Mergers and acquisitions are common today. It occurs in the business world, healthcare systems, and non-profit organizations. The reactions and attitudes of colleagues during the time of consolidation is varied and seldom are the thoughts positive.
A small suburban hospital is struggling financially. When any endeavor faces hard financial times, it implies that it is failing in its market. And when an institution struggles to be competitive in their market, that also means workers receive little support and assurance.
A healthcare system entered into an affiliation agreement to help them financially. But should the hospital “not right the ship” within two years, the affiliation would become an acquisition. The small hospital’s C-suite continued to operate their facility “business as usual”; no attempts were made to improve the quality or results. The hospital was acquired, and the leaders at the small hospital were not happy. No longer was the hospital to be run by their policies and procedures. The prevalent attitude was to continue still running the hospital the way they always ran it, but now with an aura of resentment, obstinacy, and insolence. The health care system was there to fund them; leaders thought that the whole matter was just acquiring more money. The hospital leadership did little to support quality, service, marketing, and participation. It is no wonder that they were failing.
This attitude goes against everything I have learned about accountability, responsibility, and service. Stewardship is often only thought of as a faith-based term. It is the time that organizations think of their work and service as a way of stewardship. One cannot be a leader, a steward of an institution, and then expect someone else to take care of you.
The financial woes and poor quality perpetuate; leaders are only thinking inward, and their self-interests are allowed to continue. Irresponsibility and self-interest are actions that need addressing right away.
Confronting poor stewards, that is those who put themselves first in the organization and not the organization itself is not easy. But for the survival and then the ultimate success of the organization it must be done.