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Creating a Social C-Suite: How Social is Your Senior Team?

December 10, 2014

By Irene Andress, Chief Nurse Executive (@IreneAndress) and Sharon Navarro (@EastGeneral)

Headshot of Irene Andress

Irene Andress

headshot of Sharon Navarro

Sharon Navarro

The way we do business – be it in manufacturing, finance or healthcare – is

changing. And it’s changing rapidly. In fact, Ted Coiné and Mark Babbitt, social media experts and authors of A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive, are more explicit: the Industrial Age is dead; the Social Age is upon us and the leaders and companies that do not embrace social media and ‘fail to realize the monumental impact social has on their customers, employees, collaborative partnerships and even the bottom-line,’ will be left behind and go the way of the dinosaurs.

On December 17, the #hcsmca chat will discuss senior health leaders becoming more engaged on social media. We will look at what we’re doing at Toronto East General Hospital and how we are encouraging our executive team to get out of their comfort zones and converse on Twitter. More importantly, members of our senior team, including co-moderator @IreneAndress, Chief Nurse Executive, will share their experiences on becoming social.

Case Study: A More Social C-Suite at Toronto East General Hospital

Why did we do it?
Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH) is a full-service community teaching hospital in East Toronto, Canada. We are small, but mighty. We serve a diverse, multi-cultural community of almost half a million people. Our communications vision that’s tied to our hospital strategic plan is to tell the TEGH story in a way that engages, celebrates and inspires our communities in impactful, timely and creative ways. One of these ways is engaging and interacting with our partners and stakeholders on social media including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Why do our senior leaders tweet?
The majority of our leadership is on Twitter, including @RobDevittTEGH, CEO; @Stumpo_Carmine, VP Programs; @wolfklassen, VP Program Support and co-moderator @IreneAndress, Chief Nurse Executive. As natural ambassadors for the hospital, they tweet to engage their stakeholders, to keep up with advances in their fields and, of course, to tell the TEGH story in their own authentic and genuine way. Having our senior leaders “out there” in the Twitter-verse keeps them connected and closer to staff and the community.

How did we do it?
Initially, the major hurdle in getting our senior leaders onto Twitter was helping them to realize the value their tweets contribute to building the TEGH brand and awareness. Secondly, finding time in their busy schedules was a challenge, but like an exercise program, short, regular Twitter sessions was key. Our communications team works with each of the leaders on an on-going 1:1 basis and sends out “Twitter Today” alerts to suggest potential tweet topics or timely hashtags.

On Wednesday, December 17 at 1 pm ET, we’ll explore with the #hcsmca community how social media can empower senior leaders and the benefits being participatory on social media can have for them, the hospital community internally and externally, and beyond.

  • T1a: How can senior leaders be encouraged to become more social?
  • T1b: What about addressing fears and questions of risk?
  • T1c: How do you address the value/return on investment question?
  • T2a: What structures help senior leaders make the leap from skepticism to social engagement?
  • T2b: How do you overcome some of the growing pains?
  • T3a: How does support from the C-Suite encourage an entire organization?
  • T3b: What is the “spin-off” by having a C-Suite that tweets?

Read the transcript of the December 17 #hcsmca chat.

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