Intention as Narrative

I was thinking recently about work on a culture change required to complete a new branding initiative. Here was the intention:

To create an excellent patient experience one individual at a time and to ensure that each and every part of the organization is connected to and cooperating with the other. 

What happens when you take that intention, and turn it into a story about how you got to where you are, what you’re committed to going forward, and the unfinished nature of your work? This is what I wrote today:

It was always about the patient. To help them overcome the effects of illness, disease, injury and defect – with confidence, efficiency and dignity. Confident in our ability to provide the breadth and depth of care they need. Moving efficiently through our system – from the parking lot to the memory of having been a patient. Never feeling diminished in any way by the experience of getting well.

To get there, we knew what we would need: Great physicians, in a full range of specialties, collaborative to the core. A voluminous and varied caseload – all the better for building preeminence in a broad selection of therapies. Advanced technologies – for earlier diagnoses, less invasive treatment, and faster outcomes, of course; but also for systems and processes that help lend a more personal touch to each patient’s stay with us. Ubiquity – to be everywhere, because that’s where our patients are.

Behind each of these needs we found an argument for scale. And so, we built scale. And will continue to do so.

Which has brought us to a crossroads. One road leads to more of everything, bigger than ever. The other road leads to more patients getting more of the care they need, quicker, easier, with better outcomes, for conditions large and small, and feeling really good about the whole experience, end-to-end.

We’re committed to that other road. Not bigness for the sake of being big, but caring, compassionate, collaborative professionals, some on the front lines of health care delivery, while others work with equal dedication and sensitivity behind the scenes, all of them standing tall on top of the richness of possibility that critical mass provides – working together toward the greater good of getting people well again, restoring health in ways that lead each patient to feel not just cared for, but cared about.

It’s a promise, not a done deal. But a promise worth living up to every day, in every detail, with every patient.

I just sent it off this afternoon. I don’t expect it to be approved as is, but that’s not the point. The point is that you can take a clinical-sounding intention and turn it into a narrative complete with where we’ve come from, where we are now, what our choices are going forward, which way we have chosen, and some open-endedness about how things will turn out. And everybody wants to know how the story will end.

Bill @ sr4