Faced with a rapidly changing world, University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMCU) has developed a new strategy aimed at securing its position as a leader in research, education and care. Called Connecting Worlds, the strategy covers the period 2020 to 2025. The challenge now is to ensure the organisation’s 13,500 employees understand, implement and deliver on this strategy. Which is where PROOF comes in.
UMCU put a great deal of effort into ensuring that their new strategy was developed by talking to as many people and getting as many angles and insights as possible. Over a year, discussions were held with employees, patients, experts, advisory boards and external stakeholders about what it takes to remain a leader and why this matters. From this, a common point of view emerged: that every person counts. This became the starting point for the new strategy, which UMC Utrecht wants to implement as a multidisciplinary way of working. The goal is to encourage collaboration with partners in its care network, to innovate in all three areas in which it is active (research, education and care), and to increase the focus within its activities.
The result of all this is that the strategy explains what UMC Utrecht wants to achieve, how, and how the organisation’s mission – “together we improve people’s health and create tomorrow’s care” – will continue to serve as a guide going forward. The strategy also lays out the organisation’s short and long-term goals and how you, as an employee or manager, can contribute to achieving them.
Go or no-go?
The Covid-19 crisis erupted during the final phase of strategy development and could have derailed the whole process. But while, on the one hand, it felt strange to be deciding a multi-year strategy in the middle of the crisis, on the other, the crisis was revealing some good of examples of working on social challenges. As UMCU says, “We see constant innovation in the intensive collaboration within the care network. We see scientists working in a multidisciplinary way to search for solutions and making use of knowledge partners outside their own field. We see how our teachers, together with students and other UMCs, are rapidly adapting teaching to enable more and different forms of online education. The crisis has confirmed that our strategy for the future is already starting to be implemented, which is fantastic.”
Communication department shows its flexibility
The new strategy was ultimately introduced in a so-called ‘lite’ version, taking the form of an online talk show in a pop-up studio. The medical centre’s divisions and management teams then followed this up in online meetings with their staff.
Adapting the launch plan to reflect the realities of work during Covid-19 shows the courage, perseverance and above all flexibility of the Communication department of UMC Utrecht.