Ctrl + alt + inspire: Spotlighting trailblazers in transformation

  • Posted on May 17, 2024
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes
spotlighting trailblazers in transformation

This article was co-authored by Olivia Nadler, Vice President of Marketing at Tenet Health and Liam Nicoll, Product Lead at the International Rescue Committee.

What’s in a handshake?

It’s a greeting. An expression of friendship. An agreement. It conveys trust, respect and equality. Such was the context behind the transformational program launched by our CMO Ruth Rowan two years ago – to strengthen the handshake between marketing and sales and ensure that our global marketing team would have real impact on the business. She wanted to transform our purpose to be true partners and equal value generators to the sales organization.

This transformational journey has been energizing for the Marketing team globally as we’ve dug deeper into developing and nurturing our client relationships. And we certainly don’t take for granted the immense responsibility and partnership when we’re asked to walk alongside our clients on their own transformation journeys.

So, in recognition of Client Appreciation Day, I reached out to two of our client trailblazers to gain their perspectives on transformation and the power of the right partnership.

Olivia Nadler, Vice President of Marketing at Tenet Health and Liam Nicoll, Product Lead at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) both agreed that transformation often sounds simplistic (it’s just one word after all), but holds more complexity than meets the eye.

In fact, Olivia describes it as “Future and Fluidity” – the ability to consistently meet evolving consumer needs (future) and the opportunity to design a different future. For Liam, transformation means looking at today’s human needs and where the world is heading to find new ways to help.

Understanding the best first step in a transformation program can be daunting, and I asked what our executives recommend. For Olivia at Tenet Health, making sure that leaders have clarity on the purpose and what it’s helping to solve is critical. “This gives the organization and people involved the energy to drive the transformation and not just transform for the sake of transforming. Clarity should lead to momentum on why you’re embarking on that transformation.”

At the IRC, they believe that building a transformation program requires an honest acknowledgement of where the world will be in 10 years. “Will AI be a facet of the whole world's daily life, or will existing inequities prevent its use? Once you consider where things may head, you can limit assumptions and address ecosystem-wide problems.”

With a first step agreed to by the program task force, what mindset must they themselves have and inspire in others? At the IRC, Liam states it’s about being agile, practical, and conscious of your ecosystem as it fluctuates. “In an emergency response context for example, I push our team to adopt a transformative mindset by resolving urgent needs and underlying problems with simultaneous progress.” For Olivia at Tenet Health, positivity, resilience, and hard work are essential, because together they create momentum. “If you’re positive, you will be more open to a growth mindset as an individual. You will be more willing to step back and ask, ‘What can I learn from this situation, how will I grow, and what can I contribute to make this successful?’"

And yet, sometimes despite your best efforts as a leadership team there’s resistance. How do these executives manage that? Olivia acknowledges that leaders will always face resistance at some level, but she tries to ground herself in empathy and trust. “I try to pause, listen, and understand where the resistance is originating and if there’s a way to build a bridge. But sometimes it means having difficult coaching conversations to help someone overcome the resistance to change.” At the IRC, they recognize that maximizing their impact may conflict with the specific needs of an individual. “These instances are a chance to level set on priorities and understand if localized needs outweigh impact from a global deliverable.”

In closing, I couldn’t help but ask if the word “transformation” is overused in organizations. At Tenet Health, Olivia says no. “It’s a certainty that we need to transform. Our world is ever changing and so are consumer needs and expectations. I think what’s important when you talk about transformation is the clarity on "why you’re doing it." Liam Nicoll agrees and in fact believes that as common as it may seem in the business world, it’s a term that’s still being socialized around the humanitarian sector. “At the IRC, we consciously practice transformation by finding new ways to solve age old problems.”

Indeed! Finding new ways to solve age-old problems will continue to be as meaningful as a handshake.

Follow these links to learn more about Tenet Health and the International Rescue Committee.

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