Organizational Culture Change in Healthcare

Culture change in healthcare

Piedmont Triad’s premier provider of medical diagnostic imaging services and interventional radiology practices in inpatient and outpatient settings engages in an organizational culture change initiative in partnership with HRD Strategies. 

The Context

HRD Strategies was engaged at a time when this growing organization was being challenged by a significant change in senior leadership.  Rather than simply replace dynamic leaders that were leaving, they desired to undertake an organizational redesign to prepare the firm for explosive growth in the health care arena.  Michael Lovett of HRD worked with the CEO and the Leadership Team to define what the “new culture” would look like. Included were role clarification, job family expectations, non-negotiable behaviors, business strategies, and common goals.

The Outcome

To accomplish and maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, the following beliefs were extrapolated:

1.) Build and promote a culture of respect and trust.

2.) Develop a business partner relationship with all employees and internal and external customers.

Truly the client looked at the most valuable resource, the human capital as a driver of excellence and change.

Our mutual goal was to provide the opportunity for all employees to participate within boundaries in the day to day operations along with learning the skills that will allow a business partner relationship to flourish. In order for the client to have a “thinking organization, patient first” concept for operations, we utilized a management approach that engaged the direct reports of the departing managers.  This philosophy was expressed by the following values (Accountability, Service Excellence, Proactive & Professional, Integrity, Relationship, Efficiency) A.S.P.I.R.E.  An individual who shares in the company’s growth, is compensated fairly, has an opportunity for individual development and advancement, and has the opportunity to participate in the decision-making required to improve operations, will make a significant difference in the success of the company. These individuals were assessed and coached as we moved through the next steps in the process. Group members decided to focus on the following team commitments:

  • We will all exercise an ongoing process of prioritizing our goals and align our individual actions to them.
  • We will spend time together as a team to discuss crucial issues and drive commitment to deliver on our priorities.

Of note, all of the Leadership Team members informed their immediate subordinates of their personal behavioral change goals and asked for their support in achieving these goals.  Their heartfelt rationale for doing so was expressed quite well by one individual, “If our boss is willing to bare his soul to us and ask for our support in his growth, why shouldn’t we do the same?”


Roughly 6 months after we initiated the change process, we conducted a series offsite meetings, everyone concluded that they had made excellent progress and could concentrate on new successes by utilizing A.S.P.R.I.R.E. metrics for all people in the company. The CEO surprised his team by telling them that corporate-wide they were now considered to be the poster children for how a functional team should work. The primary overt vehicle used to work with this team and the multiple teams within the company included mini sessions with all functional units. It made working with them easier because it was systematic in nature and appealed to their clinical and service mindset, as well as allowing time for to work behind the scenes coaching the CEO and a couple of key stakeholders as well. We wanted the members of the team to both own their individual part in the dynamics of their group and their direct reports and to help them learn how to behave differently and more effectively to deliver on the new demands in HealthCare.

What does organizational culture change look like to you?

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