Leadership I
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You Can’t Over-Communicate (01:46)

As a health care CEO, asks Eddie Greene, Mayo Clinic’s Director of Diversity Education, how do you construct and diffuse messaging about your organization’s mission and goals so that everyone, in all disciplines and departments, can clearly understand and execute on them?

“People don’t often listen to what you say. But they absolutely hear what you do,” says Akram Boutros, President and CEO of The MetroHealth System. “You must demonstrate these concepts in truly transparent terms.” If someone makes a mistake, discuss what happened with that person and how much it cost to learn an important lesson.  In other words, lead by example.

University of Utah Health Care CEO Vivian Lee agrees, stressing the importance of communication. “Communicating, especially with physicians, is really challenging, since we’re all so overstretched as it is,” she says. Email doesn’t necessarily work, but a number of other channels do, says Lee, such as town halls and retreats.  “I just think you can’t over-communicate,” she adds. “The key is to have the entire leadership team on the same page so that every member of the team going out and communicating is reinforcing the same message.”

From the NEJM Catalyst event Leadership: Translating Challenge to Success at Mayo Clinic, June 2, 2016.

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