Strategic Planning

What’s Next for Health: Leading Through Change with a Strategic Direction

Convening healthcare industry leaders to create new strategic direction

As a change agent, trusted advisor and champion of healthcare standards, HIMSS has the scale and expertise to cut through the noise and help lead healthcare’s reformation. Our leadership approach is strategic, impartial, member-driven and based on best practices. Our members are diverse, committed leaders from all corners of the globe. Together, we are working to create a world where no matter where you live or who you are, your best health is possible.

As we look toward a brighter future in health, Terri Sanders, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Marketing and Communications, offers insights on the factors that led to HIMSS’s new strategic direction and brand re-alignment, and what these changes mean for the HIMSS community.

What was the impetus for this process? Why now?

With any leadership transition, a certain degree of change management has to take place. When Hal Wolf joined HIMSS as CEO and President in 2017, he came on board with a clear vision and desire for HIMSS to be more relevant, and realize our full potential as an agent for change in the industry.

Based on feedback from members, other executive leadership, board members and partners, it was apparent that the traditional value chain for the organization had shifted and HIMSS needed to shift with it. We needed to provide a better experience for our members and partners, and communicate our strategic direction and full value proposition more effectively.

As an organization, we viewed the leadership change as a call to action, and so we’ve spent the past 18 months gathering intelligence—and engaging in plenty of good old-fashioned soul searching—around how we can best lead the industry though this period of disruptive change.

Whose input did HIMSS seek as part of this process and what did HIMSS learn about itself as an organization?

We took a holistic, data-driven approach to gathering feedback on the HIMSS brand. We conducted dozens of in-depth interviews with members (both individual and organizational), providers and market suppliers. Some of these interviews were conducted via focus groups and others via survey. In addition to the interviews, we also polled non-members around the world in order to ensure we were operating with a global frame of reference. Finally, we solicited input from HIMSS employees, as it was important to leadership that their voices were heard and perspectives considered as we developed this new strategic direction.

As a result of this stakeholder and audience input, we learned that the health of the HIMSS brand is strong—but there were still significant opportunities for increased brand clarity and awareness. For example, the interviews uncovered growing perceptions of HIMSS as only an event. The organization was being viewed as a final moment in time or a product, rather than as a 365-day visionary for the industry.

We also learned that our previous organizational structure contributed to a siloed approach that occasionally made the experience of interacting with HIMSS more complex than it needed to be. That’s why our brand re-alignment is so much more than a facelift; we’ve re-structured our organization and developed a new brand strategy in order to address these perceptions and provide better service and a better experience for our members.

How will HIMSS get all stakeholders—members, employees and partners—excited about these changes?

Because the work we’re doing with the brand is based in data, we strongly believe that our new strategic direction will provide greater value for all stakeholders. People will see and feel the difference. Already, members and employees are embracing our new vision and mission, and sharing their excitement with us. Also, because we started this process internally and gave everyone an opportunity to exercise their voice and get involved, we’re seeing greater ownership and collaboration throughout the organization. We’re all on the journey together.

Regardless of a person’s role or relationship to HIMSS, the new HIMSS brand signifies change, and a meaningful desire and willingness to take on the industry’s challenges. It signals that we have heard our members and other industry leaders—and that we will not only be a convener to discuss and unearth challenges, but also a catalyzer to transform the global health ecosystem through the power of information and technology.

Join Us as We Reimagine Health Through Information and Technology

At HIMSS, our vision is to realize the full health potential of every human, everywhere. Be part of the community that’s transforming the global health ecosystem with courage, curiosity and determination.

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