Today’s news is laden with stories about the COVID-19 crisis and how it is affecting healthcare. I interview leaders about issues they are facing during COVID-19. The most successful organizations stay grounded in their core values.
Last week I was speaking with one CNO whose healthcare system has been in the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis. She told me that they are consciously taking actions every day that keep their values front and center. She explained how she and the other senior leaders achieve that goal. “First of all,” she explains, “We must be visible. We cannot just tell people about our commitment to them, we have to be out there seeing what their world is like and giving support.”
Another CNO I interviewed talked about the importance of transparency. “One of our core values is integrity,” she explained. “We have to be honest with our team members, even if it makes us uncomfortable.” She went on to say, “I don’t always have the answers, but what I can promise them is that I will share information as it becomes available.” She explained that those words would be hollow, eroding trust, if she didn’t follow through consistently.
Core values can be words on paper or an organization’s true north. It’s much easier to stay anchored in the values when things are running smoothly. The true test is living them in turbulent times.