HCA 615 Discussion Compare the two philosophies of governance
HCA 615 Discussion Compare the two philosophies of governance
This article is a good read and should be allowed to circulate to all companies if they are in need of expanding their business or combining two or more businesses as well. There were two groups who had differing philosophies of how the company should operate. The stronger faction comprised staff and members who have been there a while and who have witnesses first hand the right way a company should be run if it wants to be successful. On the other hand the other faction comprised workers who had no working knowledge of how to govern or what it takes for a company to run. It makes me think that these workers were either part-time or didn’t have any interest in the company just there to collect a paycheck. I believe the C.E.O started with the mission statement to eliminate the divide between both boards of directors is because as with any acquisition there will be differing sets of ideas and you don’t want to ignore any person’s idealogy so the best way to respect everyone’s wishes is to get them in a room and have activities where we all can narrow it down and come up with one universal mission statement that represents us all as staff and management and the community as a whole. The job of the process consultant was very important because it took the responsibility of making any rash decisions out of the C.E.O’s hand and placed it with the board that went on the retreat. The retreat was put together so everyone can have their idea heard and get to know one another as two companies will become one. This is similar when two people are getting married, before the marriage both people go on dates and get to know one another and bounce ideas off each other and uplift each other in the good and bad times. One method of communication that the CEO used which helped facilitate accomplishment of the goals was verbal communication in that each member of th eboard voiced their concern or approval of the governance methods and it was narrowed down to one where all the board members agreed upon should be the universal policy of the hospital. This was a very effective way in that all interested parties during the merging of the hospitals had a voice in how the hospital should be run. This also brought them closer together as they bounced ideas off each other and came to an understanding that each member signed off on and implemented that information to the C.E.O who then shared with the rest of the hospital and community.
“From a business standpoint, merging companies in the same sector with competing strengths is a no brainer. And it’s technically not difficult to do. But be prepared to bump up against a lot of cultural challenges during the integration process.
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Here’s what you need to know:
- A merger will take longer than you expect. You can’t put former competitors together and expect them to get along from day one. They’re used to thinking of each other as the enemy, sometimes over the course of many years. You need to carefully manage reporting lines and watch for signs of tension so you can nip them in the bud before they blow up.
- Leaders will come and go. Don’t assume managers who say they’re committed to the new company truly are. Loyalty is hard to come by, and you may find people will jump ship as soon as a better offer comes along. Your remaining competitors will try to use your merger to their advantage. Be prepared to deal with upheaval.
- Make sure your staff is consistently thinking about the future, both near- and long-term. You also need to lay out a road map to success. A nimble, innovative company doesn’t just happen, it needs to be nurtured. The person at the top sets the tone.
- Competitors won’t be the only ones who’ll try to kick you when you’re down. When you’re ironing out the merger kinks, customers might try to squeeze you for better deals and threaten to bolt to the competition. That’s why you need to engage with them early. Convince them you’ll always be the best option, no matter what.” (Hennessey, et al 2014)
Hennessey, Billy (2014, 30 Apr) Merging Two Companies is Hard, Here’s how to do it. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/billyhennessey/2014/04/30/merging-companies-is-hard-heres-how/#725e23b71fcc
The merging of two different hospital boards of directors can pose quite a bit of challenges. In addition to various members of the team, the merger brought together two philosophies of governance that were quite different from one another. One philosophy supported policy governance while the other related to leadership that was more hands-on (Grossmeier, 2007). While conflicting ideas are quite normal when it comes to two different groups coming together, in this scenario, those conflicting ideas seem to cause a bit more of a ruckus. It seemed as though the directors could not come to an agreement on which philosophy would better suit the organization as a whole, causing issues among them.
One of the forms of governance that was in the works was policy governance. Policy governance is a process that utilizes an extensive set of principles that allows the board to understand owner-accountable organizations (Govern for Impact, 2019). It is a means to an end in which the board directors will hold management accountable for achieving that end. While they are doing so, management is required to adhere to limitations that are laid out by the members of the board. The more traditional or hands on approach to governance is a bit different. This form of governance is normally seen when it comes to executives and small business owners. The hands on philosophy uses these individuals as a way of establishing a vision for the organization as well as manage the resources needed to achieve that mission. While the policy governance principle is not hands-on, the CEO is also held accountable as is the business owner in the hands-on principle. While in the hands-on approach, the owner is the one that makes the call, when it comes to policy governance, the board of directors speaks with one voice regarding needs of the organization. The board speaks for the hospital’s ownership in policy governance whereas the owner speaks for his or herself in the hands-on approach (Grossmeier, 2007).
When it comes to the success and effectiveness of the operation, the relationship between the CEO and the board of directors is crucial. It is important that those members of the organization have a shared and clear understanding of the governance philosophy. The CEO at Regional Hospital was new in her position. Upon her placement with the hospital, there were a few things that she realized. There were two different types of groups that existed within the board of directors; one was weak while the other two were sturdier. While the stronger groups leaned more towards a more traditional form of governance, the weaker group was not experienced or educated enough to make a decision of the right principle (Grossmeier, 2007).
The CEO suggested that in order to make a decision about how to eliminate the divide between the two merged board of directors; they start with the hospital’s mission statement. The purpose of merging the two governance philosophies was to implement a new one that has the ability to guide the actions and methods taken and used by the hospital to achieve and maintain its mission. In the attempt to revisit the mission statement of the hospital, a retreat was scheduled to involve all the directors. That retreat allowed for a reinstatement of the mission statement. One of the CEO’s reasons behind the retreat was to use a modified problem solving methods, allowing all of the directors to be involved in the process. The retreat ended up being quite a success. There are several benefits for company retreats and I believe that the CEO of Regional Hospital made a great decision by sending the board of directors on one. While retreats are not a “cure-all” for all issues in an organization, when used appropriately, they have the ability to do great things for the company. One of these advantages is team-building. Obviously, when dealing with a merger that has two different philosophies on governance, issues are going to arise and it may be quite difficult to be a real team. With a corporate retreat, the board of directors can give them the feeling that they are part of a larger family. They do many different team-building activities that can aid the members of the board in understanding that they are all working towards the same goal, the mission of the hospital (Agrawal, 2016). Stress in the workplace may be another determining factor as to why the CEO may have wanted to use a company retreat to guide this communication with the board members. In this situation, there were different ideas floating around and I am quite sure that it made it difficult to come to a decision, especially when individuals have different values and beliefs. If she were to leave the workplace a stressful environment, this could pose quite an issue for the CEO. Because she took the members of the board away from the tense environment of the hospital, it may allow them to decompress and think with clearer minds, ultimately increasing their productivity (Agrawal, 2016). Choosing to remove the team members from their usual and stressful office environment proved to be quite successful in the end. The directors were able to define the problem areas in the hospital, develop an end state, identify the organizational limitations, and ultimately, come to a decision that made sense to everyone.
I think that there were a few different reasons behind the CEO’s decision to hire a process consultant to guide communication within the board of directors. One of the reasons that stood out the most to me is the fact that she hired someone that was more of an outside perspective. For the CEO, I am sure that she had some time, effort, energy, and resources embedded into the hospital, possibly making it difficult to be objective to some of the board member’s ideas. Often times, it seems as though CEOs and other business owners tend to become a bit blinded to issues that are staring them directly in the face. A process consultant can enter the situation with a fresh eye, making it easier for them to spot these matters.
Agrawal, A. (2016, July 9). The Importance Of Having Team Retreats. HuffPost. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-importance-of-having_b_10904026
Govern for Impact. (2019). Principles of Policy Governance – International Policy Governance Association. Retrieved from https://governforimpact.org/resources/principles-of-policy-governance.html
Grossmeier, J. C. (2007). Adopting and Implementing a Policy Governance Model. Journal of Healthcare Management, 52(5), 343–350. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1097/00115514-200709000-00011