Your mission is your anchor. In stormy seas, such as the relentless COVID-19 and its unexpected staffing, supply chain, safe-not safe policy ramifications, your mission grounds your decision-making. It is your promise to your patient base, your commitment to your staff and providers, and the primary reason that working in healthcare is unlike working in other retail industries.

Have you returned to your mission lately? Is it communicated to your leadership as a guidepost? If not, take a moment to reevaluate that mission. Here is a helpful exercise to get you started:

  1. Why do we do what we do?
  2. Who benefits from what we do?
  3. How do we fulfill a need in our community/market?
  4. How does our organization leave the community we serve better than it was when we started?
  5. What key points of differentiation set us apart?

Yes, don’t forget about what makes you money. Making money allows you to provide security for your organization’s future. Put some cones around how you go about driving revenue with your mission in mind. For example, earlier in my career, I worked for Bon Secours-St. Francis Xavier Hospital. I was there riding the roller coaster of CON battles to open the new and current hospital located in West Ashley. While waiting in the downtown (now Rutledge Tower) location, the leadership continued to serve a disproportionate share of those without insurance and without the means to pay out of pocket. The ship was sinking literally, as downtown buildings are prone to do, and figuratively. Every time the board met to discuss shifting our priorities, the nuns in leadership returned to the mission of serving the underserved. Three painful RIFs later and many prayers and faith mixed in, the Bishop blessed the doors opening to the beautiful new hospital. The leadership laid down their battle gear and joined forces with the Roper Health System. They continue to thrive today.

It wasn’t easy, but never did the mission to serve the underserved leave the center of all those tumultuous, nail-biting times of change. I loved that. As a young person, it taught me so much about finding my own individual mission and aligning it with where and how I worked with others.

At HHK Healthcare Marketing, our mission is to provide a highly invested partnership for full-service execution of strategic medical marketing knowledge to quantitatively grow patient services revenue creatively, joyfully, and honorably.

We simplify this with tagline statements like:

We know healthcare.

Where science is an art.

From ideas to implementation.

I recently tweaked the HHK mission to encompass terms of growing importance to me. Hitting the 20-year mark shifted my priority to joy. Through the years, I have encountered so many clients who were taken advantage of by marketing companies. HHK has always had a niche in providing honorable, result-oriented services with true attention to smaller budget efficiency. So, we added honor. Again, make sure the mission you craft guides your organization’s decision-making. This enables me to ask myself if creative, joyful, and honorable promises are being met for the client. It also enables me to ask myself important questions about the client. Are they honorable? Do they bring the team joy and inspire their creativity? Your mission is a guiding light for those you work for and for those who work for you. Let your light shine.