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Friday, August 27, 2010

Saying Goodbye to a Colleague and Friend

A. Thomas Tebbens, Jr.

When fellow marketer Candace Quinn, left me an urgent message to call her, I had that intuitive feeling that it wasn't going to be good news. And was shocked to learn from her that longtime colleague and friend, Thomas Tebbens had died just that morning.  Tom was vice president of marketing and communications at Albert Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia. He'd been there just two short years, but was orchestrating major change initiatives when he passed away.  Prior to his work at Einstein, Tom was the chief marketing executive at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx borough of New York City, and had a long, successful career in the advertising field.  His obituary in the Philly Inquirer referred to Tom as a adman - I think he would've liked that.

Besides his professional contributions, which were many, Tom also was active in the community and in the arts, and treasured his family above all. 

How hard it is to say goodbye. 


Three Factors Motivate Performance - Money Isn't One of Them

Marketers have Long Known that Price is Rarely the True Motivator for Consumers; When it Comes to Motivating Employees, the Same Principle Holds

Last Fall, I heard author Dan Pink speak on the science of motivation at TEDxNASA and was delighted to run across a You Tube posting of the talk. From his study of the scientific literature on motivation, Dan outlines the myths and perils of extrinsic motivators (such as money), and describes the three key elements of truly effective motivation: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. A key finding from the MIT study described in this piece is that, while financial rewards tend to motivate people doing 'mechanical' tasks, it has the opposite effect on workers using 'cognitive' skills.

I wonder about the implications of these findings on the healthcare industry's quest to achieve clinical, financial and market performance improvements. What are our myths? That tinkering with reimbursement models will make healthcare organizations set up and take notice? That performance bonuses will transform providers into a newly energized pep squad? Maybe. But history and science suggest 'maybe not' - especially if other core elements of motivation are lacking.

And I also wonder if organizations could get to the same end faster and with a more engaged, motivated team waiting at the finish line, if as much time was spent on powering up people and leadership skills, as is devoted to endless operational restructurings, process redesigns and rounds of right-sizings. That will require a new mindset about about people as strategy-critical assets, and a much greater understanding of what drives and sustains motivation for the nurses, physicians and thousands of others that are healthcare's front line. 

As Dan puts it - people are not as endlessly manipulable and predictable as you might think.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Downside of Experience is That it Limits Vision . . .

Seth Godin's blog post "Senior Management" got me thinking about the magnitude of change required to truly bring about transformation of today's healthcare systems and the leadership 'will, ideas and means' to make that happen. How can entrenched 'old timers' make room for and embrace the new, breakthrough ideas of younger colleagues?

From his post:

Worth quoting--one of Arthur C. Clarke's lesser known three laws: "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is probably wrong."

The paradox is that by the time you get to be senior, the decisions that matter the most are the ones that would be best made made by people who are junior...

Click here to read more.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Marketing Analytics and Performance Accountability

As organizations continue to tighten their purse strings and demand accountability from their executives, marketing departments are finding themselves under increasing pressure to justify their spending, prove the effects of their marketing campaigns, and demonstrate program success…or risk losing their budgets.

To shed more light on the topic of marketing metrics, Forbes Insights, in association with MarketShare Partners, surveyed U.S. marketing executives on the topic of measurement and accountability. The Accountability Evolution looks at how these executives are managing metrics to quantify and demonstrate the impact of their marketing. The study also identifies potential gaps between marketers’ desire to employ metrics and their actual formal execution of goal-focused measurement.

According to the survey, nearly seven in ten said they used analytics to measure marketing effectiveness. Internal resources were used most frequently to measure the success of marketing programs; 86% used internal data, with 74% relying on internal teams and 52% on internally developed tools. Fifty-eight percent (58%) used third-party data and 35% turned to outside professional services. Many marketers still report that these tools do not meet their needs and the majority believe that they're not adequately communicating the value or impact of marketing initiatives to company executives.

Click here to download a copy of the Forbes Insights Study:  The Accountability Evolution:  Marketers Turn to Metrics to Boost Their Strategic Value