Internal communications seem to be more critical than ever.
If you’re like most health care marketers I know, you’re spending more time lately on strategies that will strengthen things like “employee engagement,” “physician alignment,” and “internal brand ambassadors.”
A strong organizational culture certainly plays a growing role in patient satisfaction. Yet, it often seems getting buy-in on corporate mission statements, vision statements and value propositions is tougher than ever. Why is that? Are people more cynical these days? Are they tired and stressed in today’s challenging economy? Probably. Yet, I also can’t help but wonder if we communicators aren’t making things too complicated, especially in times of change.
That’s why I find the new CEO of Apple’s message to employees refreshing. As widely reported, Steve Jobs, Apple’s highly regarded, innovative-genius CEO, stepped down this week due to health concerns. By all accounts, Jobs leaves big shoes to fill, and if I were the new guy, I would have some trepidation. I would have equal trepidation if I were the person who had to help the new guy write his first message to the employees. However, I think the folks at Apple did a great job. Here’s the first e-mail to employees from Tim Cook, Apple’s new CEO:
I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity of serving as CEO of the most innovative company in the world. Joining Apple was the best decision I’ve ever made and it’s been the privilege of a lifetime to work for Apple and Steve for over 13 years. I share Steve’s optimism for Apple’s bright future.
Steve has been an incredible leader and mentor to me, as well as to the entire executive team and our amazing employees. We are really looking forward to Steve’s ongoing guidance and inspiration as our Chairman.
I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple’s unique principles and values. Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that—it is in our DNA. We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do.
I love Apple and I am looking forward to diving into my new role. All of the incredible support from the Board, the executive team and many of you has been inspiring. I am confident our best years lie ahead of us and that together we will continue to make Apple the magical place that it is.
One of the smartest communicators I know says every message should do three things:
- break through
- ring true
- make people like you
I think Cook’s e-mail does all that and more. It’s positive, reassuring and easy to understand. Most of all, it seems genuine, personal and human. It sounds like a letter from a friend, avoiding “corporate speak.” I’m filing this away as a great example. What do you think?