Is your team operating under a well-articulated vision, with an expectation that the quality of work will always be at a certain level – or are they simply responding to customer requests and doing what they think makes sense? A simple but succinct vision for the standard of quality is at the forefront of every project my team produces. This started years ago shortly after my introduction to the business.
My first job as a media manager was at a large pharma company. After getting my new assignment I decided that in order for my team to support our customers I needed to know everything there was to know about big pharma. It didn’t take long to realize that the pharmaceutical industry was extremely complex and not something this director of Creative Services was going to have to learn in short order. As I looked at our various buckets of work – Training and Development, Marketing, Executive Communications, Public Relations, Research – I saw a consistency in the stakeholders in each of those areas. That thread was a highly educated, highly experienced, passionate workforce. And that’s where I found my answer. I realized, or rationalized perhaps, that I didn’t need to know their business at all. Rather, my team and I would commit to them that we would be as good at what we did as they were at what they did. After all, they own the content; we simply help them communicate it. This thought process has served me and my teams well over the years and through various assignments.
In my current role at Mayo Clinic, this philosophy means that my team doesn’t need to know how to perform open heart surgery in order to support a cardiac surgeon – thankfully. Rather, our commitment to each physician, administrator and public relations professional we support is that we will be as good at our jobs as they are at theirs. It’s really that simple.
Mayo Clinic was recently named the Best Hospital in the Nation for 2014-2015 by US News and World Report. If our hospital is the best, then it follows that our Media Support Services department has to be the best as well. Luckily, one of our guiding principles in Media Support Services in Florida is continuous improvement. Yes, our standards are very high at Mayo Clinic as I’m sure yours are where you work.
Bottom line, it’s critical to have a commitment to quality, regardless of your role or your clientele. If you don’t have an articulated standard of quality, I recommend you establish one, shout it at the top of your lungs and review your teams’ work on a regular basis to make sure it meets the high standards of your customers, the company you support and your personal brand as a leader.
Article contributed by Clifton D. Brewer, CMMA Board Member