Kyle and I just returned from an eight-day engagement with an organization that will probably be purchased by a for-profit system. This particular hospital is faith-based and has been part of this community for a very long time. I have had the privilege of working with their VP of HR over the last 5+ years with individuals who transitioned out from this organization. He had the foresight to bring us in to work with his executive team and key vice presidents and directors facing an uncertain future. Our focus was to give reassurance, provide new options and give them superior knowledge of the transition process both external and internal. This involved two days of group sessions and 17 individual video interviews with specific feedback for each individual. This not only required a great deal of hours during the workday as well as many hours afterward burning these DVDs and preparing for the next day.

Our takeaways:

  • We made a difference. The journey may not always be what we want it to be, but knowing what will happen and how to prepare will make it that much easier. Going into this journey with a positive attitude makes it even better.
  • If the way these individuals welcomed us and went out of their way to make our visit comfortable is the way they treat their patients, then the next time I have to be in a hospital as a patient, this is the place I want to be.
  • Communication is the key on all levels. People can accept most anything when they are effectively communicated with in a timely manner, without information gaps, and with a focus on sending the right message.
  • You would think that 17 people would all look the same after a while, but they all had a unique story worth our attention. Those differences made it easy for us to not become repetitive in our counsel, but to find something unique for every individual. That made the experience even more exhilarating.
  • We all need to better understand the difference between what we can control and what we cannot. There are times that we have done all we can do and still the final outcome is not what we hoped. By not understanding this delicate balance we can do irreparable damage to ourselves and our careers.
  • What I have always know, but was again reinforced, is there is no more powerful relationship builder than the face-to-face meeting. Other communication options pale in comparison.
  • We can always continue to learn. Interviewing has always been the strongest part of my repertoire and doing these 17 interviews back-to-back I learned some things that will make me even more effective.
  • The leader sets the tone for the organization. His/her personality is reflected in the leadership team. The leader here, in my estimation, set the right tone.
  • These individuals and this organization have faced some serious challenges, much of which have been outside their control yet they have never given up. They have much to be proud of and I wish them the best and we will continue to help them in any way we can. With these individuals this is not the end, but a new beginning.

Both Kyle and I are returning home, feeling good about our efforts. We are hopeful that our newfound friends will end up exactly where they want to be.

Author: Jim WiederholdJim believes his 39 years of experience--particularly his more than 26 years in healthcare--has prepared him well for what he does. His wealth of experience spans key areas, including finance, operations, management, leadership, sales and sales management, corporate, contingency, contractual and retained recruiting, outplacement and transition work and executive coaching.