Internal Design Ideation Can Finally Break Open the Silos of Strategy and Operations

September 5, 2022

// By John Marzano //

John MarzanoOne health system CEO believes that connecting strategy and operations through internal design teams is the key to achieving organizational objectives.

The scenario goes like this. As a former chief marketing officer of a large health system, I am cornered by the chair of neurosurgery, who is a god in the eyes of many.

He has a complaint. While busy doing brain surgery every day and driving big revenue for the organization, he says the marketing department refuses to provide additional marketing support to him and the practice.

So my first question anytime a physician asks for marketing support is, “Doctor, what’s your office capacity to take on more business?”

“Well,” he says, while buffing the proverbial badge of honor, “I have a four-month waiting list. Patients are lined up to see me because of who I am.”

My quick retort is: “Not anymore. If your competitors match your quality, patients in need of brain surgery will not and should not be expected to wait. You don’t have any capacity, doctor. If I provide more marketing support, I will hurt your practice. You need to fix your office.”

Welcome to the Twilight Zone of healthcare strategy and clinical operations.

For as long as I can remember, marketing healthcare services has been at the mercy of operations delivering on the promise. A terrible experience will ruin a good marketing strategy. Conversely, good marketing will destroy that poor service.

Why not open new doors and take another perspective from business and industry?

That bulb shined brightly earlier this year at the SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas, an event dedicated to helping creative people achieve their goals. The organization is known for its festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. A vastly different tune for healthcare ears, for sure.

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