This year, Creating Results has been privileged to speak at senior living conferences around the country. Our “Stay, Fly, Shop to Success” presentation highlights some common strengths of global leaders such as Marriott, Southwest and Nordstrom. Why? It helps to find inspiration for success outside your industry.
We also highlight inspiring leaders within senior living. Pennsylvania’s Landis Communities is an organization that excels at customer-friendly service and information.
How does Landis Communities excel at fostering a consumer-centric culture? Larry Guengerich, Director of Communications & Church Relations, recently said that the short answer is … It’s not easy. Rather it’s done carefully with thoughtfulness and intention.
In this three-part series, we’ll try to figure out Landis’ “secret sauce.” Guengerich says it starts with mission statements and defined values. Then they mix in recruiting, leadership and marketing. And finally it’s cooked through with a strong multichannel, multi-audience communications strategy.
Step 1: Craft a mission statement that is qualitative and actionable. Identify and clearly articulate your vision and values.
From the story Guengerich shared about how Landis’ mission evolved. it’s critical that a mission statement resonate with all stakeholders and is broad enough to guide for several years to come. Landis Communities’ mission and vision aren’t just a bunch of buzzwords, rather a formulization of what was already in their hearts and helps focus the organization to achieve their mission.
“Following God’s call to creatively serve the diverse needs and interests of older adults by developing opportunities and collaborative relationships.”
From the Landis Communities website:
Landis Communities … remains committed to the vision present at its beginning while preparing for growth and change during the years to come. We are committed to keeping retirement living strong and vital. To providing a number of Affordable Living options, including new models of age 55+ active adult living in the city of Lancaster and elsewhere. To provide services at home – supporting aging in place, and to develop creative partnerships in support of all of these areas.
As in the mission-statement, it’s full of consumer-centered language, with references to creativity, service and relationships.
The Value of Listening
For Landis Communities, the first step in reviewing their strategic plan was to listen. They conducted a “listening tour” with key stakeholders including residents, family, employees, board members, and the larger Lancaster community. What did they hear?
The same words from many stakeholders – and those words became their core values: Joy, Compassion, Integrity, Stewardship, & Community.
The values were already there. Now they were clearly articulated and the team could set about intentionally to live the values.
(One team member creatively gave the values a true life, planting the values tree you see at left!)
* If you or your board of directors went on a “listening tour” what would stakeholders say your organization’s values were? Would you consistently hear the same words?
* If you have done a “listening tour,” were you surprised by what you heard?
Please share your insights below!