dowling shared the brand strategy with his impressionable new employees, imagine how much stronger his brand would be today.
People think health systems are about saving money. Done correctly, they are about redistributing healthcare wealth (clinical and economic). North Shore had a system for doing this. It was, and is, its secret sauce.
All companies, big or small, need to share their unique brand strategies with employees. Otherwise, every employee at every company is driven by the same strategy: earn a paycheck.