I love the North Shore-LIJ Health System, now called Northwell Health. I’ve invested hundreds of hours helping build the brand and business, beginning in 2000 or about. I’ve been met the organizations best and brightest physicians, administrators, and board members and feel a deep kinship with the brand. My brand strategy for the system, 15 years old now, has worked through 4 ad agencies and even more campaigns. So it pains me when I read these mission words on a website:
At Northwell Health, we believe every role, every person and every moment matters. We embrace our Culture of C.A.R.E. (Connectedness, Awareness, Respect and Empathy) with our people and the communities we serve and our organization’s values of Caring, Excellence, Innovation and Integrity. This helps us make a powerful and positive impact on our patients’ and customers’ experiences.
There is nothing wrong with a broad mission or even 4-letter acronyms. That said, I suspect this value statement was written by a new ad agent or copywriting employee with no strategic north star. Anyone with the organization for more than a few years, including CEO Michael Dowling, knows this cookie cutter paragraph is on every hospital website, in one form or another, from here to Abu Dhabi.
A brand strategy (one claim, 3 proof planks) is the mission statement writ small. A mission statement is an expansion of the brand strategy – but this one is not close to the uniqueness that is Northwell Health. It’s gop. Directionless, rudderless gop. Sorry Northwell. You can do — and have done — much better.