Your hospital may benefit from a chief purpose officer — here's why

In order to drive employee efforts and help them connect their individual work to the organization's broader goals, Roche India — part of pharmaceutical and diagnostics company Roche Group — hired a chief purpose officer.

Forbes contributor Michael Chavez spoke with Roche India's Lara Yumi Tsuji Bezerra, who was promoted to serve as Roche India's chief purpose officer in October 2017.

Before Roche India hired Ms. Bezerra to the role, its strategic growth largely revolved around hierarchical and siloed management processes. The result was a reactive and risk-averse organization with no intrinsic motivation and limited growth prospects.

Ms. Bezerra said that when she came in, she asked leadership what her first task should be, and they told her to help create a new shared aspiration for the organization.

To help create a unified purpose, Ms. Bezerra and her team knew that the organization's reactive strategy would not help, and designed initiatives that provided a holistic approach to the health of all patients.

"You have to have a strategy that's flexible because the markets are so dynamic and complex. We have to be constantly adapting and testing new approaches, or else the strategy becomes too rigid. Purpose provides the stable framework for this dynamism to happen," she said. "We realized our intention to be the Uber of healthcare, meaning we must figure out a way to bring together the players in the healthcare ecosystem."

Ms. Bezerra said she and her team made it a point to connect the organization's mission with employees' individual work.

"When we ran our purpose workshop, we connected everything to individual purpose. We asked how can we as a leadership team be a collective that is driven by higher service and still be able to take care of ourselves and others when we get dragged down by negative emotions, like anger and fear."

While Mr. Chavez acknowledges that "titles can be trite … [Ms. Bezerra's] new title is incredibly impactful and sends a strong leadership signal. It is a constant reminder that the company not only takes purpose incredibly seriously, but that it is a driver of all business decisions, strategies and operations," he writes. "The lesson from Roche India is to do so only if you're willing to embrace a holistic and transformational approach to purpose."

To access the full report, click here.

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