Purpose, impact, respect, caring – those who work for it have value to contribute back to the world
A strong vision that provides focus on the greater good of all powers The Chartis Group, and contains valuable reminders for health organizations.
The equation for how The Chartis Group approaches consulting encounters seems fairly basic. Take passionate experts that buy into a vision for service delivery, team them up in engagements with clients whose mission is others-oriented care delivery, provide measurable results, and repeat.
But formulaic approaches can have mixed results, based on myriad variables that show up during working relationships. When those challenges are present, that’s when the depth of commitment matters, and that often depends on the buy-in to an overarching vision of how things should work.
Chartis builds its vision and mission around other-centered service. Its commitment to building a vision-centered organization offers fresh insight into how healthcare organizations can similarly re-invigorate their efforts and point organizations toward excellence.
"Amid the economic, societal and competitive pressures of current-day healthcare, it’s easy to lose sight of the core vision."
Of course, many healthcare organizations operate as non-profits with service ministries inextricably intertwined in their missions. And more generally, providing healthcare to the sick attracts people who gravitate toward the ideals of service, care and ministry. But amid the economic, societal and competitive pressures of current-day healthcare, it’s easy to lose sight of the core vision, says Ken Graboys, co-founder and chief executive officer of Chartis.
Serving the greater good
The consultancy has been recognized for the past three years as Best in KLAS in the annual rankings of vendor performance by KLAS Research. Graboys attributes much of that consistency in performance to its team members, who often are drawn in by the Chartis mission and vision. At its core, Chartis re-emphasizes that those who work for it have value to contribute back to the world.
“We all want to live lives of purpose, of love, of joy for ourselves and joy for others, of impact, lives that we feel respected and valued,” he explains. “I think our culture is about fostering a collegial environment, and a client experience that’s really predicated on those values – purpose and impact, respect and caring.”
Indeed, love is one of the core values for Chartis, says Adam Gale, CEO of KLAS, remembering one of his first encounters with the consultancy several years ago. “The idea of caring about each other, and team members caring about the clients – and the concept of love. That really stuck with me,” Gale recalls.
In turbulent times, healthcare organizations need to place renewed emphasis on their cultures, but reinforcing that doesn’t happen in a vacuum, Graboys believes. “I think the strength of any organization’s culture, its adherence to mission is grounded in every individual that comes on board. If his or her individual mission is aligned with the collective mission, then the aggregate can be far stronger."
That’s why Chartis sought to build its organization on core missional values. That attracts experts who “truly have alignment around our mission and culture, and want to be part of building something special,” Graboys says. “They want to be part of building an organization that truly is helpful to the industry and to our clients, and helping them in the communities that they serve. A lot of (our clients) have that altruistic, other-focused mission. And we’re a mission-driven organization – our mission is to materially improve healthcare delivery in the world. And that’s why each of us gets up in the morning, and this is what we hope to do together and with our clients.”
Adherence to mission that’s demonstrated, and not just lip service, creates synergies and mutual attraction and commitment, he notes. “We have clients who are similarly mission driven. We’re moved and inspired by them. They move mountains to care for individual patients and communities, and I think that our clients really appreciate having an advisory services firm that has the same mission, the same alignment.”
Action, not just words
Commitment to service of others can serve as an important component of future healthcare initiatives between organizations, he adds. But that has to be real – “most providers seem really attuned to when an organization is mission-driven. But they really have a heightened sense of whether it’s actual reality or if it’s just something that’s being done for marketing’s sake.”
"Health systems have never had to care for their caregivers – their mental health, their spiritual health and physical health."
These relationships must move beyond mere skin-deep partnerships, which Graboys believes veers toward overused marketing speak. He views these relationships as being more support-oriented. “It’s more akin to playing great doubles (at tennis) – what can we bring to help them elevate their game a little bit, but ‘partnership’ just doesn’t capture the way we think about the nature of a relationship – we want to be the whole notion of coming alongside somebody to help them out and support them. It’s more like a manager on a basketball team – it’s there to provide the balls or whatever it takes to make that team successful.”
It’s the topic of overarching vision that enthuses Graboys, who sees aspirational targets as a key driver of healthcare success. Vision must inspire concrete action in three crucial areas to ensure continuation of rising performance in healthcare.
Healing the workforce
“There is a whole panoply of challenges, but one right now is clearly workforce,” he says. “If you look through the workforce lens, we have more folks leaving the workforce, and for the ones that are still in it, they’ve suffered trauma over the past three years the likes of which the industry has never seen. Health systems have never had to care for their caregivers – their mental health, their spiritual health and physical health.”
Additionally, there’s increased vision around the idea of convergence, as payers and providers increasingly understand the benefits of working closely together. “We’re at this remarkable moment of industrial convergence within healthcare,” Graboys contends. For the industry to succeed as a whole as it evolves into a value-based care model, industry segments will need to work collaboratively to ensure information is shared.
"The scale of each of these challenges and opportunities is so great that the solution is going to be found in building collectives and partnerships that work collectively toward a single end."
Finally, there’s growing awareness around the importance of health equity, which Graboys calls “the paramount challenge of our time.” New care models and a broader understand of what contributes to the health of a population will require commitment to a lofty vision of healthcare and new relationships between organizations, connecting traditional healthcare organizations with a wide swath of public and private agencies.
This is more than just visioning by Chartis – it’s engaged in a project on Chicago’s South Side, which has often experienced a dearth of care in some of its poorer neighborhoods. The initiative is connecting eight federally qualified healthcare organizations and five hospitals to ensure more equitable access to healthcare.
After surviving the pandemic, healthcare organizations must continue along the path toward reinventing care delivery, he concludes. “We must reconstruct the healthcare delivery ecosystem among myriad industrial segments now. No single organization can do it. It involves caring for our caregivers, addressing health equity, social determinants of care and more. The scale of each of these challenges and opportunities is so great that the solution is going to be found in building collectives and partnerships that work collectively toward a single end.” Watch the full video
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