Your hospital is merging? Do these 4 things right away

How to make the most of a new situation

So you just found out your hospital is merging (or affiliating) with another system. It can be a scary moment, but as a leader, it’s critical to keep a level head. After all, you have responsibilities to both the brand and your team. Here are your first four steps to making the most of a new situation.

Step 1 – Get your mind right

More people are killed by cows than sharks, but you don’t see farmers huddled in their homes, afraid to approach that Holstein. They know that panic just gets in the way of doing important work.

Change is coming, as it does for everyone. Don’t fear it. Those who find a way to ride the waves are better off than those who simply hold their breath and go under. This could be a great opportunity for you, but only with the right mindset.

Step 2 – Make the first touch

Learn about your new boss and send a personalized note. Be optimistic. Offer to present your brand. This shows leadership and allows you to control the message.

There’s no need to fall on the sword for the ways things have been done. Your new team may have resources, processes or knowledge that will help you and your team get better.

Step 3 – Research

Now it’s time to get smart; learn everything you can about your new partners.

Start with the over-arching company. Are they publicly traded or privately owned? What values do you have in common with them? What are they doing well, and what might you and your team be able to contribute?

Now check out your peers. Are their marketing directors at other hospitals in the system who might be willing to brief you? Ask them what worked best for them during the acquisition, how the new system likes to work, and what landmines to avoid.

Step 4 – Brief your team

Secrets have a way of getting out, so it’s likely your team learned about the merger around the same time you did. And there’s a good chance some of them are panicking. As the leader, it’s your job to help them see the situation appropriately and realistically.

You’ll want to brief your team as soon as you have enough complete information. The marketing team may be near the end of the communication chain, so start asking other execs what they know.

When briefing your team, aim to provide a combination of facts and an honest assessment of the situation. And make sure to encourage questions. You may not have all the answers, but as a leader, you’ll have a better chance of getting those answers than they will.

Depending on the size of your team, you may want to schedule one-on-one conversations after you bring everyone up to speed. Just because your team isn’t coming to you with questions doesn’t mean they don’t have them.

Stay up to date

If you’ve followed our steps, you should be well positioned as that magical combination of both leader and a team player. Make sure to keep your finger on the pulse. Your team and your brand need you.