The Client Challenge
Having partnered with a major national non-profit health system, a century-old regional health system was facing a long list of imperatives to ensure a smooth integration, successful partnership, and transition from a joint-CEO model to single CEO.
Under pressure to achieve aggressive long-term strategic goals, system leadership also wanted to ensure that pre-merger commitments and the promise of the partnership were fulfilled. Meanwhile, the communications team wanted to evolve toward a more strategic role in helping inform and communicate system strategies.
Potential Pitfalls of Post-Merger Integration:
- Cultural misalignment
- Lack of clarity among employees and physicians about strategic goals
- Community concerns about quality, access, and cost
- Disjointed leadership transition
- Resentment and negative headlines due to the above
Navigating to Next: The Solution
Jarrard Inc. worked with system leadership to identify challenges for post-merger integration. Concerns about cultural misalignment topped the list. We then solicited input from across the organization and community through interviews, townhalls, and market research. We compiled the resulting input for review by the co-CEOs. These participatory tactics created a useful pipeline of feedback without making the co-CEOs beholden to a litany of differing perspectives.
Following the review, we worked with system leadership to prioritize initiatives needing communication and determine the materials necessary to do so effectively. We focused on helping develop internal communications strategies, while also supporting and assisting in creation of the materials themselves. A new microsite served as a repository for these materials to ensure consistency in all communications. As the planned leadership transition approached, we worked with both CEOs to develop messaging that highlighted the intentionality of the process, honored the outgoing CEO for his decades of service, and positioned the new solo CEO for success.