Feb. 27, 2018
As a rural healthcare leader, you fully realize the importance of engaging and involving your board of directors. The role of your board is to provide the appropriate level of strategic oversight and not cross the line into operations. They must understand the vision and the direction, and then help break down any barriers that may be impeding your hospital's success.
Being involved with rural healthcare organizations around the country has given me the opportunity to work with many types of boards. Sometimes it's leading a strategic planning session on growth, or presenting their organization's marketing plan. Overall, these are honest, hard-working people who are donating their time. They come from all kinds of backgrounds: farmers, ranchers, bankers, nursing, non-profit, home makers, lawyers, government. One thing they have in common is their commitment to your hospital and community. Many grew up in your town, and generations of their family have received care at your facility.
Even though they hold a genuine passion for your organization, I've found that they sometimes lack the knowledge of what's required to survive the tumultuous world of rural health. Board members may not fully appreciate the nuances of healthcare, especially when it comes to marketing. They may have a limited view that successful marketing is defined by having a pretty ad in the local paper once a week.
My point here is that they don't need to be marketing experts. In fact, as board members, you really don't want them in the details. What you do need is their support and understanding of the need for effective marketing in a competitive world. This starts with board engagement and education.
Every situation is different. This includes the composition of your board, their level of experience, and whether you have a healthy agreement between governance and operations. Having said that, I offer the following guidelines for turning your board members into the strongest marketing advocates in your organization:
An engaged, informed and educated board member is your advocate and cheerleader. Provide board members with the tools and knowledge to support you in your efforts, and you'll even further strengthen trust and rapport essential for effective leadership. Please feel free to reach out to me anytime for specific examples on these tips, and how you could apply them to your organization, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 920-544-8102.
Website by: Craig Erskine