Case Study

Creating a clear path forward during major change

A not-for-profit public health system was growing rapidly. But while planning to announce a new trauma center, children’s hospital, cancer center and more, leaders realized that employees were suffering from whiplash. They had recently been hit with a series of major changes that created a feeling of chaos and uncertainty. Leaders worried that without a compelling vision to bring employees on board, they would lose their way as a system.

The Solution

We began by listening. Over two days, we spoke with more than 100 health system leaders to learn how they perceived their organization’s strategy.

We did two things in parallel: We conducted executive workshops to align the leadership team on when and how major change was occurring throughout the organization, and we distilled the existing strategy into a cohesive, compelling story to engage employees. Then, we translated the health system’s obscure goals into metrics that the team could easily understand and own.

To anchor the vision and help with awareness and understanding, we created a visual and used it on all materials–badges, posters, a new intranet. Over nine months, we designed a calendar of strategic content and compelling materials to explain how specific changes aligned with the health system’s purpose.

The Results

After two years with a clearly articulated strategy, the system continues to share major announcements through the messaging platform we built. To this day, more than a thousand employees visit the intranet site each month.

This thoughtful, consistent approach has created stronger engagement. About 81 percent of employees responded to the 2017 engagement survey, which reflects 750 more responses than the previous year. The average employee satisfaction score is around 82 percent, up from 2016. This, we believe, is a testament to a clear strategy and solid communications plan that informs employees and reinforces the health system’s vision.


creating a clear path forward during major change

The Takeaway

A health system launching new initiatives realized its strategy was unclear and its communications structure was dated. We refreshed it to stand the test of time and drive the system forward.


health system leaders interviewed


visits per month on internal intranet portal


average employee satisfaction score