Without clarity the people are lost. Does your organization have clarity?
Today in health, it it's a stream of consciousness episode. I know you guys like these. . The topic for today is clarity. Clarity is the role of the leader. The leader's job is to provide clarity for the team. And we're going to talk about that today. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system. And creator this week, health has set up channels and events dedicated to transform healthcare. One connection at a time. We want to thank our show sponsors who are investing in developing the next generation of health leaders. Short test artist site parlance. Certified health, notable and service. Now check them out at this week. Health. Dot com slash today. You know, I haven't said this all week. We had a goal to raise $50,000 for childhood cancer this year. And we've exceeded that we're up over $60,000 for the year. We want to thank you for your generosity. We ask you to join us, hit our website top right-hand column. You're going to see a logo for the lemonade. Stand, click on that to give today. We believe in the generosity of our community. And we thank you in advance. One last thing, share this podcast with a friend or colleague use it as foundation for daily or weekly discussions on the topics that are relevant to you and the industry. They can subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. All right. I want to talk about clarity. Today, I'm actually at a. 2 29 event. We have a CIO round table where with the children's, , CEO's and a little inside baseball here. It's Monday, actually Monday before the event. And I'm recording all these shows because I am out. All week. , with this event. So essentially I recorded four shows this afternoon, and this is the last of the four shows. And it's the show where I ramble about a topic. And my topic today is clarity. Clarity is so important. When usually when you see an it organization or any organization that has gotten off track, it is because they lack clarity and clarity brings focus. Clarity is just that, you know, we talked about vision. And vision is about seeing something, seeing it clearly. What's something can be. And, you know, it's funny when 2020 hit, so many people had like vision 20, 20 was the, , was their strategy deck. And when you put those strategy decks together, what you're essentially saying is we believe the future will look like this. Therefore, we are going to do these projects. That's the role of the leader. The role of the leader is to provide clarity. It is to say, we believe that the future will look like this. Therefore we are going to do. These things as an organization. , I was, , schooled on clarity once again, and by the way, no matter how good you are at this at any given point in time. You can always refresh. And, you know, with this week health, we actually have three companies in this week. Health is a little confusing and we had a mission statement for all three companies. Well, we've recently hired a marketing firm. And the, and what I had them do is I had them look at all aspects of our business and all aspects of our company. And when they looked at the business set up and our structure and those kinds of things, one of their main findings was. Your company is confusing. You have three mission statements and you're a, you know, an eight person company. , I'm not sure you should have three mission statements. I'm like, well, this company does this and this company does this and this company does that. And I just looked at me and said, you need clarity in order to provide. Your staff and the community you with, , with, , the ability to engage with us. And to help us and to be a part of our community, you have to provide clarity as to what that means. And so we took all of our mission statements and we sat around as a group and we said, oh my gosh, you can't do this. This is impossible. And, , we went back and actually looked at a document we had created, and that document had a mission statement, which is. Transform healthcare, one connection at a time. And , we looked at it, we started talking and we're like, that's what we're about. That's what we're about in the media business. . That's what the events are about. It's why we hire , the type of person we hire. And it's, , it was really interesting. You know, we went from three different statements to one transform healthcare, one connection at a time, and it talks about that one connection. And we are about relationships. We're about engaging one-on-one with people. And so we do the podcast not to disseminate information. We do it because we want to have a relationship with individuals and that's who we have on the show. And we want to have a relationship. With ideas. We connect people with ideas, one connection at a time. So we take the best ideas that we connect them to. Other people we used to say amplify it. But, there's so much noise in healthcare now. It really is about taking that idea from one place to the next. And that also just provided so much clarity to our team and to me as well. I have a lot of conversations that didn't really fall into any of our missions. They were just conversations where I'm helping people in the industry . And I realized that's part of what this mission statement is. Transform healthcare, one connected at a time, it's me talking on the phone or doing a zoom call or a teams call with whoever happens to be on the end of the line.
And we are, , making that connection and helping to move healthcare forward. That clarity is so interesting. So we got out of sorts. You know, we're a six year old company. And , it just naturally evolves that way. I remember there was a couple of times. I was at St. Joe's for probably about six years, a little over six years. , with my interim work and that kind of stuff. And when I first came in, it was so obvious we needed clarity and we created that vision that five-year vision, which the board turned into a three-year project because they didn't want to wait five years for this stuff to be done. So we did the three year. A vision statement. You know, what's really hard at the end of that three-year vision statement to do it again. But that's what you have to do. There always has to be clarity. There always has to be a clear. , vision that people are working towards. Otherwise, they're just going to settle into doing tasks. And they're not going to understand what those tasks are for. This is why a lot of organizations struggle with retention. Because people are sitting around going, I'm not sure how I'm connected , to the mission of the organization. I'm not sure how the work I'm doing is connected to actually moving healthcare forward or to delivering care to that person who's coming in today. Right. That's the job of the leader provide clarity. And another area, which was interesting to me was, , career paths. And we've talked about this on the show before as well. , over time, you will continue to add job titles. And when I came into St Joe's, we had 110 different job titles within it. And when we did a survey, most people had no idea. What their job role was. In fact, some didn't even know what their job title was. They knew they were a VP SVP director with that kind of stuff, but they didn't really understand the role. And after they looked at the job description when they were interviewing for the job, that's probably the last time they looked at it. And so we decided to go back and create clarity around the roles of everybody in the organization.
And we simplified the career path thing to three tracks. And, , again, same, same thing with our all. We can't get to one mission statement. When I say, Hey, simplify your career paths to three tracks. Most organizations will look at me and say, you're insane. You can't do that. . It's too complex. That's the job of leadership. Take the complexity out, minimize the complexity, simplify it and make it clear to the staff, what their roles are, how they're being measured, what they need to do to get to the next role. What the next role is for them. Clarity clarity is the job of the leader. And it's really interesting because I think more and more people are looking to the technology leaders and saying, give me clarity around what's next. In technology in healthcare technology where it's going, this is why we go to conferences. I'm not sure why you go to conferences, but this is why I went to conferences. And it's why I suggest people go to conferences. Because you have to see it first. You have to get out there, see the technology. You have to go to those little booths that are out there and say, what are you doing? Oh, that's interesting. That can be applied to what we're doing. Oh, the nurses need to see this. Oh, the doctors need to see this. Oh, my staff needs to understand how this automation is going to work. That's the role of the CIO. It's not to avoid it. Oh my gosh. They're going to get my badge. They're going to get my information, my gosh, figure out a way to filter your emails because your job is to get out on that floor and know what's coming next. Or come up with a way to know what's coming next.
And it's not just going to come from the 10. Partners that you have today, you have to see it. Even if you see it on that floor and take it back to your partners and say, look, this is what I saw on the floor and we need to be doing this. That's the role of the leader is to see it clearly to get out there to mix it up, to listen to things and to identify where things are going and then to work with other team members to build a vision. evEry year I talk about my belief statements. I always start with, I believe, I believe healthcare is going to ax. I believe that the incumbents are going to do X. I believe that the tech players are going to do Y and because you essentially build out those, I believe statements, then you can say, all right, if that's the case, if this is what we believe is this is where healthcare is going in our community.
If this is where healthcare is going nationally, if this is where the competition is going to come from, if this is what. Consumers are going to be asking for it. This is what we believe. This is what we're going to do. And to be honest with you, I think everybody in the organization needs to understand those, I believe statements and determine whether they believe them as well. , whether their work is going to contribute to those, I believe statements and making that a reality. I hear, I believe statements all the time. And people have them, even if they haven't gone through the exercise of writing them down , or verbalizing them, they will say them to me. I will have a conversation and I'll say, oh, you know, , I believe AI is going to do this and they'll say, oh, it'll never do that. That's an I believe statement when they say it'll never do that. That's an I believe statement. I believe that AI will not do those things. And so we all have them and it's important to identify what they are and then , as an organization, bring those together. And that's another aspect of being a leader is being able to rally people to create a common vision. But that is a topic for another day. All right. That's all for today. Don't forget, share this podcast with a friend or colleague, keep the conversation going. We want to thank our channel sponsors who are invested in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. Short test artist, site parlance, certified health, notable and 📍 service. Now check them out at this week. health.com/today. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.